Q&As with the three 18th Dis­trict state del­e­gate can­di­dates |

Repub­li­can (in­cum­bent)

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE -

Age: 38

Years serv­ing as del­e­gate:

6 years

Per­sonal in­for­ma­tion:

I’m mar­ried to my lovely wife Re­becca, and have two amaz­ing kids.

Why are you run­ning for del­e­gate?

Over the past six years, we have got­ten a lot ac­com­plished in the House of Del­e­gates, with more to do! I co-founded the Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cau­cus and worked to pro­mote a pro-busi­ness at­mos­phere. With re­gard to our ed­u­ca­tion, I have worked to fund un­der­funded schools, con­sis­tently voted against tax in­creases, led com­mon-sense ef­forts to pre­serve our land and en­vi­ron­ment, and car­ried leg­is­la­tion that ex­pands the num­ber of states where Vir­gini­ans with con­cealed carry per­mits can carry firearms. While we have made con­sid­er­able progress over the past few years, there is still much to be ac­com­plished. We also have a grow­ing opi­oid epi­demic in the Com­mon­wealth that must be ad­dressed. On av­er­age, nearly three peo­ple die ev­ery day from a drug over­dose. We passed bills this past ses­sion HB 1453, HB 1750, HB 1845 and sev­eral other bills to com­bat this epi­demic. I want to re­turn to the House of Del­e­gates to con­tinue the fight against this ter­ri­ble epi­demic that has claimed the lives of so many of our friends and fam­ily mem­bers.

Health­care has been a ma­jor topic of dis­cus­sion for years now, should Vir­ginia opt into Med­i­caid and if they don’t are they los­ing out on fed­eral dol­lars?

No, and this myth needs to quit be­ing per­pet­u­ated by my op­po­nents. Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion would cost $2 bil­lion per year when you com­bine state and fed­eral dol­lars - 2 Bil­lion Dol­lars. Other states have ex­panded Med­i­caid, and it’s been an ab­so­lute night­mare. Ore­gon’s Med­i­caid pro­gram was the largest fac­tor in the state’s re­cent $1.6 bil­lion short­falls; Ken­tucky’s Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion is $3.3 bil­lion over bud­get in the first two and a half years.

In­stead of fo­cus­ing on ex­pand­ing Med­i­caid - which would leave us in fi­nancial dis­ar­ray - we should fo­cus on all the achieve­ments over the past few years and con­tinue that work.

What can be done to drive more in­dus­try to the area and what is the best use of eco­nomic devel­op­ment dol­lars in District 18?

The 18th District is pri­mar­ily an agri­cul­tural district, and we should also fo­cus on cre­at­ing a busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages the agri-tourism in­dus­try to thrive. Great Meadow is a great ex­am­ple of bring­ing in agri-tourism dol­lars that ben­e­fit the lo­cal horse and wine in­dus­tries. Bright Farms is an ex­am­ple of uti­liz­ing state re­sources, like the AFID grant, to help grow in­dus­tries in the district. Work­ing to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for our smaller and larger pro­duc­ers will en­hance and sus­tain our agri­cul­tural in­dus­try. In our com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial ar­eas, we can ex­pand op­por­tu­nity. A great ex­am­ple of this is our work with Miles Friedman, Di­rec­tor of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment in Fauquier County, to pass HB 1565 - a bill that al­lows lo­cal­i­ties to cre­ate green devel­op­ment zones and pro­vide cer­tain tax incentives for busi­nesses op­er­at­ing in an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient build­ing of busi­nesses that pro­duces prod­ucts to re­duce neg­a­tive im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment. Leg­is­la­tion like this gives lo­cal­i­ties tools to at­tract and ex­pand busi­nesses in the 18th District.

Broad­band ac­cess in ru­ral parts of the district is limited, what leg­is­la­tion can be passed to help im­prove ac­cess for those who may want to telecom­mute?

There is no sil­ver bul­let for this is­sue. We need to in­sure that lo­cal­i­ties can find work­able so­lu­tions to their is­sues – a one size fits all approach will not work. A pos­si­ble so­lu­tion is to al­low more flex­i­bil­ity to lo­cal­i­ties when ne­go­ti­at­ing broad­band deals. In­no­va­tion and work­ing to­gether at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor will en­hance the prob­a­bil­ity of broad­band ex­pan­sion.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dents in Char­lottesville ear­lier this sum­mer, there has been much dis­cus­sion about ris­ing ten­sions in our na­tion? Should the state and lo­cal­i­ties re­move Con­fed­er­ate stat­ues to help al­le­vi­ate the is­sue?

No, lo­cal­i­ties should not re­move Con­fed­er­ate stat­ues. In 2016, I, along with sev­eral Democrats, voted for HB 587, a bill that would have pro­tected memo­ri­als and mon­u­ments re­gard­less of when they were erected. I still stand by this vote, and I would vote for HB 587 should it come be­fore the House again. Re­mov­ing the stat­ues and at­tempt­ing to erase our his­tory is not the an­swer.

What makes you the best op­tion for del­e­gate?

Like the corn I grow, my roots run deep in the 18th District. I live here, I work here, and my chil­dren at­tend school here. I am in­vested deeply in the district. The seeds that I have sown as a res­i­dent and busi­ness­man of the 18th District have grown into un­der­stand­ing and deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for our com­mu­nity. The seeds I’ve sown in Rich­mond have re­sulted in achievement: fund­ing for our schools, en­rich­ing our busi­ness and agri­cul­ture in­dus­tries and help­ing my fel­low ci­ti­zens cre­ate a bet­ter com­mu­nity. It has been my es­teemed honor to serve, and I humbly ask for the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of the 18th District.

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