Tidewater Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-7) last night told the Loudoun County Republican Committee if he is elected governor, he would build the Virginia economy through transportation infrastructure, career and technical education, and reined-in regulators.
“There are tax and spends, and there are tax and invests,” Wagner said when challenged about supporting increased infrastructure spending. He said infrastructure investment can make the difference between a strong economy and a weak one.
“I will also point out the fact that our parents, under a Republican president, decided that we’re going to build an interstate highway system,” Wagner said, referring to the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. “And you know what, they ponied up the money to build an interstate highway system, and you know what, where would this country be without an interstate highway system.”
Wagner said his experience—as an entrepreneur, a Naval Academy graduate and naval officer, and 25-year member of the General Assembly—has prepared him to be governor. He also touted his high legislative ratings by the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Family Foundation, which opposes abortion, same sex marriage and LGBT protections and supports school choice and reducing taxes and the size of government, among other conservative causes.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years now in the General Assembly,” Wagner said. “I have no further aspirations beyond being your governor, and I think in the final analysis … your vote for governor is to hire somebody to run your state. That’s all this is about.”
Wagner said it was his second visit to Loudoun. Wagner visited New River Farm in December as the farm’s owner, Karen Schaufeld, and her organization Powered By Facts, pushed to allow more solar power at Virginia farms. As of Tuesday, Wagner’s Senate Bill 1394, which would increase the allowable generation capacity of renewable energy on agricultural land and allow owners to generate up to 150 percent of their annual need and sell the extra back to the power utility, had reported from the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, which Wagner chairs. Its sister bill, Del. J. Randall Minchew (R-10)’s House Bill 2303, remains the House Committee on Commerce and Labor’s Special Subcommittee on Energy.
Both political parties will hold primaries on June 13 to select their nominees. On the Republican side, Wagner is among three declared candidates. Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart also are campaigning for the seat.