Joe T. May was joined by a crowd of supporters Saturday morning to formally kick off his campaign to represent the 33rd State Senate District.
He faces Democratic Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-87) in the Jan. 8 special election for that seat, which Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton has held since 2014.
May, 81, represented the 33rd House District in Richmond from 1994 to 2014. He served on some of the most influential committees, including the Appropriations Committee; the Science and Technology Committee, which he chaired for 12 years; and the Transportation Committee, which he also chaired for six years.
At the campaign kickoff event in Leesburg, May listed several issues he’d like to continue working on if voters return him to the General Assembly, including higher education, the health care system, and—arguably his signature issue—transportation. On transportation, he said he wants to work on a solution to the Dulles Greenway’s “out of control tolls” and fight for a better funding source for Metro. He referred to the General Assembly’s decision earlier this year to drastically reduce funding for Northern Virginia road and other transportation projects by shifting a portion of the region’s special tax revenues to help pay for the rail line.
May had a hand in the billions of dollars in new transportation funding that has been raised in recent years as one of the architects of Virginia’s 2013 landmark transportation funding bill.
“When we wrote that legislation, I can guarantee you that was never in our plans,” he said, referring to lawmakers’ decision to take from other Northern Virginia road projects to fund Metro. “The little mice sort of sneaked in there behind us and here we are, but I think there’s a better solution.”
May thanked those in the Loudoun County Republican Committee—many of whom backed his opponent Del. David LaRock (R-33) in the 2013 primary that cost him his seat—for uniting behind him in this race.
“Yeah we’ve had our differences within the committee and within the county over the last few years, but this has been the best unifying that I think I’ve seen in 25 years that I’ve been in the political theater here in Loudoun County, and I appreciate that.”
LaRock was among the elected leaders who endorsed May at Saturday’s campaign kickoff. He acknowledged that the two have not always agreed, but he said May is still known in Richmond for his great accomplishments. “The record of accomplishments of this man is twenty years of significant service to the people of the commonwealth,” he said.
Suzanne Fox, Leesburg vice mayor, complimented May on starting a company from scratch and growing it into one of the region’s most successful companies. May and his wife, Bobby, moved their company, EIT Inc., from Sterling to Leesburg in 2016. “His business acumen would be a perfect addition to the Senate,” Fox said.
Former delegate Randy Minchew, who served with May in the General Assembly, said May has the experience and know-how to start getting things done—especially for a candidate who would begin work in the Senate one day after the election. “He’ll know the rules. He’ll know the people. He’ll know the bills. Talk about hitting the ground running.”
Minchew also noted that May was wearing Santa pants at the campaign event. The candidate had spent the morning dressed as Saint Nick and greeting children at Leesburg Diner. Minchew said, “That’s the kind of hands on senator I think he’ll be.”
The 33rd Senate District stretches from just north of Leesburg south to Chantilly. Find out if you live in the district at Loudoun.gov/vote.