On The Ballot: The General Assembly

House of Delegates and state Senate districts do not align to county borders, and Virginia’s notoriously irregular state election districts mean many of them have parts found within Loudoun County’s borders.

This year, all 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for election and the balance of power in Richmond at stake. Currently, Republicans hold slim two-seat majorities in both houses, while Democrats hold the statewide offices.

The next assembly will decide—among other things—whether to ratify a state constitutional amendment that would create an independent redistricting commission to avoid gerrymandering in the future. If the next assembly passes the amendment, as the last one did, then it will go to the voters for a final decision. That will also decide whether the new election districts drawn after the 2020 census are drawn by the new commission or by the old partisan process. Every candidate who responded to Loudoun Now’s questionnaire expressed support for the independent redistricting commission.

Asterisks denote an incumbent. Skip to a district here:

House of Delegates

10th District

Wendy W. Gooditis (D)*
Age: 59
Occupation: Realtor
Residence: Boyce
WendyGooditis.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running for reelection because I believe people in the 10th District want a Delegate who will work across the aisle, as I have done, to fund schools, provide affordable healthcare, and maintain our roads.

My priorities this term are to continue Virginia’s investments in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. I also intend to continue my efforts to protect our children from predators and mass shooters.

To realize these priorities, I plan to continue the record that earned me endorsements this year from the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and the League of Conservation Voters. Specifically, I plan to support teacher pay raises to build off the 5% increase I helped pass in my first term. I will also keep the focus on our kids by reintroducing bills like HB 1810 (2019), which would have helped stop child abuse had it not died along a party-line vote. On healthcare, I will vote to maintain Virginia’s investment in Medicaid and to adequately fund our local mental health agencies, Virginia’s Community Service Boards. On infrastructure, I will continue to advocate for legislation that funds road work in Loudoun County.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

I intend to return state funding to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which can lessen the burden on Loudoun County for transportation spending. I was instrumental in the I-81 deal that returned $20 million to NVTA, and I will continue to fight for our transportation needs.

I also believe that SMART SCALE has made transportation spending more efficient, but we must consistently review its algorithms to ensure Loudoun County and similar localities get their fair share of funding.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

A large majority of Virginians want to see policies that take gun violence seriously, such as universal background checks and red flag laws. I support these two proposals in particular, having copatroned a red flag bill introduced in the 90-minute special session on gun violence this summer. As the sister of someone who took his own life after suffering from PTSD for years, I know how critical it can be to keep guns out of the hands of those who might hurt themselves in a time of crisis.

As a mother of two and a former teacher, I take our children’s safety extremely seriously as well. I wrote and passed a bill this past session to secure our schools from unwanted intruders, but I don’t think we can barricade our way out of every crisis. To stop mass gun violence, we need to prevent dangerous criminals from buying guns without a background check, as they can now by exploiting the gun show loophole.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

Partisan gerrymandering literally got me out of my chair to run in 2017. I believe the 10th House District wants to see a redistricting process that allows voters to choose representatives rather than the other way around. In my next term I will vote again to add a balanced and independent redistricting commission to the state’s constitution.


J. Randall “Randy” Minchew (R)
Age: 62
Occupation: Attorney
Residence: Leesburg Historic District
MinchewforDelegate.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running again to serve the citizens of the 10th House of Delegates District because we need experience, integrity, civility, and the ability to achieve bipartisan success for Loudoun County in our state legislature now more than ever. I have over 30 years of Loudoun County leadership experience in a multitude of business, civic, professional, and economic development organizations in Loudoun County. These experiences allowed me to be a highly effective member of the Virginia General Assembly for six years with over 80 of my bills enacted into law. From fighting for enhanced safety and increased state funding for our public schools, to ensuring passage of the first major transportation funding bill in a generation, to protecting the quality of life of our citizens and securing a good climate allowing for small businesses to grow and thrive, I have successfully carried legislation to secure these results.

If elected, I have a number of priorities. First, in 2020, the Virginia General Assembly will be adopting a Biennial Budget that will run from July 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021 and we need to ensure that Loudoun County, as Virginia’s 3rd most populous county with more state income tax payments per citizen that any other jurisdiction, gets its fair share. We need to have a Northern Virginia regional supplement to fund salaries for our public school teachers and professional law enforcement and firefighters so that they can afford to live where they work; we need to reform the Local Composite Index that deprives Loudoun County of its fair share of public school funding; and we need to establish a school resource officer cost-sharing fund whereby the state will fund 50% of the cost of providing a school resource officer in every public school that needs one, as determined by the Board of Supervisors and School Board. Additionally, I will seek the reverse the diversion of NVTA road-building monies to WMATA that Delegate Gooditis voted for last year so that the NVTA can fund needed Loudoun County road improvement projects that have been cancelled due to this diversion.

In these time of polarized and uncivil politics, I am proud that in my six years of service in the House of Delegates, I earned a reputation for civility and as a solution-oriented problem solver with a knack for bipartisanship.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

Under the FY 2019 – FY 2024 Amended Capital Improvements Plan (“CIP”) adopted by the Board of Supervisors, there are planned capital expenditures totaling $2.4 billion during the six-year planning period with transportation projects total $1.2 billion. Loudoun County also gets a very solid portion of the NVTA’s road-building capital allocations and receives more per-capita from the NVTA than any other jurisdiction. But, many of these road projects proposed by Loudoun County to the NVTA cannot be funded 100% by the NVTA and are required to include a Loudoun County portion. One reason why Loudoun County has been so successful in obtaining NVTA road project funding is due to the Board’s leadership in this regard.

Also, a great majority of the road improvement transportation projects included in the CIP represent Loudoun’s agreed share of road improvement projects that the NVTA, VDOT, and federal authorities are also funding and, as a part of the 2012 Silver Line decision, Loudoun is required to devote 2 cents of its tax rate to capital improvement.

But, despite that having a good level of NVTA funding, Loudoun County has been forced to take on the funding for those road projects that had to be cut due to the 2018 diversion of NVTA funding to WMATA. As mentioned above, this diversion supported by Delegate Gooditis, has required Loudoun County to step up to the plate and fund important

Loudoun has also be required to increase its local road CIP funding because it is being short-changed by the “Smart Scale” road funding decisions made by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. For example, during the most recent “Smart Scale” funding cycle, the Loudoun Board submitted ten solid congestion-relieving road projects and only received $1.29 Million for two intersection improvements on Rt. 50 while Arlington County received $53 Million for the Crystal City (aka: Amazon National Landing) Metro East Entrance that will do little for congestion relief in our region. In my opinion, someone in the Northam Administration had a thumb on the “Smart Scale” to fund an economic development incentive promise made to Amazon. I think that is wrong and I will file curative legislation in 2020 to correct this and ensure that congestion relief is given the priority it deserves in future “Smart Scale” funding decisions for Northern Virginia projects.

These two initiatives I will pursue in 2020 will hopefully allow for Loudoun County to reduce the portion of its CIP dedicated to road construction.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

I am looking forward to reviewing the Crime Commission’s Omnibus Report on Gun Violence Reduction Legislation that will be released this November. It is my hope that this Crime Commission Report will provide recommendations on those items of proposed legislation that that analysis shows will have positive effect in reducing gun violence. In the wake of the horrible 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, a similar Blue Ribbon Report was commissioned by Governor Kaine and almost all of the recommendations in that report were adopted. Our outstanding public universities are safer places today by virtue of the adoption of those recommendations and I look forward to the Crime Commission’s Report producing similar curative results.

We have a problem with gun violence in our society that should be combatted by a series of public policy actions, from enhanced law enforcement of existing laws, to improved mental health services, to many of the new concepts proposed in the 2019 Special Session and now being studied by the Crime Commission. Proposed new legislation to address gun violence should be reviewed under two key criteria: First, analyses of the proposed new legislation should show that it can have a real and positive impact in curbing gun violence. Second, the proposed new legislation will need to pass constitutional muster under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia. Over the years, I have patroned legislation to address gun violence and look forward to reviewing the Crime Commission’s report next month for items of legislation that may be worth for consideration in the 2020 Session.

Here’s my 2014 bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+HB827

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I have supported redistricting reform since I worked as Governor McDonnell’s Deputy Counselor for Public Policy back in 2010-2011 and filed a curative bill in 2016, HB 553, to provide clear criteria for redistricting decisions. In 2020, I will patron legislation allowing Virginia voters to amend the Constitution of Virginia through a referendum that will be on the November 2020 ballot creating an Independent Redistricting Commission and will file a corollary bill providing statutory guidance on how the Independent Redistricting Commission should do its job in drafting fair districts in 2021 after the completion of the 2020 Census.

Here’s a copy of my 2015 bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+sum+HB553


32nd District

David Reid (D)*
Age: 57
Occupation: Program manager at Axiologic Solutions; owner of Rockbridge Consulting
Residence: Ashburn
delegatedavidreid.com


33rd District

Dave A. LaRock (R)*
Age: 63
Occupation: General contractor
Residence: Hamilton
VoteLaRock.us

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I continue to run because we need to do more to reform government so essential services can be delivered more effectively and efficiently, without raising taxes. My priorities include improving transportation, education, and broadband access. I have been fighting to reform transportation prioritization, so our tax dollars go to fix roads in Loudoun instead of developer-friendly transit projects in Arlington; provide better educational opportunities and parental involvement in our children’s education, and remove barriers to private-sector broadband expansion in Western Loudoun.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

I have been working hard on this, exposing the Northam administration’s biased rating process which sent the vast majority of the state transportation money in Northern Virginia to a handful of projects near Amazon HQ2 – this is an unacceptable violation of legislative intent, and it’s killing our ability to get critical road projects built in Loudoun. Too much of our Loudoun County, regional, and the state transportation dollars are also being dumped into the WMATA rail system, which provides little benefit to Loudoun commuters. I’m also continuing to lead efforts to reform, reduce and remove tolls on the Dulles Greenway, Dulles Toll Road, and I-66, which will relieve traffic on other local roads.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

Anytime people die by violence, that is a tragedy. It would only make the tragedy worse if we made knee-jerk reaction changes to the law which would only make Virginia less safe, as many of the left’s chosen “solutions” would. After the Virginia Tech shooting, significant study was done, and the recommended changes were made. The results of the Virginia State Crime Commission’s updated analysis of this issue will be released shortly after the election. I would support some changes to ensure that Virginians who use guns in crime are punished severely, that mental health services and law enforcement have the resources they need, and that citizens have the ability to defend themselves, wherever they are.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I did support this legislation in the 2019 session, andanticipate supporting it again, if reelected, to send it to the voters in Nov. 2020. I also supported Sen. Suetterlein’s SB 1579, which would have reformed Congressional and state legislative districts standards and criteria, but Governor Northam vetoed that legislation.


Mavis B. Taintor (D)
Age: 74
Occupation: Retired
Residence: Waterford
MavisForDelegate.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

Three years ago, I lost my son Conan to a heroin/fentanyl overdose. I experienced first-hand the inadequacy of the mental health and addiction services in VA. It’s why I’m running: I don’t want any parent to have to go through what I did. Our district is being left behind by Richmond, and it’s time to make sure we’re getting the services and attention we all deserve.

I’m not a career politician. I don’t play by their rules. I will be a bipartisan voice of reason who will set partisan politics aside and fight for all Virginians. When I’m delegate, I won’t just be representing one “side”: I’ll be working for all of us in the 33rd District.

My agenda: I will defend and increase the Medicaid expansion so that all Virginians can have access to affordable healthcare; use the existing money that’s been provided for broadband expansion to bring broadband to the 33rd District; and provide a real living wage to our teachers, so that we can continue to attract the quality professionals our kids need to help them succeed in a rapidly changing world. Meanwhile, I’ll stop giving corporate welfare to already wealthy corporations, and keep them and from taking advantage of our tax laws to avoid paying their fair share to the people of our Commonwealth, who, after all, make all their success possible.

Most of all, however, I will provide the 33rd District with the professional, effective, and respectful representative they deserve. I take public service extremely seriously and would be honored to serve as your delegate.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

Our local county taxes have historically been used to fund our schools with the state having responsibility for the state roads that crisscross the county. However, with Republican control of County and State governments, these responsibilities have become confused and neglected. This has meant that we’re only funding both schools and roads at “crisis” levels.

We desperately need to fully fund both our schools and road maintenance, and have clear divisions of responsibility for each. I would bring county and state elected leaders into a working group with the mandate to have a joint viewon funding priorities for our schools and roads, so that we can finally provide the services we need.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

Like most farmers, I’m a gun owner. I take the Second Amendment very seriously. But the facts are (and have been) clear: what we’ve been doing to control gun violence is simply not working. We must pass common-sense gun safety laws immediately and end these massacres.

We can do this through:

  • Longer waiting periods for purchasing certain weapons
  • More extensive background checks
  • Purchasing prohibitions on people known to be dangerous

These are reforms that everyone should be able to support because they serve the public good while still allowing responsible gun owners to exercise the rights they have earned and deserve.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

The Supreme Court decision to allow partisan gerrymandering this year shows that the federal government will do nothing to end this abhorrent practice.

Virginia needs an independent commission to determine redistricting to ensure fair and legitimate representation. I support amending the state constitution to create such a body.


34th District

Kathleen Murphy (D)*
Age: 71
Occupation: President of Johnson Murphy & Associates
Residence: McLean
murphyfordelegate.com


Gary Pan (R)
Age: 55
Occupation: CEO/President Panacea Consulting; Director, Lucid Technology
Residence: Great Falls
panforvirginia.com


67th District

Karrie K. Delaney (D)*
Age: 40
Occupation: Communication consultant
Residence: Chantilly
karriedelaney.com


87th District

William M. “Bill” Drennan, Jr. (R)
Age: No response
Occupation: retired Air Force colonel
Residence: South Riding
drennanfordelegate.com

Candidate has not responded to Loudoun Now’s questionnaire.


Suhas Subramanyam (D)
Age: 33
Occupation: Lawyer
Residence: Sterling
SuhasforVirginia.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running because as our community continues to grow, we must have a strong voice in Richmond who understands our diverse needs and knows how to get results. I am ready for the challenge. Whether it’s our long commutes, our children’s education, or getting the most for our tax dollars, together we can address the issues in our community and work towards a brighter, sustainable future for Loudoun and Prince William. To accomplish that, we will need to ensure that Loudoun gets the funding it needs from Richmond. I plan to draw on my experience on Capitol Hill, as a White House technology advisor, and as an attorney and small business owner to meet that challenge.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

Loudoun County needs more state funding for infrastructure and state formulas for distributing state infrastructure funding must account for our rapid growth. I am proud to have worked in every branch of government and been in tough budget negotiations, and I vow to fight for every dollar of funding and change the state transportation formulas so that they take into account Loudoun County’s growing infrastructure needs. This way, the Board of Supervisors can allocate funding to our schools and other important local priorities. I will also work tirelessly to address high tolls and congestion on Loudoun roads, especially Route 50.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

Yes, we can no longer afford inaction on gun violence. I support commonsense reforms like expanding background checks, closing the gun show loophole, banning certain types of weapons, and red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others. I also believe we need to study gun violence more as a public health issue and see and enact what actually prevents gun violence.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I oppose partisan redistricting and believe legislators drawing districts to benefit themselves undermines our democracy. Voters should be choosing their legislators, not the other way around. The state constitutional amendment is a good start, but I would prefer a completely independent redistricting commission that is not made up of members picked by the General Assembly.


Senate

13th District

John J. Bell (D)
Age: 56
Occupation: Retired U.S. Air Force
Residence: South Riding
voteforjohnbell.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I’m running for the State Senate, because we need a leader with the courage to do what’s right in Richmond. I’ll use my platform to be a voice for solutions to problems facing our region.

One of the most critical needs for our region is reducing traffic, lowering toll costs and providing alternative transportation options for commuters. With improvements in these areas, we can reduce the average commute by 15 minutes each way.

I am also committed to expanding access to affordable healthcare, in particular, I’ll focus on reducing the price of prescription drugs.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

I support the restoration of state funding for local roads that the Republican majority in Richmond has consistently refused to spend. I also support revising the Smart Scale formula for road funding so that it addresses the challenges of high growth areas like Loudoun which is not addressed by the current formula.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

Just this year, a resident of the 13th District was hit by a stray bullet while playing with her children on her own property. That’s a situation that we should be able to prevent. There are common sense measures that we can, should, and will take to make our communities safer while still upholding the Second Amendment and preserving the Virginia way of life. As a former military officer who served in combat zones, I know there is a balance to be struck. Let’s start with universal background checks and permanently closing the gun show loophole. We can also implement red flag laws to keep weapons out of the hands of domestic abusers and high risk individuals. As our region continues to grow, we also need to rezone certain land to prevent makeshift shooting ranges from popping up next to homes and playgrounds.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I support non-partisan redistricting and have submitted a bill on this 4 years in a row. I voted for the bill last year and will vote for it next year if elected to the Senate.


Geary M. Higgins (R)
Age: 66
Occupation: Vice President of Labor Relations, National Electrical Contractors Association
Residence: Waterford
GearyHiggins.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

As an 8-year Loudoun County Supervisor, Chairman of the Transportation and Land Use Committee, previous Chair of the Joint School Board Committee, and a 4-year Loudoun County Public Schools School Board Member, I have the experience and track record of making government work for residents and not against them.Everyimportant issue facingLoudoun and Prince William county residents deals with our day-to-day quality of life; less traffic and more time with our families, reducing or eliminating tolls, high quality schools, safe communities, affordable health care, low taxes and protection of life and our liberties.I am running to put my experience and leadership to work in Richmond on behalf of the all the residents in the 13th Senate District. Myfirst priority will be to work to lower or eliminate tolls on the Greenway and fight for our fair share of transportation funding in Richmond. I will do this by introducing legislation authorizing the Department of Transportation to purchase all or parts of the Greenway in order to drastically reduce or eliminate tolls and I will fight for better formulas to bring transportation funding back to Northern Virginia.My opponent not only sponsored a bill that would have guaranteed toll increases on the Greenway through at least 2029 after he took campaign contributions from the Toll Road Partnership, he was also ineffective in working within his own party to prevent the abusive I-66 toll structure put into place by Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Aubry Lane. I will alsosupport increased and wisely spent education dollars to support our teachers and students in the classroom.Northern Virginia is known for its highly educated workforce and is one of the reasons we won the bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.I will work in Richmond for increased education dollars and will advocate for a freeze on college tuition.Another priority will be to sponsor legislation dealing withasset seizure in order to fight human trafficking in Northern Virginia. As Loudoun Now reported earlier this year human trafficking is a local issue in Loudoun County operating in plain sight. We must eradicate this tragedy in our community. Finally, as families work to balance day-to-day demands on their budgets; housing costs, taxes, day care, education, and commuting costs, health care costs are a big part of this equation.I willsupport legislation that would give Virginian’s the option of purchasing lower-cost catastrophic healthcare compliantwith he Affordable Care Act to provide quality health care to our residents.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

The current process must be improved in order to ensure that Loudoun County receives its fair share of transportation funding. Loudoun County receives state transportation funding from multiple sources including NVTA, Smart Scale and the State Revenue Sharing Program.NVTA funding is sourced through a series of NOVA regional taxes and fees (sales tax, grantor’s tax on home sales and hotel taxes on overnight stays) to fund regional road projects as called for in SB 2313 passed by the General Assembly in 2013. Unfortunately, the Virginia General Assembly reallocated NVTA funding away from regional road projects to WMATA for metro contributions. The first place I will look to restore funding will be to work withNVTAto review bonding capacity in order to determine the feasibility of additional funding availability. In themost recent Smart Scale Round 3, Loudoun lost critical transportation funding. I immediately took this issue up on the Board at our May 7thbusiness meeting and passed a motion to send a letter to Secretary Valentine expressing Loudoun’s concerns with the Smart Scale Round 3 process along with recommendations to improve the process moving forward. This item and our letter can be found here:https://lfportal.loudoun.gov/LFPortalinternet/0/edoc/334536/Item%2003%20CTB%20Spring%20Public%20Hearing%20for%20the%20SYIP%20FY%202020%20-%202025.pdf I also attended the joint CTB/NVTA/ meeting, which my opponent did not attend, to advocate on behalf of Loudoun and Prince William Counties.Unfortunately, Northern Virginia congestion mitigation projects in Loudoun and Prince William counties(Prince William County’s Rt. 1 at Rt. 123 Interchange Improvements, and Loudoun County’s Rt. 7 (Route 9 to Dulles Greenway) widening, which held the #6 and #7 highest Congestion benefit points statewide lost critical funding due to a change in the funding criteria under Smart Scale. I will work with my colleagues in the General Assembly to adjust the funding criteria so that adequate funding can be restored to critical funding projects.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways

The Virginia State Crime Commission looked at important issues regarding firearms legislation introduced the special session including a review of federal firearm laws, rules and regulations, non-fatal gun injuries inVirginia, massattacks in public spaces, the most effective policies in reducing gun homicides, firearms transactions and gun violence in Virginia, gun related deaths in Virginia. I look forward to reviewing their findings and recommendations in the hope of finding waysto keep firearms out of the hands of people that should not have them namely, criminals andindividuals with mental illnesses that would cause them to harm themselves or someone else. Having said that, it is imperative to protect the rights of the vast majority of firearms owners who are law-abiding citizens without eroding their constitutional due process rights. Both the Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach incidents in Virginia involved individuals that had known mental issues, which had that information been known to authorities, would have prevented these individuals from purchasing firearms.

What approach do you support for redistricting?Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I would support a proposal for a Virginia Redistricting Commission similar to the proposal unanimously adopted by the General Assembly earlier this year.


27th District

Ronnie J. Ross III (D)
Age: 33
Occupation: High school English teacher
Residence: Middleburg
RonnieRoss.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running for many reasons. Certainly, it’s personal; I have a rare throat disease and when my opponent voted to take away protections for preexisting conditions, that was something that I could not stand for. More than that, the birth of my child really focused me on what kind of Commonwealth I wanted to raise him in. But of course, there are so many kids and grandkids and, really, us. It’s no surprise then that my first legislative priority is healthcare, followed by education and the environment. In terms of healthcare, we need to protect the gains we’ve made, but we also need to work to bring down prescription drug costs and fight surprise billing. In terms of education, we need to fully fund schools and make sure teachers are paid like the professionals they are. And finally, for the environment, we need to enter the RGGI and pass solar freedom bills.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

One of the major problems with the General Assembly in recent years is the number of unfunded mandates pushed down to local governments. This is an issue I plan to take on, and my work and advocacy certainly extend to making sure the state picks up its responsibility for our roads.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

As a sportsman who enjoys target shooting, I have great respect for our second amendment and our second amendment rights, however, I do believe that we need to close the background check loophole and invest in proper storage education. More than that, the majority of gun deaths are suicides, and so implementing a waiting period is a way to save lives. Finally, I support an enhanced penalty for daycares that do not properly store their firearms.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

Last year’s constitutional amendment is imperfect. I would support a truly independent, non-partisan commission, and I would support a process that did not involve the Virginia supreme court. More than that, I am disappointed that last year’s amendment does not have anti-gerrymandering language in it. However, the amendment is better than what we currently have, and so we would do well to pass it now, ahead of redistricting.


Jill H. Vogel (R)*
Age: 49
Occupation: Attorney
Residence: Upperville
SenatorJillVogel.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running to continue the critical work that needs to be done in my district, with emphasis on increasing access to affordable healthcare, better managing taxes and revenue, growing the economy, and working in a bipartisan way to produce results for Virginia. In the past, I have collaborated with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address issues related to healthcare, infrastructure, public education, workforce development, ethics reform, redistricting reform, public safety, needs of the disability community, energy and opioids to name a few.My priorities for the immediate future are carry-over measures that I am working on for the 2020 session, including a healthcare bill to allow business associations to offer health plans to their members who otherwise do not have access to affordable insurance. I serve on the Senate Finance Committee and this year is the critical budget year where my goal is to craft a sound budget that responds to the needs expressed by my constituents and allocates resources where we need them most—infrastructure, education, public safety among others. I have built a legislative office around constituent service that informs my priorities and I have the benefit of experience in public policy, law, business and community service that helps shape a concrete plan for execution of my district’s goals each year.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

Loudoun County bears a disproportionate burden when the Commonwealth fails to fully meet its funding responsibilities to local government.In addition, Loudoun has such massive transportation, infrastructure and education needs that when the revenue and tax burdens are misaligned, the impact prices many in the community out of affordable options to remain.I will advocate aggressively this year for a budget that fully meets the state’s local funding obligations.Also, through legislation and better transportation policies, we can shift the burden from increased taxes at the local level to the state retaining those funding responsibilities. This is wholly a question of budget priorities.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

I believe that keeping our communities safe and protecting those who may harm themselves or others from increased exposure to danger should be our highest priority.My senate caucus, along with others in the legislature, have introduced a large number of legislative proposals that would implement numerous risk protections.Those bills are currently before the Crime Commission for analysis and consideration.This is a bi-partisan commission of members whose job is to recommend meaningful policies and I am eager to consider any recommendations from the Crime Commission.I have high confidence in their ability to consolidate proposals, make substantive changes and identify the best changes in the law.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

Almost every year since I have served in the Senate, I have introduced legislation to implement redistricting reform.The process should be fair, transparent, non-partisan and produce maps where districts are geographically compact, contiguous and protect communities of common interest. I have supported every reform option proposed and I chair the Committee in the Senate that has helped pushed the measures through. I was a key advocate for last year’s bill and I will continue to advocate for reforms that will impact redistricting in 2021.


31st District

Barbara Favola (D)*
Age: 64
Residence: Arlington
barbarafavola.org


33rd District

Jennifer B. Boysko (D)*
Age: 52
Residence: Herndon
jenniferboysko.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I am running for re-election in the 33rd District in the Virginia Senate because I am the candidate most closely aligned with the members of our community. My work ethic, energy, and experience has earned me endorsements from all sectors – the Teachers, the Firefighters, the NOVA Tech PAC and NOVA Chamber of Commerce, the environmental groups, the labor groups, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice VA, and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. I have been working collaboratively in the region to solve community problems with stakeholders, the business, and the nonprofit community over the past three decades. I have a long history of working in a bipartisan manner at the federal, state, and local level, and that is what I will continue to do.

My record speaks for itself. During my tenure in the Virginia General Assembly, I have supported the most important economic initiatives for the Commonwealth- the successful passage of Medicaid expansion, a $1 billion investment in our public schools giving our teachers a much-needed raise. I advocated for and helped pass the economic initiatives to keep the United Airlines hub at Dulles Airport, saving 35,000 jobs in our community, to invest in the Port of Virginia, and to bring Amazon’s HQ2 to our region. Even with these advances in Virginia, we still do not have an economy that works for everyone.

I will continue to promote policies that provide all of our residents with an equal opportunity to succeed. I will continue to support workforce development and educational opportunities so that residents have a pathway for career growth and so that we can fill our 21st-century jobs with highly qualified workers. I will continue to work with stakeholders to find funding for our congested roads and affordable transportation solutions. I will support a livable wage because all people should be able to live with dignity working one full-time job. I will support legislation that brings a rapid transition to zero-carbon energy and green jobs to Virginia. I will continue to support the redistricting amendment to our constitution and enabling legislation to put an end to gerrymandering so that every vote counts and to expand access to the polls. I will continue to stand up for women to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and to protect their right to make personal private decisions for themselves.

Working together to get things done, I will continue to be a voice for those who often do not have a seat at the table no matter who you love, where you come from, the color of your skin, our your place of worship. I ask for your vote so that I can continue this important work.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

One of my top priorities is to restore transportation funds for local government. In 2018, the General Assembly passed a funding bill to meet the critical needs of WMATA. Virginia contributes to the metro funding, along with DC and Maryland. I support funding for the metro, which takes cars off our congested roads. However, the funding deal took money from local transportation funds. House Republicans killed an alternate plan that would have raised $30 million dollars for transportation projects in Northern Virginia after being passed by the Senate. In the 2019 Session, I supported legislation to make needed repairs to I-81 and also raise an estimated $20 million dollars for transportation projects in Northern Virginia. I am committed to finding additional funds for building and maintaining our roads.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

Yes, during my time in the General Assembly, I have been a chief patron and co-patron on many pieces of legislation that, if passed, would move Virginia a step in the right direction when it comes to addressing gun violence. Virginians support universal background checks, red flag/risk order laws, and other life-saving gun laws. I will continue to support stronger gun laws. In the House of Delegates, I was the chief patron for HB 273, which would have established civil liability for injury, death, and property damage inflicted by a gun sold or transferred without a background check. I was a co-patron for HB 721 & HB 1373, universal background checks.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

In the 2019 Session, I voted for SJ 306, which calls for a constitutional amendment to establish an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission. We must pass the redistricting amendment for the second time in the 2020 Session, and then it will be placed on the ballot for all Virginians to end gerrymandering. Additionally, I will support legislation to set criteria for the redistricting process, including an open process for citizen involvement in the commission, transparent rules that keep our communities together when new districts are drawn, and specific language prohibiting political gerrymandering. In addition to passing the redistricting constitutional amendment in the 2020 Session, in 2017, I co-patroned HJ 749. Serving on the House Privileges and Elections Committee, I’ve had a front-row seat as the Republicans refused to put an end to gerrymandering.


Suzanne D. Fox (R)
Age: 50
Occupation: Small business owner
Residence: West Leesburg
SuzanneforSenate.com

Why are you running and what your priorities for your term? How do you concretely plan to accomplish those?

I’m running because I felt that my values, and the values most Northern Virginians treasure: respect, civility, transparency, accountability – had no voice in Virginia’s 33rd Senate District. For too long, our representatives have virtue signaled to extreme factions of the electorate, and haven’t reflected the priorities of our retirees, small business owners, middle class families, and first time homeowners. For five years, I’ve reached across the aisle, as a Leesburg Town Council Member, to solve problems and improve quality of life for people in Northern Virginia. I believe that’s the type of representation the 33rd District needs, especially now in this age of tribalism and hyper-partisanship.

If elected, on Day 1, I’ll work to eliminate abusive tolls and ease traffic gridlock that continue to hold our economy hostage. Virginians are overtaxed, overregulated, and need a machete to cut through bureaucratic red tape required to start a small business – I’ll work with my colleagues to put a stop to that ASAP. Too often Richmond tries to regulate what goes on in the classroom – and that’s a mistake. If elected, I’ll put parents and students first, and make sure teachers have the resources they need to give our children the 21st Century education they need and deserve. When it comes to healthcare, too many Virginians need it, and too many can’t afford it. That needs to change, and I’ll work with my colleagues, doctors, and patient advocates to make sure that Virginians always have access to affordable, quality care and cheaper prescription drugs.

A majority of Loudoun County’s capital budget now goes to building roads, a state responsibility. What can you do to reverse the trend of increasing local taxes to pay for these needed improvements to state roads?

I would advocate for the reinstatement of the NVTA funding that was stripped away from the region for road improvements and redirected to WMATA. Sales taxes, Grantor’s Taxes, and Transit & Occupancy taxes all fund NVTA. If we don’t reinstate this funding, we will see a massive increase in local taxes that’ll only be used to bail out WMATA, while our local roads and county infrastructure projects continue to suffer.

In addition to empowering local NoVA communities, if elected, I would also work with my colleagues to pass legislation capping or eliminating predatory and abusive tolls because working Virginians shouldn’t be forced to fork over a paycheck just to get to work. Tolls are just one more way Northern Virginia residents are footing the bill for budget failures in Richmond. When it comes to infrastructure, NoVA families need and we deserve funding equity.

Would you support changes to Virginia’s gun laws? In what specific ways?

We need to find a balance between protecting our Constitutional Rights and public safety. Most of the recent “gun control” measures coming out of the state capitol would fail on both counts.

What approach do you support for redistricting? Would you support last year’s state constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission?

I believe the commission approach is correct. I support the Constitutional Amendment, and, should the amendment pass, I would support any enabling legislation required to ensure the success and effectiveness of the newly mandated redistricting committee.

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