On The Ballot: 10th District House of Representatives Seat

Loudoun Nowasked both Rep. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-VA-10) and her challenger, Aliscia Andrews, about Congress’ role in helping quell the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in helping the people who have been put out of a job and getting the economy back on its feet.

On the pandemic, Wexton pointed to her work in Congress helping secure funding for the public health response, direct payments for families, greater unemployment benefits, free COVID-19 testing,rent and mortgage relief, emergency loans for our small businesses, and funding for states and localities.

She also said she began holding weekly calls with health officials, first responders, hospital systems and local and state leaders when the pandemic began, taking what they said back to Congress.

And writing the day after President Donald J. Trump returned to the White House and took his mask off in public despite his own ongoing battle with COVID-19, she faulted the president for failing to prepare for the pandemic and downplaying the threat of the virus.

Meanwhile, Andrews said the federal government’s role is to protect the citizens, and if the government is directing businesses to be closed, then Congress should make sure those businesses and their workers are compensated for the time they miss. She said she would work for additional stimulus bills.

As for the economic fallout of the pandemic, Wexton said she’s fought for another round of direct payments to families and emergency funding for childcare. She’s also backed extending the payroll support program to help airline workers, a particular concern in a district that includes at Dulles International Airport. But so far, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate have been unable to come to an agreement on a new relief bill since the CARES act, with the Senate often declining to even take up bills passed in the House for weeks.

Andrews said that with people going back out again, things seem to be more normal, and that that is reflected in decreasing unemployment numbers. However, she said another stimulus and round of payroll protection program loans is needed.

She accused Wexton and Democratic Party leadership of holding relief bills hostage instead of negotiating toward a compromise. She also said allowing children to go back to school would help families get back to work, and hurry an economic recovery.

Jennifer T. Wexton

Democrat, incumbent
Neighborhood: Leesburg

Incumbent Democrat Jennifer Wexton is running for a second term in Congress, but it is not her first legislative job. Before running to represent the 10th district in 2018, Wexton was a member of the Virginia Senate, representing the 33rd district.

An attorney by training, Wexton was a partner in the Laurel Brigade Law Group and has served as a substitute judge as well as assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Loudoun County. She ran unsuccessfully for Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2011 before joining the Senate in 2014 in a special election, replacing Mark Herring after his election to Virginia Attorney General. There she served until running for Congress.

In 2018 she became the first Democrat to win the 10th Congressional District since 1981.

She and her husband live in Leesburg, and have two sons.

What is your top priority for the next Congress, and how do you plan to get that done with a partisan divide in government?

The most pressing issues right now are getting this virus under control and supporting our families and small businesses in need. I’m proud of the bipartisan results that I’ve helped deliver for Virginians during COVID-19, especially through the CARES Act. CARES included direct stimulus payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, funding for our schools and distance learning, rent and mortgage relief, and more. I also passed my Retirement Protection Act into law as part of CARES to help our retirees protect their savings during the pandemic. Additionally, by voting to create the Paycheck Protection Program, I helped more than 18,800 small businesses in Virginia—10 received loans totaling $2.4 billion.

I know that more needs to be done, which is why I voted to pass the bipartisan Heroes Act over four months ago. Unfortunately, the Trump administration and Senate Republicans decided to hit pause instead of working with us to achieve a deal.

Throughout my career in public service, I’ve found success in working across the aisle on issues that matter to our district. In the state Senate, I passed over 40 bipartisan bills into law — all while serving in the minority party. In Congress, even amidst what seems like our government lurching from crisis to crisis, I’ve successfully passed five bipartisan bills through the House.

My experience and record of delivering on behalf of our community have positioned me well to lead our district through any challenge or crisis, all while putting the needs of our families first.

What is Congress’s role in helping quell the COVID-19 pandemic and make people safe, and what can you do toward that?

Congress absolutely has a responsibility to equip our communities with the resources they need to address the public health threat and financial fallout of this crisis. That’s why I’m proud of my success in helping secure bipartisan funding for the public health response, direct stimulus payments for families, enhanced unemployment benefits, access to care and free coronavirus testing, rent and mortgage relief, emergency loans for our small businesses, and funding for states and localities.

When COVID-19 came to our Commonwealth, I convened a weekly call with our public health officials, local and state leaders, first responders, hospital systems and more to ensure that our community was coordinated and effective in our response. I’ve also traveled all across our district in a safe and socially-distanced way to check in with our mayors and town councilmembers, visit local businesses, and see firsthand the impacts of our federal relief programs in action, as well as the gaps that remain. I’ve taken what I’ve heard from our community members back to Washington and am continuing to fight to make our families and small businesses whole and support our community’s response to the crisis.

We’re still seeing tens of thousands of Americans infected by this virus each day and more and more of our small businesses closing their doors for good. But things never had to be this bad. The President failed to prepare us by refusing to invoke the Defense Production Act to mass produce PPE for our frontline workers and testing equipment. Even now, he downplays the threat of COVID-19 and flouts public health guidance while he knew all along that there would be deadly outcomes.

The health and safety of my constituents has always been my top priority and guiding principle throughout this crisis. That’s why my office and my campaign have been working virtually for months now. We’re continuing to work harder than ever, but I believe that it is important for us to set an example and make it clear that COVID-19 is serious, it is dangerous, and we must follow the guidance from public health experts that we know will help stop the spread of this virus.

With many people out of work or affected by the pandemic, what should Congress do to aid in an economic recovery and help those people get back on their feet?

The financial fallout from COVID-19 has devastated so many Virginia families. I’m proud of the bipartisan work that we accomplished in the CARES Act, and, recognizing that we needed to do more to help those who were hurting, I successfully pushed for the passage of the bipartisan Heroes Act back in May. Unfortunately, the Trump administration and Senate Republicans refused to take action or negotiate a compromise. In the more than four months since we passed Heroes in the House, another 100,000 Americans have died, critical relief programs have expired, and more small businesses are closing their doors for good.

I’ve been out all around our district hearing from small business owners and families who are facing unimaginable difficulties. I’ve brought their challenges with me to Congress and have pushed House leadership repeatedly to continue working for a relief package that can be signed into law by the President.

I’ve fought for another round of direct stimulus payments for families and emergency investments in child care to help parents get back to work. After hearing from Virginia-10 small business owners, I signed on to legislation like the RESTAURANTS Act to get aid out to our hardest hit industries. Similarly, I’ve backed an extension of the Payroll Support Program to help the thousands of airline workers in our district who are being laid off right now. I’m proud that both of these important priorities I’ve been fighting for were included in the updated Heroes Act that we recently passed.

I’m continuing to push for another bipartisan relief package that meets the needs of Virginia’s families and small businesses. I’m also hopeful that soon, with a Biden administration and majority in the Senate, we can finally take meaningful action to get this virus under control, allow all of our businesses to open up safely again, and get our kids back into their classrooms.

Aliscia Andrews

Republican nominee
Neighborhood: Aldie

Winning a seat in Congress would not be Republican Aliscia Andrews’ first service in the federal government.

After growing up with the father serving in the Air Force, Andrews deployed in 2010 with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. During her time as a marine, she assisted with the disaster relief efforts after earthquakes hit Haiti and deployed in Europe, the Horn of Africa, in the Middle East. She remained on active duty while she and her husband started their family.

After leaving the Marine Corps, she continued for analytics work in both the public and private sectors and with the intelligence community. She also volunteers in community organizations like the Loudoun County Criminal Justice Board, children’s groups, church ministries, youth sports leagues, and mentoring transitioning veterans.

She and her husband live with their two sons and daughter in Aldie.

What is your top priority for the next Congress, and how do you plan to get that done with a partisan divide in government?

My top priority for the next Congress is getting Americans the COVID-19 relief they so desperately need. With that comes getting our businesses and schools fully open safely so that the economy can come back and thrive and end the need for government relief. This can be done by accommodating concerns from both sides. Wearing a mask is certainly not fun or ideal, but if it means that businesses and schools can open, and our country can normalize again, then it’s a win-win. This is the same with school openings. If teachers feel comfortable teaching, they should be allowed back in the classroom with children who have parental consent. Hybrid learning was a great solution to help individuals with different degrees of concerns. We should find ways to move forward in this pandemic that are both logical and safe for all Americans.

I’m not afraid to reach across the aisle for help or to work together on a bill. I’m not going to Congress to represent only Republicans. I’m going to Congress to fix problems and improve the life of each and every individual in Virginia’s 10th District, because I care deeply about the people here. This is my home and these are my neighbors, they deserve a representative who cares about them.

What is Congress’s role in helping quell the COVID-19 pandemic and make people safe, and what can you do toward that?

The Federal Government’s role is to protect its citizens. Americans should feel safe in their homes and in the streets alike. If the government is directing businesses to be closed, then it is Congress’s role to make sure businesses and workers are adequately compensated for the time they are out of work. I will work for responsible stimulus bills that adequately take care of the most vulnerable, get the economy back and booming, and then continue to push for safe reopening of our economy so that we do not need further stimulus bills afterwards.

With many people out of work or affected by the pandemic, what should Congress do to aid in an economic recovery and help those people get back on their feet?

During the height of the pandemic, when many Americans were in quarantine, it was essential for the government to help individuals that lost their jobs and for small businesses to stay afloat. I fully supported The Cares Act and Paycheck Protection Program to aid Americans during the unprecedented pandemic.

Now that we are in the phase of going out and wearing masks—life seems to be somewhat normal. This is good for the economy and it’s showing with unemployment numbers decreasing. We need to continue to find ways to jumpstart our economy during these uncertain times, including another stimulus and second round of PPP loans.

My opponent and her leadership held desperately needed relief hostage for months as they demanded funding for political pet projects while small businesses and working families suffered. The House took a recess in August rather than work toward a compromise, and instead of pushing back against Democrat leadership to cancel the recess, my opponent did as told and took the recess. I think this is unacceptable. When elected, I will fight to ensure our businesses thrive again and workers have the support they need to get back to work and feed their families.

Finally, allowing children to go back to school will help many families get back to work. Many parents are stressed with childcare during virtual and hybrid learning. The faster we can get parents back to work, the quicker our economy will thrive again.

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