Post by Government Relations Manager, Eric C. Johnson
We have an election coming up in just a few weeks! June 13th is Primary Day here in the Commonwealth, which means you need to make sure your voter registration is up to date and remind yourself of your polling location.
As in all elections, you will need to have appropriate ID when you go to the polls on June 13th. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. The Voter Registration Deadline is Monday, May 22nd. Absentee Voting will open on Friday, April 28th and close on Saturday, June 10th.
Both the Democrat and Republican parties have multiple candidates on the ballot for governor and lieutenant governor this year, which means regardless of your party preference, your vote will impact who is on the ballot this fall! The Democrat nominee for attorney general will be the incumbent and Loudoun resident, Mark Herring. And the Republican nominee for attorney general is Mr. John Adams of Chesterfield County.
Participation in elections is always much lower than it should be on a state-wide basis. But that is even more true when it comes to party primaries. Hey, I get it. June is when you think about vacations and the beach and flying the kids out to see Grammy in Colorado. But this June, you need to also be thinking about who you want to see as the next governor and lieutenant governor of Virginia. The next governor will oversee the creation of two state budgets and appoint agency heads, including secretaries over the Departments of Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, Finance, and Commerce & Trade. The next lieutenant governor will preside over a Senate that is split 21-19, meaning there will be numerous tie votes for him or her to break.
I won’t pander to you and say that this is the most important election of our lifetime. All elections are important, and they all have consequences. So, get out there and vote in the 2017 Primary Election. Make sure your voice is heard.
Each of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor have a website where you can find more information to help you make a solid decision by election day. I checked out each website to see what the candidates had to say about their respective backgrounds in business, and what they plan to do to improve the business climate here in Virginia.
I have them listed below, alphabetically by office.
Ed Gillespie (R): Mr. Gillespie is a businessman, having run a successful consulting firm. He was also a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Gillespie has put forward a tax plan that would cut income tax rates by 10% across the board. He would also seek to expand the development of oil and natural gas reserves off the coast of Virginia.
Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D): Lt. Governor Northam currently serves as lieutenant governor, after having spent several years in the Virginia Senate. He is also a doctor who owns his own practice. One issue Northam would like to work on is to have more Virginia companies offer access to apprenticeships and skills training for those in high school and college.
Tom Perriello (D): Mr. Perriello, a graduate of Yale Law School, served one term in Congress. He now works for a non-profit. Perriello advocates on his website for a minimum wage increase and paid medical and family leave. He would also like to see an increase in infrastructure investment.
Supervisor Corey Stewart (R): Supervisor Stewart is the at-large chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. While leading Prince William County, he worked to cut in half the time it took to issue a business permit. He also pledges to cut wasteful spending and bring Virginia to a zero-based budgeting system.
Senator Frank Wagner (R): Senator Wagner has served in the Virginia General Assembly for more than 25 years. He has owned two ship repair and manufacturing businesses, employing hundreds of Virginians. Wagner will fight to support the coal industry against increased federal regulations, and would like to make career technical education a critical component of public schools and community colleges.
Delegate Glenn Davis (R): Delegate Davis has represented part of Virginia Beach in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2014. After his first legislative session, he was named ‘Freshman Legislator of the Year’ by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Davis started a telecommunications management firm out of his one-bedroom apartment which he grew into one of the fastest growing IT companies in America. He wants to make it easier for the private sector to create jobs.
Justin Fairfax (D): Mr. Fairfax, a graduate of Columbia Law School, worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Virginia. He also has experience in the legislative and executive branches of government, and helps his wife run her private dental practice. He says that his top priority must be to create higher-paying jobs and economic security and opportunity. Fairfax seeks to increase the minimum wage and improve job training opportunities.
Susan Platt (D): Mrs. Platt has spent much of her professional life working in politics, both on Virginia political campaigns and on Capitol Hill. She has also helped start several non-profits. Her website does not outline her stance on business or economic issues.
Senator Bryce Reeves (R): Senator Reeves is a U.S. Army veteran and former police officer who was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 2011. For the past 16 years, Reeves has run several small businesses with his wife. He supports a private sector approach to get government out of the way, and allow small businesses to create jobs and grow the Virginia economy.
Gene Rossi (D): Mr. Rossi is an experienced federal prosecutor, serving for over 27 years with the Justice Department. Rossi would like to increase the minimum wage in Virginia to $15 per hour to grow the economy, and expand Medicaid in Virginia.
Senator Jill Vogel (R): Senator Vogel was elected in 2008, and represents a portion of Loudoun County. She is a successful lawyer, with offices in both Virginia and D.C. Vogel wants to restore economic growth to Virginia and make the Commonwealth #1 for business. She looks forward to working on tax reform, regulatory relief, transportation improvements, and workforce development.
I’ll be at the polls on Tuesday, June 13th. Will you?
To get more involved in the Loudoun Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, contact Eric Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming PolicyMaker Series Event:
The State of Housing in Loudoun, May 3rd, 8 – 10 a.m., Belmont Country Club