Tony Wilt (R): House of delegates
“If you’re a JMU student reading this, why are you here at the university? Hopefully, it’s to get a degree that will afford you more opportunities to achieve success in a career — however you define success. I feel the policies I support and have championed during my service afford students and all citizen the best opportunity to achieve this success. Most everything ties back to the success of the economy and the job opportunities that are available to citizens. When more people are working and the economy is doing well, that means more tax revenue that your state government has to support core services and address the challenges we face. Despite a strong economy, I understand we have some that are not realizing the benefits. Maybe they are struggling to retain affordable health care coverage, struggling to make ends meet or struggling with addiction or mental health conditions. I have and will continue to push for and support solutions to address these challenges. Just this year, I pushed legislation to provide more affordable healthcare for small business owners, their employees and sole proprietors who have no other option. I think continuing to invest in our education system is critical. For those struggling to make ends meet, I think we can place a heavier focus linking up individuals that want to better their circumstances with the unlimited opportunities and jobs in the career and technical field. We also certainly need to continue to do more in the realm of community mental health and addiction services. My vision is that we strive to provide opportunity for everyone, not demonize success and play identity politics as some try to do. While our society still has its challenges, using heavy-handed government to decimate the same individuals and businesses that contribute the necessary resources to address these challenges will not help.”
Mark Obenshain (R): Virginia State Senator
“I have spent my time in the Senate trying to solve problems to improve Virginia’s economy, to bring better higher-paying jobs to Virginia. I’ve worked across party lines to solve many of these problems. It is a much-overlooked feature of our legislature that probably 90% of what we do is bipartisan by nature — Republicans and Democrats working together to get things done. Five and 10% are partisan disputes, cats and dog issues, reasons we have two different parties, and I have had great success in solving problems, working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve the economy in Virginia to move us to No. 1 in the list of best states to do business. I’ve fought human trafficking, I have effectively fought to protect elderly and vulnerable adults from exploitation, and I plan to continue to serve Virginians in that fashion in the future.”
Isabela Gladston conducted an email interview with Tony Wilt and a phone interview with Mark Obenshain.
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