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At the annual Fluvanna Republican Committee fundraiser at Pleasant Grove Saturday (Aug.31), candidates talked about the economy and jobs in Virginia as well as Fluvanna’s future.
, who is running against Tony O’Brien for the Rivanna Board of Supervisor’s seat, spoke about the proposed water pipeline with Aqua Virginia. Kelly pointed out that his opponent believes that raising taxes means investing in Fluvanna’s future. Kelly believes higher taxes can be avoided. One audience member asked why Fluvanna’s tax rate was one of the highest in the area. Kelly responded saying he and Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle) were working on this issue.
Kelly spoke in more detail regarding the water issue.
“The county administrator thinks it’s a bad idea, the county attorney thinks it’s a bad idea and now the Board of Supervisors is going ahead with a public hearing to discuss a proposed deal with Aqua Virginia. This is backwards thinking,” he said.
He adds there are no businesses knocking on Fluvanna’s door and that light industry and fast food restaurants mean moderate growth. He suggested taking it slow and talking to businesses to see what water they would need.
Bell spoke briefly, discussing accomplishments at the state level.
“Our Constitution is in peril,” Bell said. “Elect people this side of the Potomac who will fight back.”
State Senator Tom Garrett (22nd district) spoke about abortion and teacher tenure. Regarding abortion he explained he is not against a woman’s right to decide but does not think that abortions should be paid with for taxpayer’s money.
Garrett was followed by Mark Obenshain, candidate for attorney general. He, like E.W. Jackson, candidate for lieutenant governor, had strong concerns regarding the federal government’s environmental regulation of coal mining. Obenshain pointed out that coal mining is a large part of Virginia’s economy and in southwest Virginia it means the livelihood of many coal miners who feel lost and forced to fight for their jobs.
Obenshain also discussed being disturbed about the rise in human trafficking and stated he would make this one of his priorities as attorney general.
Del. Lee Ware, (R-65th district which includes Fork Union and Columbia) spoke about his views on gun control. “If an unstable person uses a gun, we put the restrictions on the law-abiding citizens,” he said. Now that the door has been opened to look more closely at mental health services since the Virginia Tech shootings, Ware feels more has to be done in this area. Ware is running for re-election against Democratic candidate William E. Quarles, Jr.
Tito Munoz of the Hispanic Coalition spoke about the urgent need to support the Republican candidates.
“I came to the U.S. thirty years ago on a banana boat.” He told of his early experiences when trying to learn about the country, the language and customs and was mocked because of his poor English. “Why do we come to the U.S. – because of freedom and opportunity.” Today, Munoz is a successful businessman and an American citizen. “I dreamed about a better life, I dreamed about a better life for my children.”
He cautioned those listening, that no one, regardless of being born an American or an immigrant who becomes an American citizen, has the right to expect the government will help them. He pointed out that it was hard work and facing challenges that brought him to where he is today.
“Do not look at your government officials to offer opportunity. This country was made by people who had a vision,” Munoz said.
He ended by stating, “Candidates have to have more guts, be more aggressive.”
Former Congressman, Artur Davis, who was once a Democrat turned Republican also gave a stirring speech. He summed up his take on current campaigns by stating, “The only ads you can run on TV that don’t have to be truthful are campaign ads.”
Davis said that Fluvanna was a bell-weather county and that congressional races can be won or lost here.
Jackson, the candidate for lieutenant governor said: “Margaret Thatcher once said the problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money.” Jackson, like Munoz, is no stranger to hard work.
“When I met with those coal miners, I saw my dad. He worked hard as a welder with a sixth- grade education for 33 years. They just want an opportunity to work. He taught me that you go out and earn your way, no one gives you anything.” He added that DEQ regulations have an economic impact on the miners and they cannot afford anymore government bureaucracy.
He quoted Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is one generation away from extinction.”