Another hat in ring for Wolf’s seat?

Posted: December 20, 2013

The Winchester Star

State Sen. Dick Black

WINCHESTER — Virginia legislator Dick Black, R-Leesburg, said Thursday he is interested in running for Rep. Frank Wolf’s seat in November.

Wolf, R-10th, announced Tuesday that he won’t seek an 18th term next fall.

“We’ve formed an exploratory committee, and I’m very, very serious about this,” said Black, who represents the 13th District, which includes parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties in the Virginia Senate. “I’m concerned about the leadership in Congress these days. We just seem to be on a track where so many folks get in there and they simply want to be part of the club.”

Black was elected to the state Senate two years ago, and previously spent eight years representing the 32nd District in the House of Delegates.

Black, 69, said he’s opposed to the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

“I’m adamantly opposed to Obamacare,” he said. “I think it’s a genuine threat to the economic well-being of the nation, and it also is a massive interference with privacy and the ability of people to run their lives as they wish.”

Black, who lives in Ashburn, also disapproves of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

“I have a very strong background in military affairs and foreign relations,” he said. “I’m quite concerned about the direction that we’re taking, both militarily and with some of the interventions we have in the Mideast. I think our foreign policy is very unfocused.

“We’ve had our military at war for 12 years, and absolutely no one is talking about the end of the armed conflict. I would like to see us rebuild a strong military force, but one that’s not used like the French Foreign Legion. Every time there’s some sort of stir-up in the world, we seem to jump right in and put our troops at risk.”

Black said he’s the only wounded veteran in the General Assembly. He was wounded in 1969 in Vietnam, where he fought as a Marine officer, but is now a retired U.S. Army colonel.

A member of the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Black also spent two years heading the Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, he said.

He said he questions the “utility of hanging on in Afghanistan for another 10 years,” as well as some other administration decisions.

“We came just within a hair’s breadth of intervening in the Syrian war on the side of al-Qaida,” Black said. “I had written to every member of the House and I separately wrote to every member of the Senate. It just seemed like the establishment didn’t care one way or another — here’s another war.”

Black said he’s also very interested in the nation’s energy policy.

“I support offshore drilling, I support the pipeline, I support fracking, anything that will increase America’s energy production and anything that will make us independent of some of these radical states in the Mideast that are suppliers of oil right now,” he said.

Additionally, Black is staunchly pro-life.

“I passed the bill that requires parental consent for underage girls to have [an] abortion, which was probably the high point of the pro-life movement in Virginia,” he said.

He’s also a “strong advocate” for gun rights.

“I’m alive today because I was armed with a rifle, and I don’t want to take that protection away from other people,” Black said.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com