GOP candidates stump for No. 2 spot
Posted: February 11, 2013
The Winchester Star
MIDDLETOWN — Based on the candidates’ remarks Saturday afternoon, the race to be the Republican Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor this year might come down to who convention delegates think will be the most effective leader.
Aside from the occasional pointed comment or potshot between members of the state legislature — Del. Scott Lingamfelter and Sen. Steve Martin — and the chairmen of two boards of supervisors — Corey Stewart and Susan Stimpson — the seven hopefuls provided relatively homogenous answers to 10 questions about key issues at a candidates forum.
Jeannemarie Davis, E.W. Jackson and Pete Snyder also appeared before about 125 members of the GOP’s faithful at the event, which was held at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Carl and Emily Thompson Conference Center.
Each candidate sported the wardrobe accessory du jour — an orange-and-black “Guns Save Lives” sticker — and pledged to protect property rights, support reduced government spending and lower taxes, tout zero-base budgeting over baseline budgeting, back school choice, fight against abortion and promote the use of all available natural resources for energy.
Guns provided some of the most animated comments.
Stimpson said her husband is a retired Marine, but any intruder “would be better off with the gun in the hands of the ex-Marine than mine.”
Jackson, a minister, said that if someone entered his house with the intent of harming his family, “I will shoot you and then pray for you.”
Davis touted herself as the only candidate who has served in the executive branch of state government and said that if elected, she’d propose a task force to find ways to reduce spending on long-term care, which she said accounts for about 70 percent of the state’s costs for Medicaid. She also said she’d organize a mass conservative voice in Washington.
“I’ll create a consortium with the Republican lieutenant governors,” she said, “and have them testify in Washington to represent their states on Capitol Hill.”
Jackson said he supports ending unfunded state mandates to local governments and said the Constitution of Virginia would be his guide.
“We need to ask what is required by the Constitution,” he said, “instead of what good idea do we have today.”
Lingamfelter said government will not cut spending itself “because there’s no such thing as a self-butchering hog” and said the 2013 election is an important one.
“There is a brushfire of liberalism that’s broken out across the nation,” he said. “You have to stand with me and create the fire break.”
Martin cited his extensive legislative experience — he has been in the General Assembly since 1988 — and said he’s ready to help lead the state.
He also said that because of current federal restrictions, “there is no technology in the pipeline that will allow another coal-fired electrical plant to be built. We need to seek nullification (of the federal regulations). We should be doing all that is affordable and reasonable.”
Snyder, a technological entrepreneur and contributor to Fox News, billed himself as a political outsider who’s willing to fight for conservative causes. While introducing himself, he drew laughs when he also said he would woo convention delegates.
“I met my wife when she was on a date with another dude,” he said. “If you have love for [another candidate], get to know me. I will change your mind.”
Stewart lambasted the General Assembly, saying that they’ve “done nothing on illegal immigration, increased spending” and failed to act on Virginia’s transportation needs. At the same time, he said, Prince William County had dealt with all three issues.
“I’ve been effective,” he said. “I’ve gotten things done.”
Stimpson focused her comments on changes made in Stafford County since she was elected to its board of supervisors. She said she has led the way as board members have cut the budget, reduced real estate taxes three consecutive years, eliminated the Business, Professional and Occupational License tax, and ceded more power to voters.
“I have an actual record of enacting policies that limit government,” she said.
The forum was sponsored by The Apple Valley Club, the Shenandoah Valley Constitutional Conservatives and the Republican Women of Shenandoah County.
The election is Nov. 5.
— Contact Vic Bradshaw at email@example.com