What Explains Hixon’s Growing Support?

Ben Hixon’s campaign to represent Culpeper in Virginia’s 30th House of Delegates district has been gathering momentum in recent weeks.  Finance reports released last week by the State Board of Elections confirm an impressive showing of grassroots support for Hixon. He took in $26,000 during July and August, not only doubling the total raised by sitting Delegate Freitas, but also bringing in three times the total number of contributions.

“This just shows that when you stay in your district and you focus on the issues that are important to the people who live here, they appreciate it,” Hixon said in a statement after the reports were released. “It’s not about whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.  I’ve been knocking on doors here every single day, and the people I talk to know we need vocational training and reliable internet so our kids can succeed and businesses here have the freedom to grow.

Ben Hixon is one of a new generation of Virginia candidates who eschew traditional party politics to focus on the needs of their constituents.  He is a computer programmer and former National Science Foundation research fellow, and his campaign has focused on bringing freedom and opportunity back to the district by making vocational training and reliable internet access its top priority.

Hixon’s focus on the issues important to our district stands in stark contrast to the incumbent.  Lately, Delegate Freitas has been all over the state:  a winery in Winchester, a distillery in Afton, Liberty University, a photo-op at George Mason. Maybe he would be better off in the U.S. Senate, which the newly-launched Draft Freitas website and Facebook page lead me to believe he’s eyeing a run for, or maybe he’s just doing it for the PAC money – Raytheon PAC, Realtors PAC of Virginia, and Dominion Power all eagerly contributed to his campaign according to the new report. Meanwhile, Ben Hixon has signed a pledge to refuse all campaign contributions from Dominion Power.

I urge readers to check out Hixon’s Facebook page (Ben Hixon for Delegate) where you can hear him discuss the issues in his own words in the videos he records when he’s out knocking on doors.  Here are a few sound bites:

Let’s talk about the party system.  Whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican, that’s not something I usually get asked at the doors.  It’s not something a lot of people care about here.  When we get stuck in our camps, when we disagree with someone simply because we’re in a different camp, that’s when nothing gets done.  That’s what’s wrong with politics today.  We’re stronger as a party and as a country when we can rationally disagree with each other.  It’s not about who’s right, it’s about what’s right.”

“[One of my constituents] has four kids, aged 14, 15, 16, and 17.  Not all her kids want to go to college.  Not everybody needs a four-year degree.  We need carpenters, plumbers, electricians, computer programmers, let’s give them the skills they need to succeed.”

“[One of my constituents] Just moved here from Korea.  He says we don’t even know what fast internet is.  Their infrastructure is so much better than ours.  That’s criminal in the 21st century.  Reliable, high-speed internet is necessary to work from home, to do our homework, to get jobs, to keep our property values from diminishing.  I’m going to work to build rural broadband internet for everybody.”

The opioid crisis is clearly one of Virginia’s most urgent issues. We must fight the disease of addiction as a community, working together to educate one another on drug safety, alternate coping mechanisms, treatment options, mental health and family services, and Good Samaritan laws. Law enforcement, emergency response teams, social service agencies, schools, clinics, hospitals, and treatment centers should work hand-in-hand to share information, resources, and best practices to address this crisis.”

You can find detailed discussions of Ben Hixon’s views on the issues important to the people of Culpeper on his website, http://www.benhixon.com.  Check them out.  Do your own research.  Become informed. See what you think about Hixon’s growing support.  And, be sure to vote on November 7th.

Mike McClary

Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and was originally scheduled to appear in the September 23rd edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent, but for some reason was delayed until the 26th, where it now appears online.

 

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