Looking at the issues

This November, for the first time in eight years, Louisa County residents have a choice in who represents us in the House of Delegates.

Both Melissa Dart, the Democratic nominee, and John McGuire, the Republican nominee, are political newcomers. Neither enjoys the clout of incumbency and neither possesses a clear political record.

As these candidates vie to be our voice in Richmond, we deserve to know where they stand on the critical issues that affect our lives.

On her website and in her campaign outreach, Melissa Dart makes her vision clear.

As a mother of three and a member of the Henrico County Special Education Advisory Committee, Melissa is fiercely committed to protecting funding for our public schools. Over the last eight years, Virginia’s school systems have endured nearly $800 million in state budget cuts. Melissa knows our families deserve better.

Here in Louisa County, public schools are integral to our community and a point of civic pride. Our teachers shouldn’t face overcrowded classrooms or struggle to buy necessary supplies. Our kids’ needs shouldn’t go unmet because of out-of-touch politicians in Richmond.

Melissa believes in investing in an economy that works for all of us and not just large corporations and wealthy elites. She will fight for infrastructure that improves broadband access in rural areas, a key to increasing economic opportunity for folks across Louisa County.

In this same vein, Melissa understands that Virginia must initiate and support specialized training programs that equip workers with skills for today and tomorrow. With the introduction of solar farms to Louisa County, a green economy is emerging around us. Melissa wants to ensure that local workers are prepared to build the infrastructure of the future.

When it comes to education, infrastructure, economic development and other vital issues, Melissa Dart is unafraid to take a stand. She has a strong platform built on commonsense solutions and crafted to improve the quality of life in our community.

John McGuire, on the other hand, offers scant insight into his policy positions.

On his website, he provides little more than platitudes. Lofty pronouncements like “overhauling our current regulatory scheme” and supporting “public stewards” in “their noble cause” sound nice, but what do they mean?

John doesn’t bother to mention public education or rural broadband access. Does he fail to grasp the importance of these issues?

As Nov. 7 approaches, I urge all Louisa residents to look beyond party lines and political theatrics and focus on the local issues that have a real and lasting impact on our lives.

Louisa deserves a delegate with practical knowledge and tangible ideas who will fight hard for us in Richmond. Melissa Dart has a sound plan. John McGuire does not.

Tammy Purcell Louisa

Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and appeared in the 9-28-17 edition of  the Central Virginian, and is only available on-line to paying subscribers, or here.

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