Fifth Congressional District Candidates Forum

Leslie Cockburn (D) spoke at the candidates forum with Preston Bryant moderating

The 5th Congressional District candidates forum is a biennial SSV event. Both major-party nominees, Democrat Leslie Cockburn and Republican Denver Riggleman, were invited to discuss their views. Mr. Riggleman declined the invitation. The program was moderated by McGuireWoods Consulting Senior Vice President Preston Bryant. Listen to a podcast of the event by clicking below.

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Leslie Cockburn (D), is a graduate of Yale, and has had a 35-year career in journalism, including as a producer for CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” a correspondent for PBS’ “Frontline,” a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton and a writer and author. She has won two Emmys, two George Polk Awards, two Columbia duPont Journalism awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. She has covered many of the major developments of our time, from the financial meltdown to the rise of radical jihadists.

She has served for many years on the boards of the Piedmont Environmental Council and the conservationist Krebser Fund and has been active in her opposition to the Dominion pipelines and uranium mining.

Leslie and her husband Andrew, Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine, reside on a farm in Rappahannock County. They have two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

Our moderator, Preston Bryant is a senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting, where he works in the firm’s infrastructure and economic development group. His experience lies in water, wastewater, and energy generation projects, and he advises clients on project site selection and regulatory affairs.

In 2009, President Obama appointed Preston to chair the National Capital Planning Commission, the central planning agency for all federal lands and buildings in Washington, DC, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. At NCPC, he presides over a staff of some 45 planners, architects, engineers and other professionals.

An large crowd attended the event at the Senior Center on Hillsdale Drive in Charlottesville.

Program Summary

At the Senior Statesmen forum, Leslie Cockburn received questions from the audience and was given five minutes to answer each. The topics ranged from her past work as a journalist to her thoughts on Medicare for All, a proposed legislative alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Reintroduced this year by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Medicare for All would move all people onto Medicare, even if they have private health care coverage. It has received support from Senate Democrats.

Due to recent changes to the Affordable Care Act, people in the Charlottesville area who receive health care through the act could pay some of the highest insurance rates in the state.

“A family of four in Charlottesville can pay $36,000 a year because we have one provider because [President Donald] Trump pulled out the legs from under the companies that are no longer subsidized,” she said.

Her support of Medicare for All is one of the few policy points where Cockburn differs from U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat who is running for reelection. Kaine has proposed Medicare-X, which would allow people to buy into Medicare and has been characterized as less extensive than Medicare for All.

More details can be found in an article written by The Daily Progress reporter Tyler Hammel (434-978-7268, thammel@dailyprogress.com, @TylerHammelVA on Twitter) which appeared in the August 9, 2018, edition of The Daily Progress. The above was excerpted from this article. Click here to read the article.

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