Archive for August, 2021

CANDIDATES FORUM – House of Delegates Districts 25 and 58

Monday, August 16th, 2021

All four candidates for House of Delegates Districts 25 and 56 were invited to attend the Senior Statesmen of Virginia biennial Candidates Forum. Challengers Jennifer Kitchen (D-25th House District) and Sara Ratcliffe (D-58th House District) came and participated in the forum and discussed their positions on the issues facing Virginians, and also responded to questions from the audience. Incumbents Chris Runion (R-25th House District) and Rob Bell (R-58th House District) declined to participate.

The program was moderated by SSV member Bob Beard, who is a former news anchor with CBS 19 in Charlottesville and a longtime reporter in Washington, D.C. including CNN, NBC and Reuters.

The forum was held in-person at The Center at Belvedere and also streamed on Zoom.

Click here to see the event.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Program Summary

In their opening statements Jennifer Kitchen stressed her position that rural areas interests are underrepresented in the legislature as the major reason for wanting to run for office. Sara Ratcliffe stressed her position that after 30 years in politics it was her belief that the state level is where the work is done. Both candidates felt that their interests lay in supporting the rural communities and the importance of collaboration in making good policies to resolve the problems of their communities.

The remainder of the session was used for taking questions from a wide range of topics from the audience, e.g. budget surplus. Both stressed the necessity of getting broadband to their areas. Ms. Ratcliffe added that this would benefit small business, healthcare, childcare and educational interests. Ms. Kitchen said that service to all citizens should be mandated no matter how remote. Both women support promoting trade education for high school students to increase the awareness for good jobs. Both candidates support repealing the right to work law. Concerning mental health issues, Ms. Kitchen felt the goal was to destigmatize the topic and work with criminal justice groups to help resolve the situation. Ms. Ratcliffe emphasized collaboration among police, healthcare individuals and legislature to make the best policy.

Both candidates agree that Governor Northam, following the guidance of science, has done a good job dealing with the pandemic.