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Three of the four people running for the House of Delegates seat attended, and each said he would repeal the governor's plan if elected.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The three of the four 19th District House of Delegates candidates who showed up at a Botetourt County forum for GOP hopefuls on Thursday objected to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation package as a major tax increase, but said the state needs to expand U.S. 220 through the county.
Zachary Hatcher, an Eagle Rock businessman and pastor, Bedford businessman Zach Martin and Moneta business owner Jim McKelvey agreed on most issues raised at the forum. They all said they would vote to overturn McDonnell’s transportation package if elected.
Hatcher said he favored toll roads to raise the funds to meet the state’s transportation needs.
McKelvey said he would cut passenger rail and bus projects from McDonnell’s package. He did not specifically comment on the extension of rail passenger service to Roanoke included in the plan.
Martin said that even if the transportation package, and the extra revenue it would generate, were repealed, the state would be able to reallocate money to meet transportation needs.
The fourth candidate, longtime Botetourt County Supervisor Terry Austin, did not show up, saying he had a previous campaign commitment. He also missed a forum last month in Bedford.
The three who showed up agreed that teachers and school personnel should be able to carry guns, that home schooling should be supported and that the state should issue vouchers so parents can send children to private schools.
They all said Virginia needs to push back against federal demands, such as the Affordable Care Act and said defending state sovereignty was an essential concern.
“We need to allow the states to have power again,” said Hatcher, who is in the wholesale business and serves as pastor of Mount Bethel Church of the Brethren in Eagle Rock.
“Government’s in the way and government’s on our backs,” said Martin, who has won former Gov. George Allen’s backing in his bid for the legislature.
“I’m fed up with legislators who go to Republican meetings and repeat the Republican creed, and I ask if you know if any of our Republican representatives are following it,” said McKelvey, who made an unsuccessful bid to be the Republican candidate in the 5th Congressional District race in 2010, and helped form the tea party chapter in Smith Mountain Lake.
Republicans will select their nominee at a firehouse primary held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in three locations: the old Alleghany County Board of Supervisors meeting room in Covington, Lord Botetourt High School and the Thaxton Community Center in Bedford County.
Wendell Walker, chairman of the 6th Congressional District Republican Committee, reminded the 60 people attending the forum at the Eagle Rock Library on Thursday night that voters in the primary would need to affirm that they have supported Republican candidates in the past and would vote Republican in all future elections.
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