It’s been an honor to represent the 18th District for the past six years. We’ve accomplished much in the during my time in office, but our work is not yet finished. I’m seeking re-election to continue the fight for lower taxes, reducing the regulatory, funding our schools, and being a voice for our farmers and agricultural businesses here in the 18th District.
What makes you the best candidate?
My track record in Richmond is one of accomplishment and shows an ability to work across party lines and pass legislation that that benefits the entire commonwealth. This past year it was an honor to work with Miles Friedman, director of the Fauquier County Department of Economic Development, to pass HB1565, the Green Development Zones bill, and have it signed by the governor. I also believe that my job as a farmer allows me to understand the unique agricultural challenges that we face here in the 18th District.
What ranks as the most important issue facing the 2018 General Assembly and how do you plan to address it?
Regulatory reform remains a top priority for me in the 2018 session. Last year we made great strides in crafting HB 1564, The Red Tape Reduction Act. Eliminating burdensome regulations on the hardworking people of the commonwealth is essential to creating an environment for economic growth. In addition to regulatory reform, balancing our two-year budget is essential to the commonwealth. From our schools to our sheriffs, having a balanced budget that provides for these areas is vitally important.
Please, describe the most difficult challenge you’ve faced in a leadership position and your response to that situation.
Being in agriculture is more than just a job, it’s a way of life. Constant challenges and decisions not only affect me but my employees. Everything, from deciding what to plant to what bull to use, has massive implications years down the road.
The question is not IF something goes wrong or changes, it’s WHEN, and how one handles that adversity is always a challenge we in agriculture accept.
The other difficult challenge that I have faced and will continue to face is raising my boys — raising them to be respectful and honest. Most of all to raise them to get up. Life is not fair. I have watched my eldest already not get the trophy he wanted and watched him crumble.
It is heartbreaking to watch your child hurt. However, it was an opportunity to get back up. He must learn that there are times in our lives where we will not get what we wanted, no matter how much effort went into obtaining it. It is a hard lesson and a challenge for a parent as we want our kids to be happy. But we must learn to get up when life knocks us down. As my football coach used to say, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
When this country was formed, it was formed on the idea of individual liberty and that the individual can thrive to obtain the American dream. We must get back up again and again. Failure is not an end but a new beginning. I want my son to have the ability to get back up.