|Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.
||The values and priorities of the Sixth Congressional District have been well represented by Congressman Bob Goodlatte for over 25 years, and with his retirement, it is critical that those values and priorities continue to be represented in Congress with strong and steady leadership. I am confident that with my experience and record, I can provide that leadership for the citizens of the Sixth District.
||As a mental health worker who was born and raised on a family farm, I know what it's like for people to struggle in service and agricultural jobs in rural America, and I'm running for Congress to make things better for working people.
|What are your three main priorities as a candidate?
- Working to sustain the current economic growth that is helping employers create jobs for families across the Sixth District.
- Working to shrink the federal government bureaucracy and reduce the taxes and regulations that harm families and small businesses across the Sixth District.
- Working to expand freedom and opportunity for all Americans, especially those who live in the Sixth District.
|I support universal health care so all Americans can live healthy, productive lives, and I want to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour to reward ordinary people who work for a living. We also need to change the broken system in DC, so I have pledged not to take any special interest money for my grassroots campaign.
|Farmers are struggling to find workers who are willing and able to provide the manual labor required in the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign workers to fill these gaps. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?
||We must enact a combination of reforms that will help strengthen our borders and reform our legal immigration system, while ensuring that farmers have access to a stable and legal workforce.
||I support immigration reform that recognizes the reality that if we curtail legal immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants, then we will have crops dying on the vines in the heartland. I support a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, and I believe in expanding DACA and DAPA to further help parents of Dreamers, parents of legal residents, and families of citizens so they can find work here productively and legally.
|Many bodies of impaired waters are showing signs of recovery but federal funding is decreasing, and threats of increased requirements continue. What can be done to continue the improvements to water quality without expanding the jurisdictional authority of EPA?
||The WOTUS rule from 2015 is excessively intrusive and expands federal jurisdiction beyond what is constitutional, imposing unreasonable requirements on agriculture producers. It should be repealed.
||We've found success in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and local aquifers by providing farmers and landowners funding to ensure that they can meet government mandates. I would like to continue to protect our common wealth by working with industry and stakeholders so that our public waters, lands, and forests can continue to promote a healthy economy and citizenry.
|If you are an incumbent, did you vote in favor of the most recent Farm Bill? Why or why not? What were the most important aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? If you are a challenger, would you have voted or again the Farm Bill? Why or why not?
||The Farm Bill is critical to assisting farmers with agricultural markets and helping them compete with heavily subsidized commodities produced in other countries. It also helps farmers and ranchers survive natural disasters without having to come back to Congress for emergency legislation. While I am still reviewing the specifics of the most recent Farm Bills passed by the House and Senate, I'm hopeful a conference report can be successfully adopted in the near future.
||The Farm Bill is must-pass legislation, and I would vote for it. However, I will fight against decoupling the urban-rural compromise linking nutrition to commodity insurance, and would fight against cuts to programs in our district. In the pending Farm Bill, Congress should promote stability in agricultural markets by 1) removing the unconstitutional "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" from the House version of the bill and 2) protecting farmers from ill-conceived trade wars.
|Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agriculture goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?
||Farmers across the Sixth District are using the Internet to make their businesses more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly. I support policies that will encourage the rollout and distribution of high-speed broadband to more rural areas that can be utilized by farmers to improve their operations and remain competitive in a global economy.
||Farmers have become the innocent victims in a global chess game with few good solutions. If the Executive continues on its current path, then Congress must step in to provide price supports and government market procurement. The ideal vehicle for this the current Farm Bill, which should pass before the midterms. Ultimately, when other nations retaliate for American actions, we must negotiate in a way that protects American jobs.
|From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to make sure that rural Virginians with limited or no access to the internet stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?
||Farmers across the Sixth District support the goal of lowering global trade barriers, creating a more level playing field for the U.S. and its products, and thereby reducing our overall trade deficit. However, we must ensure that these ongoing trade negotiations protect our farmers and our agriculture exports, an area where the U.S. already has a trade surplus.
||I strongly support rural broadband, and the federal government has a role to play in providing access to the internet, which has become a basic utility. I would extend broadband to local, high-use community centers (hospitals, schools, libraries), and then incentivize local companies to provide access to local residents. For residents unable to access the internet, agricultural extension, post, and other vital government offices must remain accessible for phone, mail, and in-person visits.