Last week I had an opportunity to interview two candidates for statewide office in Virginia.First, Shak Hill is one of two announced candidates for the 2014 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He and Howie Lind are seeking an opportunity to face off against incumbent Senator Mark Warner (D-Alexandria) in the November election.
By coincidence, while Lind is chairman of the 10th Congressional District GOP Committee, Hill (who lives in Centreville) serves as the committee’s treasurer. We can expect other candidates to emerge before next year’s RPV convention, but for the moment, the race is the definition of an internecine contest.
Hill has a compelling personal story. He’s a veteran combat pilot who served in Operation Desert Storm. He has been elected to public office, having served as a member of the West Melbourne, Florida, city council. He and his wife, Robin, are the parents of four children and have been foster parents to 46 other children over the years.
Hill came to Charlottesville last Tuesday to talk to local Republican leaders. He was a guest on The Schilling Show on WINA-AM and I interviewed him over coffee later that afternoon:
Second, on Thursday, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis came to Charlottesville to tape an interview on WCAV-TV’s “Inside Charlottesville” with Coy Barefoot.
What motivated him to enter this campaign, Hill explained, is that “our government is becoming overreaching, our constitution is being paved over, and I’m just not the kind of guy that sits idly by.”
Referring to the incumbent, who was first elected to the Senate in 2008, he cautioned that “Mark Warner and the Democratic Party are moving us as fast as they can toward social democracy and we know it doesn’t work. All we have to do is look at Detroit. All we have to do is look at Greece and Spain and Portugal.”
I met Sarvis at the Newsplex studios and we spoke for several minutes after he finished his TV segment, which focused on Sarvis’s views on reforming state liquor laws and privatizing the ABC wholesale and retail operations.
Sarvis offered examples of how he differs from Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli.
“The principal difference” between himself and McAuliffe, he said,
is I believe in the rule of law, that government shouldn’t at all be choosing what industries get resources or what companies get resources, shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. I believe in economic policy that fosters open and competitive markets, that rewards value creation, and anybody can compete on an equal playing field….
On gay marriage, I’m far superior to the Democratic candidate. Any lesbian, gay, bisexual voter who wants to see same-sex marriage recognized in Virginia should really vote for me because I’m willing to fight for it and I know how to negotiate that with both Republicans and Democrats in the legislature.
As for distinguishing himself from Cuccinelli, Sarvis explained
the two major [differences] are I’m far more consistent on freedom issues in economic policy and I’m a far better choice for voters when it comes to personal liberty. When Ken Cuccinelli talks about himself as being a supporter of freedom, I think it’s a fraud on the public because he is very quick to use the force of law and government power to tell people what they can do in their bedrooms and I just want to fight against that as strongly as I can because that’s a very bad road to go down for Virginia.
Robert Sarvis was the subject of a front-page feature in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, which also carried an interview with Chuck Moulton, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, which nominated Sarvis as its gubernatorial candidate at a convention in Waynesboro in April.
Listen to the complete Virginia Politics on Demand interviews with Shak Hill and Robert Sarvis.