Fausz runs for House seatPublished 9:08pm Saturday, August 2, 2014
Elliott Fausz acknowledges he’s “starting my political career off pretty brazenly.” However, he said, he felt something had to be done.
“If I sit here and complain and watch my congressman go unopposed, who am I?” he said.
Fausz, a Democrat, is challenging Republican J. Randy Forbes, who first took the Fourth District seat in a special election in 2001.
A Kentucky native, Fausz moved to Virginia when he was 2 and then grew up in Chester. His parents started a weekly newspaper, The Village News, and he now runs the newspaper’s daily operations after starting as a paper carrier.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has traveled to more than 25 countries and been involved in several community service organizations in Chester.
Fausz said he wants to run to get things done in Congress.
“I would focus on cooperation,” he said. “We can make commonsense legislation without being ideologues and being held onto getting victories for our party. I’d rather have a victory for our country.”
Fausz said his priorities would include the economy, Virginia’s infrastructure, student loan debt, health care and being a “career creator.”
“We need to bring more jobs that are high-paying,” he said. “We also need to make sure our colleges here in the Fourth District — including community colleges and universities and even K-12 — have the resources they need to be competitive in an economy that’s focused on advanced manufacturing and high-tech jobs.”
He also said the district needs to diversify its job offerings.
“We can’t be focused just on one single thing,” he said. “We need to be focused on advanced manufacturing. Forbes is hyper-focused on defense, and his idea of job creation is spending on defense.”
The unemployment rate for recent college graduates, he noted, is three to four times the rate of the national average, which exacerbates the student loan debt crisis.
“We need to reform our student loan system,” he said. “We’re staring $1 trillion in student loan debt in the face. We can’t forgive that, so we need to set it up so graduates have some flexibility with their payments so they’re not drowning in debt.”
Fausz said he wants to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it as Forbes has voted to do.
“It needs to be more affordable,” Fausz said. “We need to constantly focus on improving that system. One bill, specifically the Affordable Care Act, is not going to fix a system that’s been derailed for decades. There’s a lot of things in the bill that work. A lot of people have benefited from it, but a lot of people have been hurt by it as well, and that’s where we need to improve it.”
Fausz also said Virginia’s infrastructure is vital to its economy and the nation’s economy.
“One thing we can really focus on is getting our infrastructure in a sound condition, especially on the 460 corridor and the rail system and the port,” he said.
“With the expansion of the Panama Canal, we are in a position to capitalize on the goods that will be coming in and out. If we make federal investments in Virginia ports and Virginia infrastructure, it would be more cost effective for the country.”
In response to Fausz’s comments about defense spending, Forbes said, “The Fourth District doesn’t rely on defense — national defense relies on the Fourth District. This unique role is not only a responsibility, but also something we can be proud of and something the Virginia delegation joins together across party lines to fight for.”
Forbes also highlighted the job fairs he hosts and his plan to jumpstart road and bridge construction.