Morris challenges incumbent

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, November 5, 2011

Richard Morris has never run for public office before, but he is running against incumbent William K. Barlow, because, he said, the state is headed in the wrong direction.

The 64th District, which Barlow has represented since 1992, newly includes a swath of the southwestern portion of Suffolk after the statewide redistricting process this year. The Holy Neck, Holland and Whaleyville precincts will vote in this race. The 64th also includes parts of Isle of Wight, Surry, Sussex and Prince George counties.

The Carrollton resident, who owns his own law firm specializing in military law, is a U.S. Navy veteran who was on active duty for 22 years and did a tour in Iraq before retiring last year. He first came to Hampton Roads in 1992 with the military. He initially enlisted in the Navy and then was commissioned as a limited duty officer law.

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“I decided to run, because I believe our country’s headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “I think the government is spending too much money at every level. I’ve never run for office before, but I feel we’ve got to do something.”

If sent to Richmond, the Republican Morris plans to work on cutting spending, slashing government regulations on businesses, creating jobs and getting dollars moving on transportation.

“The biggest issue is jobs,” Morris said. “The path to prosperity is through private-sector jobs. We don’t need more taxes, we need more taxpayers.”

Morris plans to help create jobs by cutting red tape and taxes for businesses.

“Let’s reduce the intrusive and burdensome government regulations,” he said. “Government regulations are hampering business development.”

Morris believes his military experience will help him in the transportation arena by enabling him to provide leadership.

“Transportation is always an issue,” he said. “There’s a lot of roads in between northern Virginia and Richmond and Virginia Beach. I will work to bring transportation dollars to this area. I look forward to bringing some leadership.”

Morris said the efforts of his party haven’t gone far enough to cut spending.

“We need to reduce government spending,” he said. “I think the Republicans in Richmond have done a good job, but we need more.”

When cutting government spending, Morris said he would protect government’s core functions — education, transportation and public safety.

“We don’t need to cut our core functions,” he said. “We need to evaluate every program that is not absolutely necessary. Who is going to be affected? What is the cost/benefit analysis?”

Morris acknowledged he is in for a lot of hard work if he gets elected.

“That’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m not afraid of hard work,” he said. “I believe a person should be evaluated on principles and values.”

Morris is the treasurer and finance director of the Southeastern Hampton Roads CASA, which represents and advocates for children in court. He and his wife have four children — a 23-year-old son, a 20-year-old daughter and twin 13-year-old sons.

His campaign website is