Staples shares green agenda

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Editor’s Note: The Suffolk News-Herald is providing coverage of candidates up for election on Nov. 7 on the following schedule: House District 64, Oct. 22; House District 77, Oct. 25; Commissioner of the Revenue, Oct. 29; Uncontested candidates for House of Delegates and constitutional offices, Nov. 1.

House District 77

The 77th district includes parts of Suffolk and Chesapeake. In Suffolk, all or part of the White Marsh, John F. Kennedy, Southside, Booker T. Washington, Lakeside, Olde Towne and Hollywood precincts are in the 77th district. About 21 percent of voters in the district live in Suffolk, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. The district is heavily Democratic; Hillary Clinton won by 72 percent in the district during the 2016 presidential election, compared with 25 percent for Donald Trump, according to VPAP. Cliff Hayes is the incumbent, having served one year to fill out the unexpired term of Lionell Spruill Sr., who stepped down to run for Senate.


Jeff Staples is challenging the incumbent in the 77th District for the House of Delegates.

Staples is running as a Green Party candidate.


“I’ve been affiliated with them for some years,” he said. “Basically Green Party is a lot like progressive Democrats, only we do not take any corporate contributions. We are very ecologically minded, very people-oriented, very pro-health care. We are very much a party that is pro-people, pro-union, that kind of thing.”

Staples ran for office in 2015 in the 81st District. He has since moved to the 77th and lives in Chesapeake.

Staples said he does not support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and wants to try to block its construction.

“That is actually going to be a hindrance to Virginia” he said. “If we tie ourselves into another 30 years of fossil-fuel slavery into this thing, the demand for other jobs will not be as enhanced. I’d like to stop the natural gas pipelines.”

Redevelopment is another top priority for Staples.

“The first thing I want to do is redevelop our district,” he said. “In South Norfolk and downtown Suffolk, there’s so many abandoned buildings that could be used for something commercial, even something residential. They’re just wasting away. I’d like to see us redevelop those areas, and in doing that, I’d like to see us put the right kind of industries and commercial vendors in there that will keep for the future, like green energy jobs and high-tech jobs.”

That ties in with education, another priority, Staples said.

“We need to start teaching kids in high school about these types of vocations,” he said. “We need to fully fund our public schools so we can help prepare our kids for the next generation of jobs, clean energy and high-tech jobs.”

Staples also wants to focus on health care if he is elected.

“We need to expand Medicare to all Virginians,” he said. “Health care is a huge issue that needs a lot of attention.”

Increasing the minimum wage and promoting small businesses are other ways Staples hopes to help support Virginians.

“Certainly we’ll try to get the minimum wage up,” Staples said. But, since previous efforts to gain traction on the minimum wage issue have failed in Virginia, attracting high-paying jobs is the best way to get the area’s average wages up, he said.

Staples is a native of Virginia and has lived in Chesapeake for the last 16 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Lynchburg College and has been in the automotive repair industry since before graduating from college.