Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021
The Suffolk News-Herald sent the same slate of questions to House of Delegates District 64 candidates Emily Brewer and Michael Drewry. You can see the questions and their answers here. Candidates were advised that responses would not be edited, except to truncate answers at the end of the 100-word limit. Q&As with candidates for other elections will run in upcoming editions, so keep an eye on the paper and on suffolknewsherald.com.
Why are you running for the House of Delegates, or why are you running for re-election to the House of Delegates?
Growing up in Suffolk, I always knew our community was special, but I also wanted to create an environment where my friends that grew up here could remain here to live, work and raise a family. That passion continues in my desire to run for re-election. However, there is still much to be done in Richmond. I will activate efforts to expand broadband, stand up for our small farmers, and work to cut taxes on hardworking Virginian’s. Helping people and offering constituent service to make government accessible to the everyday Virginian is what matters most.
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What would be your top three priorities if elected, and why?
If re-elected, some of my top priorities will be creating an environment where our small businesses and farmers can continually thrive. The pandemic undoubtedly created employment shortages and costly restrictions when they could afford those the least. Working on reducing onerous business regulations that create costly barriers and tax relief opportunities to those most affected will be a top priority. Over the past few years, I have worked towards adding emergency evacuation routes to the road funding criteria known as SMART Scale. Route 58, 460 and 10 will be essential to that function should we ever need to evacuate.
What would you highlight as your top legislative achievements, or if you haven’t held office, what professional accomplishments and experience would you point to?
I made foster care and adoption reform a priority when I first ran, and I am proud to say that I passed the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Act, reformed the Close Relative adoption statute and am actively working on Guardianship reform.
In addition, I carried legislation to assist victims of Human Trafficking, patroned legislation to add cancer presumption to the Workers’ Compensation hazards for Firefighters and passed legislation to add Emergency Evacuation Routes to the consideration list when road project funding is being reviewed.
What are your views on how Virginia has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, and how would you handle the continued vaccine rollout?
Virginia did poorly in terms of vaccine distribution from the start and this is a direct result of poor leadership from the Governor. We need to continue to encourage folks to get the vaccine, but this is a medical choice that each person or family has to weigh individually.
What are the most critical issues facing the state over the next two years, and how would you address them?
- Cost of living in Virginia must be curbed by lowering taxes, getting rid of the grocery tax, putting an end to the gas tax hike, and reforming the taxation on Military Retirement.
- Curb rising crime. We need to restore balance to Richmond. Over the past two years we have seen what one party rule can generate: the release of violent felons, legislation to remove School Resource Officers, and a criminal first, victim last legislative agenda. We need to return to a sense of balance where we listen to Virginians in need, not those shouting the loudest on Twitter.