The 55th Congressional District located in Hanover County has had a remarkable run of leadership and stability for the past 28 years as Del. Frank Hargrove, Sr. has been a shining example of Statesmanship. Delegate Hargrove’s decision to retire opened the seat, and there are three Republicans vying for the vacancy. Of the three, only one has
the background and experience to replace a person the caliber of Del. Hargrove without diminishing the effectiveness to the citizens of the 55th district. Virginia Right! endorses Rusty McGuire for Delegate for the 55th Virginia Congressional District. McGuire currently serves as a prosecutor, is an educator, has managed large budgets in the military and has an array of experience that distinguishes him above the two challengers. His dedication to protecting our children from internet predators and promoting family values is a welcome comfort in these troubled times.
It is our opinion that the other two candidates for the party nomination are “one dimensional”. Jerry Burch has a great deal of experience in accounting, and John Cox is a successful businessman, neither has any experience with the law, education or crime. Every year, a Delegate is required to consider thousands of bills and resolutions. The lack of experience in this area would quickly inundate Burch and Cox, while McGuire will be in his element.
In addition, a freshman legislator will take years to maximize his or her effectiveness and form coalitions with other Delegates. McGuire has the endorsements of six current legislators, so he is ahead of the curve and able to be effective on day one.
During a debate on May 19th in Hanover, two of the three candidates answered questions from attendees. Of all the joint forums at which the candidates have appeared thus far, this was the only one where the candidates did not know the questions and the audience was allowed to ask questions. Rusty McGuire highlighted his well rounded experience in answering difficult questions and followup questions on many topics. Jerry Burch seemed well versed in questions involving budget, but his answers seemed a bit awkward trying to tie his aptitude with numbers as the solution to every question. Burch gave good examples of areas where the Commonwealth could save money, and his thoughts on audits, but gives the impression he would be a better accountant than Delegate.
Unfortunately, John Cox was a no show. Instead, he sent his campaign manager who gave a prepared statement, but was unable to answer most of the specific questions, instead promising to have Cox “get back with them”. This was a wonderful opportunity hear from all three candidates and it is regrettable Cox was unable to attend and articulate his plans and vision to the people he would like to represent.