Two Charlottesville-area candidates for Virginia’s 5th congressional district may have very different views, but they both want the same thing.
They want to overthrow and replace incumbent US Representative Bob Good, a Republican.
Dan Moy, a Republican challenging Good for the party’s nomination, and Josh Throneburg, the Democratic Party’s nominee for the November election, held concurrent campaign events in the city on Tuesday night.
Moy hosted a meet and greet at the 3twenty3 building in downtown Charlottesville, meeting with a small group of voters for coffee and desserts. Although Moy has similar views to Good, he has stated that he views Good as a missing politician, which is part of why he decided to run.
“[Good] has been missing when it comes to working on the issues that would solve the problems of our local economy: opioid addiction, substance abuse,” Moy said. “Broadband access is still a problem in our region. Regain manufacturing and jobs so that our young people do not leave the 5th arrondissement to go elsewhere. These are all very relevant questions that are in fact not partisan in nature. »
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Moy, a retired Air Force colonel, said the biggest issue in his campaign was the economy.
“People have lost faith in government leaders to do anything productive in their daily lives. That’s why I’ve put such an emphasis on doing something to renew our local economy, the bread and butter issues that Virginians care about every day,” Moy said.
Other issues Moy focuses on are Second Amendment rights, funding for Planned Parenthood, and support for law enforcement. He also says he wants to work in agreement with Governor Glenn Youngkin and prevent a “radical left” agenda in the state.
It was just a short walk to go further to the left. At the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Throneburg held a community forum where a few dozen voters gathered to ask questions of the Democratic candidate.
Throneburg said he knew it would be a tough district to win, given its tendency to turn red.
“The neighborhood leans to the right, but there are a lot of big spaces that are kind of new to the neighborhood,” he said. “We have Lynchburg, which is an incredibly diverse and vibrant community, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for us to connect with the people there. We have a lot of these new counties coming out of the 7th district. »
District boundaries across the state were redrawn in 2020 and are redrawn every ten years after the census. The federal government requires districts to have nearly equal populations and not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.
In the past, some of the district lines had little geographic meaning and were instead designed to give one party a better chance of winning the congressional seat.
In Virginia, legislative district boundaries are now set by a 16-member commission that includes state legislators and non-legislative citizens. The General Assembly must vote to approve the cards without amending them.
If the General Assembly rejects the first set of draft maps, the commission must submit another one. If the General Assembly rejects this second set of draft maps, the Virginia Supreme Court is charged with passing new maps.
The court approved the new districts late last year.
Although the districts have changed, that hasn’t necessarily made it easier, Throneburg said.
“It’s a tough district, of course, for Democrats to win, but I think we have an opportunity here,” Throneburg said.
Throneburg said he was running for his children’s future. One of the main goals of his campaign is to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“When you are a father, what you want most in the world is to create a space where your children can be healthy, safe and thrive. And right now this planet and this country is not providing that, so I want to be part of solving these problems,” he said.
Throneburg said part of his commitment to the future of children is his commitment to education. This includes investing more resources in schools with better salaries for teachers, upgrading facilities and improving security.
Throneburg’s campaign is focused on improving health care access and affordability, racial justice, and protecting abortion rights. He said he believed in preventing gun violence, but said he did not support taking guns away from gun owners.
Moy also emphasized education, but said his concern was that parents can have a say in what is taught in the classroom. He said he believed in keeping “political agendas” out of schools.
“I think there has been a concern that children are being challenged to question what they are being taught in their homes and churches, to question whether or not those values are relevant in the school system. I think we as parents should be very aware of what our school curriculum is about and we should have a say in it,” Moy said.
Moy and Throneburg said they want to address issues affecting rural communities and resolve statewide high-speed internet access issues.