FRONT ROYAL – On Thursday evening, February 1, Warren County Democrats gathered at the Middle of Main Building in Historic Downtown Front Royal to hear from what we believe to be the longest-announced candidate for Bob Goodlatte’s Sixth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In fact, unlike others in his own party or eight Republicans gathered for a forum at the Warren County Government Center two days later, Democrat Peter Volosin expressed his intention of challenging incumbent Robert Goodlatte prior to the November 2016 state house election and subsequent Goodlatte announcement days later that he would not seek re-election in 2018.
Following his appearance before a room full of about 35 to 40 local Democrats – with a nod from organizers to Beth Waller for the loan of the space – we asked Volosin if his hopes were buoyed in the Sixth by the November 2017 state House election. That election saw a 16-seat House Republican majority fall to one, 51-49, with only a blind name draw on a court-ruled tied election fall the 4th District Republican incumbent’s way preventing a 50-50 power sharing situation.
“That was a great election for Democrats, I won’t lie,” Volosin replied. However, showing a sense of political realism, the Democratic hopeful refused to read too much into the 2017 state result as a measuring stick for 2018, particularly in a District Republicans have held since 1993. “The reason I got into this race is I’m worried about our economic future in this area. And it doesn’t matter what happened in November – 2018 is a whole other year with another set of candidates.
“We’re very excited about the open seat, as a Democrat that makes it more viable. But beyond that it’s the same thing here – my vision is for us to move our area into a 21st century economy – investing in our people, our environment and our infrastructure. We really need to be able to connect into the 21st century; and that also includes improving our agriculture as well: How can we move up the value chain? How can we make small farmers more viable again?
“Another part of our campaign will be about affordable health care. We need to be making sure that we join the rest of the industrialized nations of the world and have affordable, quality health care for all our citizens.
“And the third major message of our campaign is bi-partisanship, to be honest. I think people are kind of tired of having one bunch of people get in and we go far right or far left, and it depends on whoever is in power. Our country works best when we compromise and when we work together,” Volosin reasoned.
“If I get into Congress, the important part is creating solutions to our problems. I think we have a lot of issues that have been sitting on the backburner because we don’t come up with an actual solution for them – immigration is a very present one right now, where we have this big mass of different immigration laws that have been added on, and added on, and it’s this monstrosity. We need to come up with an actual solution so that we can be focused on what will be coming down the pike in the future.
“And so we’re just really focused on sharing our message of what we can do in this district to move ourselves forward and make sure that people can get jobs that allow them to buy a home; to put their kids through college; to put food on the table. There are a lot of people in our district for whom it is not a good time right now. And Wall Street may be doing great* but that doesn’t mean everybody in the Sixth District is doing great.”
The February 1st meet the candidate event was hosted by Jorge Amselle and Peter John. According to Warren County Democratic Committee Chairman Steve Foreman, county Democrats hope to partner with other local Democratic committees to host their own Sixth District Candidates’ Forum in the near future. At least one other Democrat, Sergio Coppola, has expressed an intention to seek the party’s Sixth District nomination. Coppola was slated to appear before the county Democrats for a Q&A at their monthly meeting on Saturday, February 10.
* FOOTNOTE: Wall Street was “doing great” at the time, a day prior to the 666-point, Nunez memo-day drop, followed by Monday’s 1,175-point downer; but the market roller coaster was headed back up by mid-week; stay tuned …