In the northern Virginia sub/exurbs, House of Delegates District 21 sees Democrat and Marine veteran Josh Thomas facing Republican former county supervisor John Stirrup.
Thomas has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. He also understands that skyrocketing housing costs are also a major issue in western Prince Williams County and is making that a major campaign priority.
Meanwhile, Stirrup was caught on tape confessing that he “would support a 100% ban” on abortion if elected, although his campaign website lacks any mention whatsoever of abortion or his position in favor of banning it.
HD-21 went for Democratic US Rep. Jennifer Wexton 51-49 in 2022, and Gov. Glenn Youngkin won it 51-49 in 2021; it’s considered one of the most competitive House seats this year.
Dogwood recently connected with Thomas about what motivates him on and off the campaign trail and what’s on his mind in the waning days of the 2023 election.
What’s your closing pitch as to why folks should vote for you in November?
I decided to run because we have a lot of working families struggling in our community. I want to make sure that the state government is there to help folks get back on and stay on their feet. I’ve served my country as a US Marine; I’ve served my Commonwealth as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps; now, I’m ready to serve my community as our representative in the House of Delegates.
What’s been your favorite part of running for office this year? Least favorite?
My favorite part is getting to meet so many different people across the district. We have folks who live in suburbs and commute to DC every day and other folks who work farms and others who work from home while living on a mountain – there’s a lot of diversity here, and I love it.
My least favorite part of running for office is partisanship; I am running to bring folks together, and it makes me sad whenever folks are turned off about having conversations that could solve our community’s problems.
If you could change one thing about Virginia, what would it be?
I would make sure there are easier paths to the construction of more affordable housing. There are so many barriers to enhancing supply, and if we can streamline that process, you’d see a lot more folks being able to afford that first starter home and stay in their homes.
What’s your favorite thing to do/place to go in Virginia when you need a break from the campaign trail?
Between campaigning and a full-time legal job, I have about 20-30 minutes of free time each day. My favorite thing to do is just spend time with my wife and talk about the day; she’s an amazing person, and spending time with her is where I recharge.
One of our favorite places to escape and relax is the Afton Mountain region just west of Charlottesville – lots to do there and some of the most beautiful countryside in the Commonwealth!
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