As a Fairfax County resident for 57 years, I have a deep understanding of our community and what makes it special. But it only took a few short years as a House delegate down in Richmond to understand that our state government is no longer working for us. I am running in the special election for state Senate because I want to continue my efforts to bring fiscal restraint to
Richmond and make progress on the vital priorities of Fairfax County.
I have the experience and the record needed to get the job done. As the former head of a state agency, I actually cut $35 million in bureaucracy and administrative waste from the budget while preserving excellence in our operations. I proved government can do more with less. And I brought that experience to Richmond, where I voted to cut more than $2 billion in state spending. But while cutting budgets is a good start, we need to be vigilant about rooting out waste and safeguarding taxpayer dollars. That's why as your state senator, I will fight to institute ongoing performance audits of all state agencies to monitor spending and eliminate additional waste.
In this tough economy, Richmond simply must do more to help the middle class. The best way to do that is not through more big government, but through cutting taxes. I voted to eliminate the death tax and cut taxes on small businesses, and I wrote legislation to provide immediate tax cuts for middle class families and eliminate taxes for many small businesses.
We in Fairfax County know we send a lot of tax dollars down to Richmond, yet it's a constant battle to get our fair share when it comes to education and transportation. That's why we need to fix the allocation formulas for road maintenance and education funding. We should also create dedicated funding sources that cannot be raided by downstate politicians to fund a comprehensive transportation solution and to keep our schools world-class. And we need ongoing audits of the Virginia Department of Transportation so funding is directed to our worst traffic areas and road projects are completed on time and on budget.
My wife Julia and I love Fairfax County. We raised our three sons in Burke and proudly sent them to Fairfax County public schools. I watched the building of Centreville and Chantilly high schools and worked with them on public safety issues. Protecting our way of life is personal for me. That's why it's so important that we send a state senator to Richmond who will always work to put progress ahead of partisan bickering. I want to continue to be an effective advocate for Fairfax County as your next state senator.
Del. David Marsden (D-41st) is the Democratic nominee in the special election for a successor to Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's 37th Senate district. The special election, slated for Jan. 12, pits Marsden against Republican Steve Hunt.
The message that Northern Virginia voters delivered on Nov. 3 is clear; Virginians are not looking for more taxes, more spending, more inefficient government programs and more leadership that passes the buck to the next administration, next year or next decade. They are looking for innovative, solutions-oriented leadership to address the serious problems facing our commonwealth with market-based solutions that maximize economic opportunity and individual liberty for all Virginians.
I am running for the state Senate to implement innovative, market-based policies and to provide a voice for all Virginia families and business owners who are overtaxed, overregulated and overburdened by our government.
Both my opponent and I have a record. From taxes to transportation to education, the differences between us could not be clearer. Taxes and spending are the defining issues in this race. I will work to cut your taxes. My opponent has tried to raise them.
I am proud to run on my record of holding the school system accountable, representing the positions of the community to the bureaucracy, opposing additional taxes and attempting to limit the midyear growth of the budget. I extensively analyzed programs and the school system's $2.2 billon budget, attempting to get your taxpayer dollars spent wisely. Despite being a minority member, due to my reputation for demanding accountability, my colleagues on the School Board made me the audit committee chairman.
My opponent has been running from his record. Del. Dave Marsden's mailers tell voters he will cut taxes and control spending, but his record tells a very different story. During the 2008 transportation special session, he supported a $2 billion tax increase (S.B. 6009). He also was a chief sponsor of 2009 legislation (H.B. 2588) that would have dramatically raised income taxes on many small business owners, the last thing to do when small businesses are struggling to survive.
Virginia has an unsustainable budget based on two bubble economies (1990s dot com and 2000s housing bubbles). Our leaders, Democrats and Republicans, spent irresponsibly in good economic times, leaving no buffer for bad times. Instead of measuring effectiveness of government programs and looking for things the private sector could take off the government's plate, the knee-jerk reaction of many in Richmond, including my opponent, is to raise taxes.
If elected to the state Senate, I will work to refocus Virginia's government on funding core services: public safety, infrastructure and education. We must set priorities and work with the private sector. We can reduce the tax burden on hardworking Virginians while ensuring government has the necessary resources to build and maintain our roads, and fund effective, accountable schools. Raising taxes, as my opponent has already attempted to do, is not the answer.
When I joined the Navy, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies foreign and domestic, an oath as meaningful to me today as when I was flying off of aircraft carriers. While I no longer serve our country in uniform, I would very much like the opportunity to continue serving our community. I am ready to tackle the tough decisions facing our commonwealth as your next state senator. I would be honored to have your vote for the state Senate on Jan. 12.
Steve Hunt is the Republican nominee in the special election for a successor to Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's 37th Senate district. The special election, slated for Jan. 12, pits Hunt against Democrat Dave Marsden.