by SCOTTI MULLEN
On Oct. 26, UMW hosted a debate over Zoom for the 88th District House of Delegate seats. This debate featured Democratic candidate Kecia Evans, Republican candidate Phillip Scott and Libertarian candidate Tim Lewis.
Evans opened up the debate in her introduction speech by stating her values.
“I am running off my Christian values: integrity, forgiveness, dreaming and imagining greater possibilities,” Evans said. “What you want, 88th, is a leader that’s knowledgeable, effective, compassionate, innovative and an activist.”
Lewis went next and stressed the importance that he does not like the two-party system and stands for everyone’s freedoms.
“I’m running this time to provide you with a real choice,” Lewis said. “I think you’ll hear over the course of tonight that I have views that settle on both sides of this debate. I think I have ideas that can bring us all together and return the liberties and freedoms to you.”
Scott spoke last and wanted the audience to know that he is a family man and will work for the people.
“I am a father, a man of faith and I believe in the Constitution,” he said. “As a man of faith, you know that I will stand on my integrity. When I’m out meeting people in the 88th District, I am hearing the concerns that the people have and I’m responding, so I will be a voice for the people of the 88th.”
The three candidates vary on many issues including redistricting reform, campaign finance caps and health care.
Evans is pro school choice, which allows parents to choose whether to send their children to public or private schools. She also believes in redistricting to prevent gerrymandering and wants campaign finance to be capped so that votes cannot be bought.
When asked about gerrymandering, Evans made it clear that she wanted the people to draw the lines.
“The answer is simple,” she said. “We’ve listened. We’ve communicated. We sat at the table. We did everything that we can do and yet we still don’t have maps for the House of Delegates. The issue is legislatures. Take the legislatures out, Republicans and Democrats, and let the people draw the maps.”
Scott wants to improve the health care system, is against campaign finance caps and supports the Virginia Right to Work law, which allows Virginias to work for an employer without joining a union.
“If we were to repeal the Right to Work it would take away the individual liberty and freedom to either join a union or not join a union and be forced to pay dues out of your own hard-earned dollars,” Scott said.
Lewis believes that the government should not get in the way of people’s freedoms. He does not believe in campaign finance caps; he wants elections to be run fairly and he is pro unions.
“I am the lowest funded candidate that’s in front of you today,” he said. “I’ve received the lowest in contributions and I’m not upset about it. People putting money into a campaign is their free speech and I will not vote to limit that.”
The 88th District covers Fredericksburg to Fauquier county and has primarily voted for Republican candidates in previous elections.