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Greason, Reid vie to represent 32nd District

Del. Tag Greason (R), left, is being challenged by Democrat David Reid in the 32nd District, which covers Lansdowne and parts of Ashburn.
After winning re-election by 6 percent of the vote in 2015, Virginia Del. Tag Greason (R) is running for his fifth term in the House of Delegates 32nd District, this time against challenger David Reid (D).

First elected in 2009, Greason had never held political office before that first term in the House of Delegates. He got his MBA at George Mason University after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Coming from a northern Virginia military family, Greason went on to serve in the Virginia National Guard as an officer. Greason says it is this background that instilled a love of service that led him to the General Assembly.

The election is Reid's first bid for public office. He hails from Rockbridge County, where he lived in a four-room house without an indoor bathroom until he and his three siblings were placed in a children's home. He eventually moved to Oklahoma with foster parents and became the first person in his family to graduate from college.

From there, Reid joined the Navy Reserve and served as a Naval Intelligence Officer for 23 years before retiring in 2011. In 2014, he founded his own consulting firm.

Both Greason and Reid have children who have graduated or are currently attending Loudoun County Public Schools. Thus, both highlighted education as a top priority.

Greason serves as chairman of the Virginia House Education Committee and has worked on initiatives like reducing SOL testing and prioritizing authentic learning experiences through critical thinking and group work, celebrating different pathways to the workforce and giving teachers the tools to promote individual growth in students instead of a one-size-fits-all educational approach.

Reid emphasized universal full-day kindergarten as one of his priorities, as well as affordable college experiences.

“People want to be able to have their children either go to a two-year or four-year college degree program or an apprenticeship program or some type of technical training but not be saddled with excessive amount of debt when they come out,” Reid said. “The budget is about priorities and what we want Virginia to be and I think we have to make education a budget priority because it actually lays a foundation of what we want Virginia to be in the future.”

Transportation is another issue near the top of both candidates' agendas. Reid said constituents mostly complained of congestion to him, most of which comes from commuters avoiding high tolls and clogging up other routes. Both Reid and Greason are proponents for distance-based pricing instead of having commuters pay flat rates for using toll roads.

Greason advocates for a multi-modal approach to northern Virginia's transportation problems, including improving roads, Metro and other forms of public transportation.

“We're never going to pave our way out of this solution. You're never going to build Route 7 wide enough, you just can't. So you have to have multi-modal transportation,” Greason said. “I'm a firm believer if you only have one solution, i.e. paved roads, you will fail.”

Ultimately, Greason said the tax system is out of balance when it comes to transportation, and in 2013, he supported HB 2313, the landmark transportation bill that provided the commonwealth with new funding for the first time in decades.

Another solution Reid posited was to grow Loudoun's economy and attract more jobs to the county so that county residents could work and livin within Loudoun. Among job industries that are on the rise is health care, which Reid said could bring more jobs to Virginia if the state expands Medicaid.

“We have voted against Medicaid expansion now for multiple years and that affects people here in Virginia, it affects jobs and it affects people here in Loudoun County,” Reid said. “By not accepting Medicaid expansion, we are depriving 400,000 Virginians of access to health care and that includes mothers, it includes veterans, it includes senior citizens. It means we are taking a pass on creating 30,000 health care related jobs and specifically, right here in this district, there are 1,200 or so individuals who are not getting health care coverage because of this."

“It's the right thing to do as a society and it's the right business decision for Virginia,” Reid added.

Greason spoke on creating programs to promote job growth, like Go Virginia, which is more individualized, so that different parts of the state receive incentives and resources to grow the industries that most benefit their region. What works for northern Virginia may not work in southern Virginia, he said.

Although education, transportation and workforce development dominate the district's issues, both candidates also addressed gun control in light of the Las Vegas shooting.

Greason said he supports the Second Amendment though he does not own any guns himself, and he wholeheartedly agrees with the bipartisan effort to get rid of bumpstocks – a device that gives semi-automatic firearms automatic capabilities.

In addition to restricting bumpstocks, Greason said he believes the nation needs to do better on the mental health side of the issue. Greason created a “bed of last resort” bill that requires hospitals to take in people who come in while having a mental or emotional crisis.

“It's just so hard to legislate evil,” he said. “I have this debate all the time. I tell people, tell me the law you want me to pass because all of those events. They broke laws. They broke dozens of laws, so I get that part of the argument, but we should spend more time on the root cause which is the mental health part of it.”

Reid said he'd support legislation requiring a universal background check for all sales, even at gun shows, so that people with violent history cannot purchase guns. Oftentimes, perpetrators of mass shootings, like the individual in Las Vegas, also have a history of domestic abuse.

Reid said his background as an intel officer and businessman has all been about problem solving, which he believes could help him better serve the constituents of the 32nd District.

“That's what energizes me because I really find that I am a problem-solver and I like working with people to be able to solve problems,” Reid said. “One of the key things we have to do is we have to set aside this partisanship for the common good.”

Greason said his experience as an incumbent means he already has the relationships and working knowledge that allows him to accomplish goals important to him and constituents. The one issue that keeps him going, though, is improving education and helping children.

In his first term, Greason passed legislation to help children with autism get the insurance coverage they needed. Greason said some of his friends have children with autism, and he watched them struggle and devastate their savings accounts without any help. To this day, seven years later, he still gets emails from people he's never met, thanking him for that piece of legislation, saying it's meant everything to their family.

“The rest of it is hard. I go to these meetings, I'm away from my family, I'm doing all this stuff, and then I get that email and I'm like, the whole thing is worth it,” Greason said. “That's why I keep coming back, and that's why I'll keep coming back because you don't know how you touch people.”

The 32nd District encompassed 80,268 people as of the 2010 census.

In the past two presidential elections, the district voted Democrat, with Hilary Clinton receiving 57 percent of the vote as opposed to Donald Trump's 38 percent, and Barack Obama receiving 52 percent of the district's vote as opposed to Mitt Romney's 47 percent.

The district also showed a Democratic preference in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, where Sen. Mark Warner (D) received 50 percent of the district's vote as oppoesd to Ed Gillespie's 48 percent, and in the 2013 gubernetorial race where Gov. Terry McAuliffe received 51 percent compared to opponent Ken Cuccinelli's 44 percent.

However, Greason has won all elections since 2009 with at least 51 percent of the vote, with the exception of the 2011 election, when he ran unopposed.

Voters will make their choice for delegate on Nov. 7. The 32nd District covers Lansdowne and parts of Ashburn.


Comments


Choice:  A candidate with a 4-term record of delivering sensible solutions that improve education and transportation or a DoD consultant who wants to give politics a try in his spare time? And commit VA taxpayer money to pay for community college? Decision made.


Tough choice. Too much money goes to Richmond from Northern VA and doesn’t come back. So we should thank Tag that we have a new transportation tax on top of all the other high taxes and we all know at some point that money will float to the rest of VA, it always does. I don’t care for all day Kindergarten, only day care. Loudoun schools have done great without, why start now? Because corrupt politicians love to spend our money….


Debunked!


I think those suggesting Democrats add to the national debt aren’t paying attention to what the GOP is about to do under the guise of “tax reform.”  Anyone who supports that outrage has no standing to complain about deficits…


When will a democrat pay for something instead of adding to the debt. What does a state delegate have to do with the LCPS adding full day kindergarten except lip service? So Tag missed 713 out of 49,000 votes, or 1.4% of the votes.


Tag did not mention his experience of being investigated for sexual assault while in the military.  With all the focus going on these days, I am surprised that this has not resurfaced.  Afterall, when it occured the norm was to prtecct the officer at all costs.  The junior enlisted female soldier was sent packing by the bureacracy.  What is Tag’s stance on sexuall assault?


Education:  LCPS is funded by Loudoun Citizens. The state and federal dollars are a fraction of the LCPS budget. So anybody running for state office pitching rainbows and unicorns for the school system is pulling your leg. If a voter cares about education, they should focus their attention on BoS (for funding) and LCPS (for allocation of funding) races.

Transportation: VDOT needs to do their job, but VDOT is controlled by the Governor’s office, not the State House. Choose your Governor wisely.


Suggestion for both candidates - if you are sincere about education then work to eliminate the composite index which TAKES well over $200 million out of what Loudoun is due from sales tax receipts for education every year. If you are sincere about transportation then INSIST VDOT perform at least at its own published minimum standards for the roads it is responsible for. If you are concerned about the overall budget Loudoun has to work with then work toward having the parking lots that serve the metro at Dulles Airport returned to Virginia from the federal government so property tax can be collected from this EXTREMELY PROFITABLE BUSINESS!
Bob Ohneiser Esq

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