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New Dels. Reid, Gooditis set their sights on change in Richmond

Wendy Gooditis (D) was elected in Virginia’s 10th District, and David Reid (D) will represent the 32nd District.
Among the new faces sitting in the House of Delegates in Richmond this week are two Loudoun County lawmakers, Dels. David Reid (D-32nd) and Wendy Gooditis (D-10th), who are both pledging to implement change right away.

Gooditis, a Clarke County Democrat, stunned three-term incumbent Randy Minchew, a well-known local land use attorney, in the western Loudoun-based 10th District in the Nov. 7 elections. She took 51.9 percent of the vote.

Reid took on incumbent Tag Greason in the more moderate 32nd District, which covers Lansdowne and parts of Ashburn. The race was expected to be close, but Reid ended up winning by 18 points, 59-41 percent.

Both Gooditis and Reid describe themselves as people who have worked hard to get where they are. Gooditis was raised as a Quaker and said she is grateful to her parents for showing her that all people are equal and deserve equal respect. Gooditis said she feels well positioned to understand the challenges faced by her constituents because of her life experience. In her 20s, she worked in the technology sector before moving into education in her 30s after she had children. She's worked as a Realtor for the past five years.

Reid, one of five children, spent his early years in southern Virginia before being sent to a Methodist children's home, from where he was adopted by a family in Oklahoma, which is where he attended college. Reid served as a Naval Intelligence Officer for 23 years before retiring in 2011, and in 2014 he founded his own consulting firm.

The new dynamic in the House of Delegates is something both Gooditis and Reid expect to work in their favor. The House is on course to be controlled by a 51-49 Republican majority after Democrats made major gains in November.

Both rookie delegates quickly mentioned Medicaid expansion as a continued priority.

Gooditis wants to see more money spent to treat people struggling with mental health difficulties and substance abuse. A strong advocate for housing people struggling with addiction, Gooditis said the difference in the cost of keeping someone in a mental health hospital or in supportive housing is substantial. Supportive housing works out at around $12,000 a year while a comparative stay in a mental health facility is several times that amount.

Gooditis' brother, who struggled with alcoholism, died just two weeks after she declared her candidacy, something that has planted the issue of health care in her heart.

Additionally, Gooditis said she has been “very loud about gerrymandering,” she said.

The first bill she is co-sponsoring focuses on re-drawing legislative districts “with fair lines.” The second involves creating an independent commission to oversee the process, an idea that has long been tossed around.

Gooditis said she has other bills ready to file focusing on supporting small farmers in her largely rural district. Additional priorities include more funding for public schools, increasing teachers pay and environmental protections, supporting the interests of the countryside, agriculture, protecting waterways and eco-tourism.

Reid said he will be focusing on the issues that formed a fundamental part of his campaign to “make people and families' lives better.” First, he wants to implement distance-based pricing on the Greenway, building on the work of Del. John Bell (D-87th) and Jennifer Boysko (D-86th). Reid said the different dynamic in the House could lead to more movement on the issue.

“I consider myself progressive and practical,” said Reid. “I can work with both sides.”

Another issue close to Reid's heart is implementing a four-year freeze on in-state college tuition, and he has drafted and filed a bill he hopes will see a freeze put in place.

“This is a multi-faceted problem,” Reid said. “It is out of control.”

The cost of tuition has a major impact on residents in this area, with very few Loudoun students able to receive means-based financial aid, he added. Reid's bill, HB 351, has been pre-filed.

Reid is also a chief patron of a bill to re-implement the one gun a month policy in Virginia. Growing up in the mountains, Reid said, he understands gun ownership and the cost of purchasing a gun, and he doesn't see a common need to buy more than one a month.

Reid said law enforcement analyses show Virginia acts as a center point for guns running up and down the East Coast.

Reid said having people in Loudoun County putting their trust in him is “a very humbling experience,” and having been the first person in his family to get a college degree, he wants to “give that opportunity to others to succeed.”

Gooditis said she intends to speak up for others who can't speak up for themselves. “My overwhelming feeling is, let's get to work, to me it is a very serious time,” she added.

Comments


How about just getting more money back to northern va, like for schools. The problem with all politicians is their ego’s get in the way. Instead of representing their constituents….They put forth bills they want. Even though two new Delegates, we get the same old thing. VA we lose again.


what a garbage article full of political promises and spin but no specifics.  but typical of a liberal biased paper.

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