Grover Norquist, king of the contemporary anti-tax crowd, appeared jovial Wednesday following conservative candidate Dave LaRock's forceful primary victory over 20-year incumbent Del. Joe May.
Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, issued a statement less than 12 hours after the results revealed LaRock's win
in the House of Delegates 33rd District GOP primary. May's defeat should make clear “it's time for new leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates,” Norquist said.
LaRock earned 57 percent of the 33rd District vote Tuesday. In Loudoun, the Republican from Hamilton secured 54 percent to May's 46 percent. Altogether in the district that spans western Loudoun and portions of Frederick and Clarke counties, approximately 5,100 of the district's more than 50,000 voters turned out.
“Make no mistake,” Norquist stated. “House Transportation Committee Chair Joe May's defeat can be directly attributed to his vote for Speaker Bill Howell's misguided $6 billion tax hike … A Republican majority, under new leadership, should work to enact pro-taxpayer reforms and repeal the 2013 transportation tax hike championed by Del. May, Speaker Bill Howell, and Gov. Bob McDonnell."
A signer of Norquist's “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” LaRock received a boost from Americans for Tax Reform during his primary campaign. The group launched JoeMayLovesTaxes.com
and funded roadside signs calling May a “serial tax hiker” in the weeks leading up to the election.
The “$6 billion tax hike” Norquist mentions refers to the 2013 bi-partisan transportation funding reform bill passed by both chambers of the General Assembly earlier this year.
The legislation, dubbed Virginia's "Road to the Future," is estimated to raise $3.4 billion statewide in the next five years specifically for road funding through a string of tax and fee increases.
May was one of several Loudoun delegates who favored the transit plan
, something for which he was lambasted by LaRock.
In a statement Wednesday, LaRock said he “will work to repeal this year’s tax hike and Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and stand with Ken Cuccinelli to advance Ken’s Economic Growth & Virginia Jobs Plan.”
“I will work to reform state spending with cost-benefit analysis so that our transportation, education, and other funds are spent on programs and projects that deliver results,” LaRock said.
Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has yet to be finalized in Virginia. A bi-partisan commission of General Assembly members is studying the issue and working to ensure Medicaid reforms are implemented before the state opts into the expansion.
If LaRock wins a seat in Richmond, he'll join local state Sens. Jill Vogel (R-27th) and Dick Black (R-13th) and Dels. David Ramadan (R-87th), Randy Minchew (R-10th) and Barbara Comstock (R-34th) as signers of Norquist's “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” Minchew voted in favor of this year's transportation bill, while the remaining pledge-signers opposed.