By Carla Branch and Lauren McCracken
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, voters in the Virginia House of Delegates 45th District will choose a new representative. Democrat Rob Krupicka, Libertarian Justin Malkin and Republican Timothy McGhee are competing to complete Democrat David Englin’s term, which will expire in November, 2013. Englin resigned earlier this summer, necessitating this Special Election.
The 45th District is comprised of 13 precincts in Alexandria, 4 in Fairfax County and 5 in Arlington County. Alexandria’s precincts are Ladrey Senior Building, City Hall, Lyles Crouch Elementary School, Durant Center, Cora Kelley Center, Mt. Vernon Center, George Washington Middle School, Fire Department Headquarters, Maury Elementary School, George Mason Elementary School, Agudas Achim Congregation and Blessed Sacrament Church. Polls will open at 6:00 a.m. on Sept. 4, and close at 7:00 p.m. Some precinct boundaries have changed since the last election so voters should visit alexandriavoter.org if they are uncertain where to vote.
Absentee voting began on Aug. 10. Today is the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail. In-person absentee voting will continue through Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Alexandria General Registrar’s office, which is located at 132 N. Royal Street. The office will have extended hours through Saturday. All mail-in absentee ballots must be received in the Registrar’s office by the close of the polls on Sept. 4.
To date, 421 absentee ballots have been requested and 191 votes have been cast either by mail or in-person.
“During the last summer special election, which was for a vacant City Council seat in Alexandria, there were just over 800 absentee votes cast,” said Alexandria General Registrar Tom Parkins. “That was a city-wide race, so if we take half of that, we should see around 400 absentee votes cast in this election.
“Voter turn-out is hard to predict because the election is being held on the day after Labor Day, which is also the first day of school for many students. I predict a turn-out of 10% to 15% or between 4000 and 6000,” Parkins said.
The New Voter ID Law
Virginia’s new voter ID law, which was approved by the U. S. Department of Justice this month, will not be effective until the Nov. 6, General Election. By that time, all Virginia registered voters will receive a voter ID card. Virginia’s law does not require a photo ID.
Meet The Candidates
Democrat Rob Krupicka
According to his website, Rob Krupicka was born in California in 1971. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Economics, and moved to Northern Virginia, where he met his wife Lisa at the Old Town Safeway. Along with their two daughters, Janelle and Gillian, the Krupickas live in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.
Krupicka was elected to City Council in 2003 and re-elected in 2006 and 2009. In 2009, then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine appointed him to the State Board of Education.
“I have lived in Alexandria for nearly 20 years and have been involved in many aspects of community life here,” Krupicka said. “I have participated in civic organizations and have had the opportunity to serve Alexandria as an elected official. My work as a member of City Council has allowed me to cultivate contacts throughout Virginia with different political affiliations.
“My children attend public school in Alexandria and my family has deep roots here. I believe that my experience will help me be a strong advocate for all of the people in the 45th District,” Krupicka said.
On Education: “I had the privilege of working with Governor Kaine to expand access to pre-school so children show up to Kindergarten ready to learn,” Krupicka wrote on his website. “Locally, I have been a strong proponent for investing in our local schools to reduce the dropout rate and to ensure more students graduate ready to succeed. I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve education in Virginia. I have spent the last ten years fighting for children and families. I have fought for and won funding for our schools, new funding for preschool classes and support for important after school programs. I have pushed to ensure that schools and the government coordinate their resources and programs for maximum benefit to the community. Statewide, I have pushed for higher math and science standards so our children are prepared to compete in our rapidly changing world. I am committed to making sure that a great education, from pre-K to college to workforce training, is Virginia’s top economic development strategy. Virginia should be a national education leader. And locally, I know we need to find ways to help address the rapid rise in student population that is making classrooms too large and causing our local schools to run out of space.”
Krupicka expects education to remain at the forefront of the General Assembly’s legislative priorities in 2013. “Gov. McDonnell has already said that education reform is at the top of his legislative agenda for the 2013 General Assembly,” Krupicka said. “I expect that we are going to see a numbe of bills, which we will consider regarding education reform. Wehave work to do to keep moving Virginia forward toward increasing oiur education standards for all students.”
On Health Care: “I am committed to implementing good health policy that gives consumers high quality health care choices, will help seniors pay for their medication, cover thousands of young people, and prevent insurance companies from dropping people because of pre-existing conditions,” Krupicka wrote on his website. “I believe that quality health care is a basic human right and should be available to every resident of the Commonwealth. And it is a critical piece of our economy; quality healthcare helps children do well in school and it helps adults find and keep jobs. In the recent City budget, I successfully pushed to restore lost state funding to our teen pregnancy prevention efforts and to the Healthy Families program. I’ve seen the positive impact these programs have on our friends, family and neighbors. They provide both immediate and lasting benefits to our community and that’s why I fought for them. In the legislature you can count on me to pursue even greater strides toward quality, affordable health care for everyone; I will always champion the notion that empowering people and families to get ahead is a smart choice for our state.”
The General Assembly will have several issues to consider related to the implementation of the new federal health care legislation. “I am the only candidate who supports health care exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid,” Krupicka said. “Health care exchanges will allow the private sector to offer health care options to those who want them.
“As to Medicaid, the expansion will cost the State nothing for the first three years and will decrease the number of emergency room visits and thus save money. In the fourth year, the State will pay 10% and the federal government 90% so that still seems like a good deal for the State,” Krupicka said.
On Transportation: “Over the last nine years on the Alexandria City Council, I led efforts to expand mass-transit, to increase walking and biking to work and to ensure our region has a high-quality transportation system,” Krupicka wrote on his website. “These advances have contributed jobs to our region and improved our quality of life. As a result, the rate of walking and biking to work doubled over the last ten years plus, transit ridership grew substantially. I helped reignite the vision for a Metro at Potomac Yard and I want to make sure we work with those in Richmond to ensure its completion. Over the last two years, I have led projects to expand our transit system and to connect it with other transportation systems in the region. I have also worked with regional leaders to develop new, innovative transportation funding tools. In recent years, the General Assembly has tried to defund the expansion of Metro and have attempted to micromanage our local transportation choices. It is paramount that we have experienced representatives who can fight for our region's transportation needs.”
The General Assembly must make critical transportation decisions over the next three years. “In 2017, Virginia’s transportation funding will run dry and we will have no dedicated resource to pay for transportation infrastructure improvements and maintenance,” Krupicka said. “We can’t wait until that happens to come up with another strategy. We must begin to consider our options now.”
On Local/State Government Partnerships: “Local government faces enough challenges without having to fight Richmond at every turn,” Krupicka wrote on his website. “We need partners that are as committed to our schools as we are. We need partners that want to build the economy of the future. We need partners that will help communities innovate and solve their own challenges, their own way, without Richmond getting in the way of every decision. We need partners in Richmond that are looking for ways to help communities prosper. I am committed to fighting for beneficial state and local partnerships that foster balance and mutual progress.”
Libertarian Justin Malkin
According to his website, Justin Malkin moved to Virginia four years ago after having lived in New York City most of his life. He has a background in finance and currently works as a Credit Analyst at an asset management company in Virginia. Malkin earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Berkeley, with a double major in Economics and Slavic Languages/Literature. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business. Malkin is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and earned the right to use the C.F.A. designation in 2004.
He is a member of the Libertarian Party and served as a member of the Virginia delegation at the 2012 National Convention. He is also a member of the Libertarian Party of Virginia and is active with the Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia. He has supported both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the 2012 race for President of the United States.
Malkin likes living in Old Town Alexandria for the restaurants, the history, the quaintness, and the outdoors. He became the father of a baby girl last year.
“I believe in social equality and fiscal responsibility and the people of the 45th District need a voice in Richmond to advocate for laws that support these positions,” Malkin said.
On Education: “Everyone knows that despite the endless money we throw at the government education system, test scores still languish,” Malkin wrote on his website. “Whether test scores even accurately reflect ability is yet another question. We need to introduce school choice, realign compensation, and eliminate tenure in our public schools. We should not waste additional scarce resources on the current education system until such changes are implemented.”
On Taxes And Regulation: “High taxes stifle economic growth and starve the productive private sector of scarce resources,” Malkin wrote on his website. “Similarly, too much regulation burdens small businesses with disproportionate costs of compliance. I advocate minimal taxes and reduced regulation.”
On Transportation: “I support High Occupancy Toll lanes in contrast to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes,” Malkin wrote on his website. “Fortunately, the beltway finally appears to be moving in that direction. Regarding highway funding , tolls make much more sense than taxes because drivers who use the highways are responsible for the cost to maintain them.”
On A Woman’s Right To Choose: “I believe that the issue of pro-choice versus pro-life is the only complex issue that we as a people face,” Malkin wrote on his website. “The complexity centers on whether civil rights of one person (the woman) or two people (the woman and the fetus) exist. That is, when does life begin? I respect differing opinions on this issue and support a practical approach regarding normal, healthy pregnancies – namely, I believe a woman has a right to choose for a gestation period of up to 13 weeks, after which the fetus should be considered a person with his or her own right to life.”
On Access To Police Incident Reports: “I believe that the police should release incident reports,” Malkin said. “Police activity should be transparent and accessible to citizens who want to ensure that they are protecting our rights. While I would not say that this is going to be one of my top priorities in the General Assembly, it is something I would like to look into.”
Republican Tim McGhee
According to his website, Tim McGhee, 35, was born in Chicago, Illinois. McGhee graduated from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, in 1999 with an honors degree in Mathematics with a Computer Science emphasis. He is a resident of Alexandria on the north end of Old Town.
After college McGhee got his first job in web development in Washington, D.C. He lived in several suburbs in Northern Virginia before moving to Alexandria. After working in web development for three years, McGhee decided to broaden his experience with sales and then management work at RadioShack. He has also operated a small business providing Web development services to his clients since 2004. After RadioShack, McGhee applied his technical and management background to a $10 million construction project while continuing to work on his small business. He was the technology and facility manager for the three-year project. Recently, McGhee has been focusing on growing his small business and working for transparency in Alexandria and on the Hill.
“I am running because I will bring a point of view to Richmond that is needed,” McGhee said. “I grew up in diverse areas of the country, attended public school in Florida and went to college in Tennessee. My experiences help me understand the people of the 45th District and will make me a strong advocate for them.”
On Education: “[I] would like to work within the legislature on eliminating distractions from having Northern Virginia schools focused on education,” McGhee wrote on his website. “[I] would work diligently to improve upon and expand the academy programs in Northern Virginia that have a track record of turning failing schools into shining examples of educational success.”
If he is elected, McGhee is committed to talking to teachers, parents, students and administrators. “When I was in public school, no elected official ever came to talk to me,” he said. “If I am elected, I will spend time in our public schools talking to teachers, parents, students and administrators to find out what they think is and isn’t working and what they want from legislators.”
On Health Care: “[I believe] in protecting the privacy of patients and the integrity and freedom of the relationship between a doctor and his or her patients,” McGhee wrote on his website. “Government data should be open; patient data should not. The best way to preserve and improve our quality of health care is to keep data-driven policies and procedures from controlling the art and practice of medicine.”
Protecting the doctor/patient relationship is one of McGhee’s top priorities. “As the new health care law is implemented, the focus is going to shift from the federal government to the states,” he said. “We in Virginia must take steps to protect doctors and patients and to implement legislation that does that.”
On Transportation: “[I] would work to make sure our transportation infrastructure keeps up with development in Northern Virginia in order to maintain and improve our quality of life,” McGhee wrote on his website. “[I believe] that gas taxes need to be indexed to the cost of gas to ensure a steady stream funding for road construction and improvements.”
McGhee would like to see more regional collaboration on transportation issues. “Transportation solutions must be regional,” he said. “Too much commuter traffic is moving from congested roads such as Route 1 onto Old Town Streets. We cannot solve this problem in Alexandria alone.”
On Child Support Reform: “I would like to improve our child support enforcement system by passing child support reform legislation,” McGhee said. “We need to provide incentives to our child support enforcement agencies to enforce existing court orders and collect delinquent child support.”
To see alexandrianews.org’s choice: click here.