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Economy, budget top issues for delegate

Posted in News
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Republican Delegate James Edmunds says the short session of the 2017 Virginia General Assembly, lasting 45 days, and starting today is going to be an important one. The 2017 Virginia General Assembly session gets underway at noon and concludes Saturday, Feb. 25.

However, before the general assembly session begins on Wednesday, of importance to Edmunds was Tuesday’s special election to replace state Senator Tom Garrett.

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday in a special election with the balance in the state senate up for grabs.

People voting in parts of Lynchburg, as well as Appomattox and Amherst counties played a role in deciding that balance by electing one of the three candidates vying for the seat Republican Tom Garrett left when he took his spot in Congress.

Mark Peake is an attorney and former Commonwealth Transportation Board member from Lynchburg who ran as a Republican. Ryant Washington is a Democrat and former sheriff from the Charlottesville area. And Joe Hines of Farmville, who works in economic development, ran as an Independent.

“Republicans have a super-majority in the house,” said Edmunds, “but it’s going to be tight in the senate, and we need to get behind the Republican candidate and maintain the Republican majority there.”

For Edmunds, the most important issue during the 2017 legislative session remains jobs, jobs and jobs — not just bringing new ones to Southside Virginia but keeping the jobs that are here from leaving.

“The economy is always at the top of my list,” said Edmunds. “One bill I plan to support affects TMI in South Boston—a vehicle manufacturer which is currently only allowed to sell its product to residents of California.”

He paused.

“TMI is turning out recreational vehicles that are selling well in California, and they aren’t cheap – $80,000 to $100,000 each. Buyers on the West Coast are buying them for sport — they go fast on the road, and they drive them along the beach as well. But it’s crazy to make a vehicle in Virginia, and then say it can’t be driven or purchased in Virginia. So Senator Ruff and I plan to work with DMV to change that.”

He added, “These are really cool vehicles, and everyone in Halifax County should be proud we’re making them here. If the bill passes, Virginians will be able to buy these vehicles and drive them.”

Asked to name the issues he feels his constituents deem most important, Edmunds chuckles: “Everyone has an issue — economic, social, hunting and so on — that is, in his or her view, the most important. So that’s a loaded question. To every constituent, their issue is the most important.”

From the Gazette-Virginian

Tagged in: issues local business