WASHINGTON — Voters in Virginia will choose a U.S. senator and representatives in the U.S. House when they go to the polls on Nov. 6.
Also, in the D.C. area, two candidates are vying for a seat on the Arlington County Board.
And two constitutional amendments are on the ballot. One would expand the General Assembly’s power to allow cities and towns to grant property-tax relief, so that residents in flood-prone areas could get a tax break for making flooding-resiliency improvements. The other would expand the property-tax exemption for the surviving spouses of veterans who suffered a service-connected disability, so that they could move to a different principal residence and still get the exemption.
Here’s a look at the candidates and races in the WTOP listening area. Follow the links for more detailed analysis by WTOP’s Max Smith.
For more on how, when and where to vote, check out WTOP’s Virginia Voter Guide.
Sen. Tim Kaine, the incumbent Democrat, faces challenges from Republican Corey Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and Libertarian Matt Waters.
Kaine has pointed to his record in the Senate, while Stewart touted his support for President Donald Trump and said, “We need someone in the United States Senate who’s going to shake things up.” Waters said he’s running as an alternative to “the same tired solutions” offered by “the duopoly in Washington.”
On health care, Kaine seeks to improve the Affordable Care Act and supports a plan he calls Medicare X. Stewart said he would aim to protect current benefits and objected to any potential increase in payroll taxes to cover costs. Waters wants to end government involvement in health care altogether.
On transportation, Kaine touted funding for the Silver Line extension, Memorial Bridge reconstruction, and Amtrak and VRE improvements, and hopes to work with Trump on infrastructure; Stewart said he would work with the president and other Republicans on Capitol Hill to get more road improvement money.
Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Vangie Williams.
Both candidates favor more broadband internet across the district. Wittman wants more federal money for roads as well as VRE and buses, while Williams seeks to get more businesses and government agencies to move outside the Capital Beltway to the district to create a reverse commute.
Wittman warns of a “complete government takeover of health care,” while Williams supports something resembling Medicare for all.
Rep. Dave Brat, a Republican, faces challenges from Democrat Abigail Spanberger and Libertarian Joe Walton.
Brat, who upset then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary, did not respond to multiple requests from WTOP for an interview. He said in a debate on Oct. 15: “I’ve ran on the principles that made this country great,” and that, “The tax cuts passed and this economy is just booming.”
Spanberger, a former CIA agent, said Brat “hasn’t done a lot for our district.” Her main issues are health care, where she wants “ideally” a public option.
Brat has pushed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Walton, a former Powhatan County supervisor, called himself “a sensible centrist with a record of accountable and effective leadership in central Virginia.” He generally believes the federal government shouldn’t get any bigger.
The race between Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock and Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton is one of the most closely watched in the area, if not the country.
Comstock has touted herself as “a bipartisan leader on the priorities of the region,” while Wexton points out that Comstock has voted with Trump 98 percent of the time.
Both candidates have won races in the district and they differ on health care, guns and school security.
Arlington County Board
John Vihstadt, the only non-Democrat on the board, is facing a challenge from Democratic nominee Matt de Ferranti.
Vihstadt touted his spending cuts and financial oversight, but also hopes to spend a second term growing the county economy “but also managing that growth,” as well as aiming for “greater openness, transparency and inclusion.”
Meanwhile, de Ferranti told WTOP, “Yes, fiscal responsibility, but we can’t cut our way to prosperity, and we have to make smart investments.” He also seeks to cut down on Arlington’s office vacancy rate.
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