By Natalie Miller
This November, Virginia residents will elect their Delegates to represent them in the Virginia House of Delegates. Candidates from each party have come forward to announce their candidacy to represent portions of Hanover, Caroline, and Spotsylvania Counties; and the Town of Ashland in the 55th District.
Incumbent Del. Hyland F. “Buddy” Fowler, Jr. announced last month that he will seek re-election, for a third term in the Virginia General Assembly.
“I think I’ve got my feet under me now and I’m in a better position to serve,” Fowler said in an interview Tuesday.
Fowler will run on the Republican ticket, and is a member of the Board of the Virginia War Memorial, the Volunteer Firefighters and Rescue Squad Workers Service Award Fund Board (VOLSAP), and the Joint Sub-Committee on Block Grants.
Fowler supported public education reforms, with emphasis on Career and Technical Education during the most recent 2017 General Assembly Session.
Morgan Goodman is entering her name as a newcomer on the Democratic ticket.
Goodman has lived in Hanover for four years and works at the Department of Environmental Quality. The candidate has a master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, and has worked to preserve the environment at both the federal and state levels.
Goodman grew up in Northern Virginia, which she says made her more in tune with the politics around her. In college, Goodman volunteered with various political campaigns, and volunteered for John Kerry’s campaign.
“I had spoken with so many people who felt like their voices weren’t being heard,” Goodman said. “I wanted to provide that voice and make sure that regardless of party affiliation, the residents of the 55th District are being heard and that their concerns are being taken seriously.”
Goodman is a member of the Hanover PTA and will be the Vice President of Programs for the PTA board her childrens’ school for the 2017-2018 school year. She is a co-troop leader for her daughter’s Daisies and has volunteered for local organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, Virginia Green Travel Alliance, and Keep Virginia Beautiful.
In his previous campaigns Fowler strongly promoted job and economic growth in Virginia, which he says he intends to continue supporting during this year’s campaign.
“Right now, we’re not creating the kind of jobs we need,” Fowler said. “Sequestration cost Virginia 150,000 jobs, and the jobs we are losing are high-paying.”
Fowler said that he also supports protecting scarce resources in Virginia, and preserving the Chesapeake Bay. Some legislators have been pushing to prevent agricultural runoff from farms into the bay.
“By spending a little bit of money we get a gigantic return,” Fowler said of the agricultural methods that could continue to protect the bay.
Fowler is on several committees, such as the House Finance Committee, Privileges and Elections Committee and Militia, Police & Public Safety Committee. He said in an interview that protecting and increasing pay for public safety officers has been a priority in his previous terms.
“These men and women sacrifice their lives every day for our safety,” Fowler said. “I want to make sure they are paid appropriately.”
He strongly supports Second Amendment rights, and was previously endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the press release says.
Fowler says he wants to represent all residents of the 55th District, regardless of their affiliations.
“It does not matter who you are, your political affiliation, your religious or ethnic background. My pledge is to treat every constituent with respect, openness and honesty,” Fowler’s press release reads.
Though Goodman is running on the Democratic ballot, she says she also interested in bridging the gap between all parties.
“People no longer feel like they can talk politics in mixed company—It’s a very, ‘us-versus-them’ mentality,”