On September 27, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and its Hampton Roads Business Political Action Committee (HRBizPAC) hosted a 2nd District U.S. Congressional Candidates Forum at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. Nearly 100 business leaders attended the luncheon to listen to remarks from the candidates and have a chance to ask questions. Topics included taxes, offshore drilling, economic recovery and the possible closure of U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). Veteran television news political reporter and interviewer Joel Rubin moderated the event.
Incumbent 2nd District Representative Glenn Nye was first to address the crowd. He stressed that he has an independent track record and has made great efforts during the last two years to listen to people in his district and focus on issues affecting veterans and small business. “I voted ‘no’ on the healthcare bill,” Nye said. He told the crowd that, “The economy has been the number one issue.” He added, “Our leadership depends on our economy being strong.” Nye said he formed a bi-partisan team to take on the Navy carrier issue.” He also explained that he has been working together with the rest of the Virginia delegation on the JFCOM issue to try to keep the jobs in jeopardy.
“JFCOM is going away. It got too big,” said Independent challenger Ken Golden. He says the Defense Department budget is bloated and an audit is needed. Golden endorses a fair tax, a 23% consumption based tax.
Republican nominee Scott Rigell said that the JFCOM closure announcement happened on Congressman’s Nye’s watch. He added that small businesses in northern Suffolk will face bankruptcy if the command closes. Rigell acknowledged that his Freedom Automotive dealerships participated in the cash-for-clunkers program and benefitted, but said, “that’s not what will get our economy going.” He said that we need to leverage our power for alternative energy, invest more in education, fix social security, and stop over regulating and hurting entrepreneurs.
On Friday, October 15, the Chamber and the Central Business District Association of Virginia Beach will co-sponsor a debate with the candidates, from 11:45 am-1:15 pm at The Holiday Inn Executive Center in Virginia Beach (5655 Greenwich Rd.). Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members and available at http://events.HamptonRoadsChamber.com.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and its HRBizPAC do not endorse federal candidates.