2 vying for open seat in 4th Congressional District

11/4/2016, 8:01 a.m.
Next week, voters will decide the future leadership of our nation and our city. Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day, …
A. Donald McEachin ,Michael L. Wade

A. Donald McEachin

I decided to become a candidate for Congress because:  I’ve spent my career fighting for the underdog — in my law practice and in the General Assembly. I am running for the U.S. House because I want to build on that work in our nation’s capital. In Congress, I will be a champion for the values and priorities we share. I will fight every day for equal rights and economic justice — fair wages, equal pay and a secure retirement for all working Virginians. I’ll work to curb gun violence and make our communities safer, and I’ll fight to ensure that every child has access to a great education.

What do you see as the top two issues facing the district? We have to ensure that citizens in the 4th District have both equal rights and economic security. To do that, we need to end discriminatory policies, for instance, by reforming our broken criminal justice system and ensuring that all our schools meet certain baseline standards. We also need to lift wages. That means making job-creating investments in economic development, infrastructure and technology. It also means improving workforce development initiatives and raising the minimum wage. And we need to protect the safety net so all those who have worked for a living have access to affordable health care and a secure retirement.

How I plan to address those issues as a member of Congress: In Congress, I will stand up for the principles we share. I will fight for legislation that helps working families and vulnerable Virginians, and I’ll stand firm against efforts to roll back useful programs or valuable protections. When Republicans try to cut Social Security or voucherize Medicare, I will fight back. When there are ways we can work together, I will do everything I can to find common ground. And my door will always be open to everyone who lives in the district. I will listen to your problems, your ideas — and I will do everything I can to help.

Michael L. Wade

I decided to become a candidate for Congress because: Having served as sheriff of Henrico County for the past 17 years, I have seen many of the issues prevalent in our community reflected in our jails. For too long, Washington has pushed the burden of dealing with the tough issues down to the localities, and often on our criminal justice system. Congress needs leaders who have dealt with real life situations and found common sense solutions to deal with the issues. That’s what I’ve done as sheriff, and it’s what I’ll do for the people of the 4th District.

What do you see as the top two issues facing the district? There are two major issues facing the 4th District — jobs/the economy and mental health/substance abuse reform. People are really struggling. Our labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been in decades and unemployment, particularly in our inner cities, has skyrocketed. It’s time to foster an environment where business can grow and create jobs.

Mental health/substance abuse also has become a major issue and one that no one is addressing seriously. The rash of gun violence and other crimes are directly related to the rise in mental health/substance abuse issues and it is tearing our families and communities apart.

How I plan to address those issues as a member of Congress: To create jobs, it is time for government to get out of the way. Our corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world. The tremendous amount of regulations has caused our jobs to go overseas and businesses to stop expanding. We must lower the tax rate on all businesses and remove these burdensome regulations and allow our economy to get back on track and grow.

I will help fix our mental health system to ensure we are providing necessary funding to community-based programs and by changing our HIPAA law. Families should be able to step in and help their loved ones.