Ben Cline, Jennifer Lewis Discuss their Visions for the 6th District
In exactly one week, voters in Virginia's 6th District will choose someone to replace long-time Republican Bob Goodlatte.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - In exactly one week, voters in Virginia's 6th District will choose someone to replace long-time Republican Bob Goodlatte.
After 26 years, Goodlatte is retiring from Congress. Now, Republican Ben Cline and Democrat Jennifer Lewis are vying for his vacated seat.
Cline, who describes himself as a common-sense conservative, was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley where he still lives with his wife and 6-year-old twin daughters.
The lawyer has represented the people of Rockbridge and southern Augusta counties in the General Assembly since 2002.
“Folks are very frustrated about Washington,” Cline said. “They feel like Washington's not listening to them. They feel like their values are not being represented in Washington and they want somebody who's going to go up and break through a lot of the bureaucracy and get their views heard.”
Democrat Jennifer Lewis describes herself as a bold progressive.
Born and raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, the mental health worker moved to the Shenandoah Valley with her husband 11 years ago, where she has worked as a community organizer and activist.
“For far too long, we've had representation from people who don't live our lives,” Lewis said. “I'm a working class person. I had to quit two of my part-time jobs to run for Congress and now I'm on a leave from my full-time job. And I've worked minimum wage jobs. I've lived in poverty.”
Lewis supports fully funded public education, free community college, increasing mental health services, and expanding Medicare for all.
“When people want to say, you know, ‘how are we going to afford Medicare for all,’ I like to point out we already pay for people who don't have health insurance that show up at the emergency room,” Lewis said. “And when it gets to an emergency, it's more expensive than if you would have done something, you know, prevention-wise. It's much cheaper.”
Cline's focus is preserving constitutional rights, jobs and the economy, making college more affordable, and fixing Interstate 81.
“Eighty-one is the economic backbone of the 6th District, so adding a third lane is critical and I know that the state’s embarking on a venture to try and do that,” Cline said. “The federal government has a role to play there, too, because it is a federal interstate system and so I hope to get some federal support for that as well.”
People head to the polls to cast their vote for either Cline or Lewis on Tuesday, November 6.