August 12, 2009
The popularity and experience of incumbent Delegate Rob Bell (R) are two important obstacles his challenger, Cynthia Neff (D), is hoping to overcome. Part of that effort came Wednesday in what was, for the most part, a civil forum.
The Senior Statesmen of Virginia held Wednesday's candidate forum at the Senior Center in Albemarle County, which included Republican incumbent Delegate Rob Bell and his challenger, Democrat Cynthia Neff.
Neff touted her experience as a former IBM executive.
"I think that what I bring to the table is unique. I think that government should run more like a business and less like a bureaucracy," said Neff.
Bell focused on his experience in office.
"When I first was elected most of my bills involved the sort of law enforcement issues that I had worked on as a prosecutor," said Delegate Bell.
Questions came from the audience, one of the first addressing obvious hot topics: jobs and the economy.
"We really really need to be careful to preserve and promote this number one business ranking because with entrepreneurs, now we're not just competing with North Carolina and California and Oregon, but we're also competing worldwide," said Bell.
"Does everybody here know what the top five jobs in Virginia are? Retail, office clerk, waitress, food prep and janitor. And I think that's problematic," said Neff.
Transportation was one of the topics not covered in the forum, but one CBS19 asked the candidates about after the forum.
"When you have car titling tax, car insurance tax and gas tax, all those monies are off. So, we're going to have to try and find alternate sources for the money when we go down and craft a new budget in 2010," said Bell.
Bell added that they have to figure out a new way to fund roads, while Neff said it is important to figure out how to get more cars off them.
"We've also not focused on rail and high speed transit. We're not looking to alternatives to our roads," said Neff.
One road both candidates are sure hoping to travel is the one to Richmond and the General Assembly.
Election Day is November 3.