by Maggie Dolan
Larry Barnett wants to turn District 27 blue this November as a Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly. Larry is a licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. The incumbent, Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield), was appointed to her position in 2010 and won a special election in 2011. She ran unopposed in 2013 and had a Democratic challenger in 2015.
There are a total of 21 precincts in District 27 all within Chesterfield County. Because of the results of the 2015 race, District 27 is considered likely to be flipped in this November’s election. The Democrat in the last race only won 4 of those precincts, although there were many with only narrow victories for the Republican. (See report from The Full Slate Project (below)*
Larry is an advocate for better compensation for teachers, low student teacher ratios in schools and giving teachers much greater classroom autonomy, with less focus on SOL testing. He will support efforts to enable people suffering from mental illness and addiction to recover and lead productive lives. He is especially proud to be part of the Crisis Intervention Training team in Chesterfield. He worked to launch this program, starting in 2010, and was the CIT coordinator for the county when he worked at Chesterfield Mental Health. He is a strong believer that fire and police professionals put their lives on the line for us, and need to be well compensated for the risks they take. He fully supports redistricting reform and strongly opposes gerrymandering. He believes there is a clear conflict of interest when legislators draw their own district boundaries. Larry has pledged not to accept any donations from Dominion Power, to avoid becoming beholden in any way to powerful monied interests, but to stay independent and focused on representing the people he is elected to serve.
The Competitive Commonwealth Fund (CCFund), a Virginia PAC dedicated to recruiting and funding Democratic candidates in traditional GOP strongholds, has endorsed Larry’s candidacy. He is also endorsed by the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County (and beyond) (LWCC) who began a Money Bomb Monday on 5/15/17 to raise funds to support Larry’s campaign.
Q and A with Larry Barnett:
How would you describe yourself politically?
I have worked as a public servant in Chesterfield County for 32 years. Throughout this time, even though I worked for Chesterfield Mental Health, and now for the Chesterfield Police Department, I have known that I am working for the people who live here in Chesterfield. This will not change if I am elected to serve as the delegate for our community. I will continue to do everything in my power to work on behalf of the people who live in this community. As an outsider to the political process, I hope the people of the district will put their faith and confidence in me, not just because of party affiliation, but because they know I will be there to serve the community.
As a healthcare professional what do you see as the greatest challenges Virginians face from passage of the AHCA? (Removal of mandatory coverage requirements, Medicaid becoming block grant, etc.)
Simply put, the initial AHCA House proposal will significantly reduce or remove health care from Virginians. The politicians who propose this see health care as an entitlement that needs to be cut. I do not. We live in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. It is an embarrassment that we do not have a system that enables every citizen to see a doctor or nurse when they require medical care and treatment. This is not the country I want to live in. I support initiatives that make health care available and affordable to my fellow citizens.
As a “listener” by profession, what would be your preferred method of listening to your constituents?
In person. I want to meet and talk with as many people as possible in our district. In a direct, personal encounter, it is easy to see what we share in common, to recognize that most people want similar good things in their community. I want to break down the barriers that divide us, and to build a strong connection to people in our community. As a delegate, this connection will enable me to serve as the voice of the people who live here.
How would Attorney General Sessions’s recent order affect those with substance disorders in the city of Richmond and in Chesterfield and Henrico counties?
He is misguided, falling back on a failed ideology that criminalizes those who suffer from addiction and dependence. Too many families in Virginia know firsthand that this problem is not effectively addressed through incarceration. It takes a much more comprehensive, multi-pronged approach, from prevention services, to recovery resources and supports across many settings. The “war on drugs” was a colossal failure. He, like many others in the current administration, is misguided and misinformed.
Virginia has consistently refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA. As a listener, how would you approach those across the aisle who are opposed to its expansion?
I don’t believe most Virginians are opposed to expanded health care. It is their elected delegates in the House that have blocked this expansion of health care to over 400,000 Virginians. If averaged across the 100 districts, this means approximately 4,000 people in the 27th district have been denied critical medical services because of the intransigence of their representatives. Once in office, I will fight to expand coverage to these people.
What makes you a better candidate to represent the people in the 27th District than your opponent?
Presence. Responsiveness. Openness. A visionary perspective that looks to Virginia’s future. A readiness to serve and bring an informed voice to the Virginia House of Delegates. A depth of knowledge about issues that are of concern to many people who live in our district.
Do you have a message for first-time voters like teens and naturalized citizens?
Yes! Your vote matters. Register and vote. Get involved and actively participate in your democracy.
*Read more on why Virginia District 27 is in play this November and is considered able to be flipped? www.thefullslateproject.com/…
Want to know more about Larry Barnett? www.dailykos.com/…
Larry Barnett for Delegate website barnett4delegate.com
Donate to Larry Barnett ‘s campaign secure.actblue.com/…