Cindy: What life experiences led you to being in politics, and why are you here?
Sharafat: My name is Sharafat Hussain. I’ve been living in Loudoun County for more than a decade and during this time I have made many friends who expressed concern about the future of our country, and for the future of our children and also the state. I am also a parent of a beautiful teenage girl, and like many of my friends I too worry about the future of our country and the future of the generation. I became the LCDC fundraising Chair and Leesburg Vice Chair. Once Trump took office, it motivated me to run for office, actually for Senate, because I was planning to run on 2019, the regular time, but when Jennifer Wexton started doing her primary I think there were five or six other was running with her, and then as LCDC fundraising chair, we did a gala in 2018 and we raised a lot of money around $90,000 and it was sold out the first time. Jennifer came, and all other opponents of hers came. I saw in her that she is the future leader of our County, she will win the seat–a lot of people disagreed with me that time, they thought somebody else will take the primary. I chose Jennifer Wexton as our next VA10 Congresswoman. We had a community festival and I took her there along with Ray, her campaign manager so she attended so so many many events in our community and that was the first time I invited her to go to an event in our community–Asian, Bangladeshi, Pakistan Indian, everybody comes there. And we started supporting her and the day, but at the time I was thinking she’s gonna be our primary candidate and then I spoke to Jennifer Wexton that once you win I’m gonna run.
Cindy: Why do you think a state Senate seat is the right position, as opposed to a city council or a school board?
Sharafat: I became Vice Chair of Leesburg Democrats on January sixth and my new chairman Alfonso he picked me as the fundraising and activity chair. He saw in me what I saw in Jennifer– that this guy is a doer, he is gonna do a lot of good work and trust me, as an Asian American I did the best for the last 10 months for LCDC, which Loudoun County Democratic Committee, and they make leaders. I can take that seat very easily with their support and with our community. This is America, we have a lot of opportunities if you work, it doesn’t matter your color, you will be there. I believe that that I can take that seat on the 17th, and then as a nominee I will beat the Republican whoever comes.
Cindy: What are the issues you most want to work on in the Senate?
Sharafat: Number one is reduce tolls. We pay a lot of tolls in Northern Virginia, we pay a lot of taxes, but why pay a lot of tolls too. Number two is create jobs in Virginia, protect the environment at the same time by increasing clean energy jobs in Virginia like wind and solar power production, being against offshore drilling because it’s polluting the environment. Affordable health care is number three. Cannot refuse you because of your pre-existing conditions. Commonsense background checks for guns, ban on assault weapons sales. Increase the number of math and science teachers to public school–that’s my very strong thing, my wife keeps pushing me for that; and also give every child a computer, every child should have a very nice wonderful tool like a computer. Our children must be ready to compete for the jobs of the future in computer science, and clean energy production. And protect education funding is another very big issue for me for teachers salaries. I’m an immigrant, I came from from another world, so I’ll I’ll try to fight for fair commonsense immigration law in Virginia, keep families together, do not deport dreamers, driver’s license to protect the public from uninsured drivers. And I will try to pass the ERA, I believe in equal pay for women women
Cindy: What Senate committee are you hoping to be assigned to?
Sharafat: Well I don’t know what committee they’re going to assign me to, but I have to win first and then after I’m going to check what committee is good for me as a Loudoun County Democratic blue guy, you know?
Cindy: Which current state senator do you think is closest to your political ideology?
Sharafat: Honestly I’m telling you I’m gonna check all whatever they did, I’m saying some, but I’m gonna favor all 18 Democrats, I’m gonna follow all their steps. I don’t want to hurt anybody, you know, I’m for all.
Cindy: How should the 2021 redistricting to be done, and do you think reform is going to pass this year?
Sharafat: I’ve been watching all the district meetings, and learned a lot about gerrymandering, now I know it should not be that way. It needs to be passed, redistricting, I’m for it! It has to be done the next ten years so we don’t have to worry about those. You know some Democrats and Republicans, they manage their area. We need redistricting.
Cindy: So who should draw the districts?
Sharafat: Our proud Governor Northam. Under the leadership of a Democratic governor, we should do it now.
Cindy: In your opinion should Virginia build the ACP and MVP?
Sharafat: Well I’m not for pipeline because all Loudoun, all LCDC is not for pipelines and I’m with them.
Cindy: What is the role of legislators–is there a role for legislators to be using their bully pulpit to voice an opposition to the pipelines?
Sharafat: They should talk. There should not be a pipeline, I don’t support this. They should not, but every individual has their own way to speak, this is my my opinion, I cannot talk for somebody else.
Cindy: What are some unique features and opportunities and challenges of the 33rd Senate District?
Sharafat: Traffic congestion is very bad on Route 7, now we have to do a lot for that and I-66. I have not a fan of I-66 anyway but route 7 is a part of I-66, everybody comes and lands onto 28 and 28 and 7 is a very very unique growth for 33rd district, so we need to deal with traffic congestion. Also a lot of companies are coming to 33rd district like Amazon, like Apple, so there are going to be more crowds. At the district meeting we do every month with all those town officers, I hear a lot of things they don’t like. So we have to sit down with all the towns because they’re worried about traffic and housing prices. So if Amazon moves to Loudoun, which they’re going to move, we have to think about that, how we can do it. A lot of data centers are in Loudoun, in our district.
Cindy: Do you think that the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney should eliminate the use of cash bail?
Sharafat: I’ve heard that some, but I don’t want to make any any comment. But if our County or our Board of Supervisors–I love Phillip Randall, I love her. If anything goes against Loudoun, our Board of Supervisors, I’m with them. If they’re opposed, I’m opposed.
Cindy: That doesn’t really answer the question.
Sharafat: Why not? Because everything has to do with our Board of Supervisors, right, in Loudoun?
Cindy: Well, no, this is the Commonwealth’s Attorney, it’s their own decision what to do. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Board of Supervisors.
Sharafat: I don’t want to make any comment now on that, since I’m in the firehouse primary mode, and doing a lot of things. So I’m going to pause on this for now.
Cindy: Are there any solutions to the commutes and tolls in your district?
Sharafat: I went to the Governor’s house twice three months ago to two different events at the mansion. I talked personally with the Governor about the I-66 toll, and he said he will work on that. I like byways, like from Battlefield to Route 7 all the way up to the Dallas town center and also up to 66 now, is I think one or two. So we don’t have any lights from Battlefield to Dulles Town Center. Removing the lights, that can reduce a lot of congestion.
Cindy: Is there anything else that you wanted to bring up that I haven’t asked and that you think is important for people to know about your race?
Sharafat: I want to love my wife, I love my daughter, I want to say great things about my leaders, I’ve been working with them very proudly. I found a lot of nice Democrats in Loudoun County Democratic Committee and the 33rd district. I love the district, and that’s all. I thank everybody including you. I want you to pray for me, and help me out to get the nomination and beat the Republican, like blue everywhere blue!