RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The competitive race for the 7th Congressional District is getting national attention. The last two polls show the race between Republican Dave Brat and Democrat Abigail Spanberger is very close. And it’s been filled with drama.
District 7 includes Goochland, Henrico, and part of Chesterfield. It’s been held by a Republican since 1971. But analysts say this year it’s a “toss up” and the candidates are spending millions on attack ads. We cut through the ads and each candidate where they really stand.
Republican Congressman Dave Brat is the former economics professor who ousted Majority Leader Eric Cantor. If re-elected, his top priority is making the new federal tax cuts permanent.
Said Brat, “Let’s make it permanent, not only for c-corps for s-corps, for individuals, and keep the economy growing. We’re growing at 4.2 unemployment for African American women, unemployment, all time low, kids, Hispanics everybody, it’s decades low.”
He says he wants to cut spending to balance the budget, secure the border while providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, and he says the Affordable Care Act needs to be fixed to cut premiums and deductibles.
“I think we want to move forward using free markets, lowering prices for healthcare, and keep the economy moving. We provide care for pre-existing conditions, and the best thing you can do for Social Security and Medicare is to have a growing economy,” Brat said.
Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger is a former CIA officer who wants consumers to be able to buy health coverage through Medicare X, a step she says toward universal healthcare.
Explained Spanberger, “It’s a way to bring greater access to health care coverage that people can choose to buy into. It isn’t mandatory. But it would ideally put down pressure on prices because it would allow greater access to health care.”
She wants give Dreamers and DACA recipients a path to citizenship, says she opposes safe havens for violent criminals, and wants more mental health care and background checks on all gun purchases to help prevent mass shootings.
Said Spanberger, “There are some people who are considered to be prohibited buyers, and the best way for us to be able to enforce those laws is to know who is attempting to buy a firearm.”
Libertarian Joe Walton has served on the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors. His top goals are to stay in touch with constituents, oversight of the executive branch, and immigration reform.
Said Walton, “Modernizing immigration, the DACA folks, putting a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals. But also a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship.”
Walton wants to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage for pre-existing conditions and adult children on their parents' policies.
He explained, “We need to allow folks to stay on their insurance as young folks through their 20′s, and more importantly, we need to continue to work toward an economy that does not link health insurance to your employer.”
Midterm elections are Tuesday, November 6.