Life is about ‘showing up’

Shortly after my campaign for Congress concluded, I sat down with Ed Gillespie to talk about his upcoming run for governor and what he wanted to do for our commonwealth. In that meeting, I saw what former President Bush must have seen when he asked Ed to join his White House staff, a kind, thoughtful, and insightful man, who understood firsthand the problems facing average Virginians. Growing up in a solid middle class family, Ed learned early the value of hard work and perseverance. What has followed has been an all-American story that has seen the grandson of an immigrant janitor go on to great success in business and government.

All of that is remarkable, but why does it make Ed the right man to be our next governor? Well let’s take a look at his proposals for looking after agriculture, an issue near and dear to those of us here in rural Virginia, but also an integral part of the commonwealth’s economy representing nearly 10 percent of our gross domestic product, $70 billion in economic impact, and over 334,000 jobs. As governor, Ed Gillespie will work members of the general assembly, like Delegate Webert, to reduce regulations on farmers, push through tax relief for small business owners, and appoint a Joint Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development, who will work across departments to ensure coordination of economic development efforts across agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture industries in the commonwealth. In short, he will unlock the economic potential of our family farmers and ensure agriculture continues to play the important role in Virginia, as it has for over 300 years.

I don’t know Ralph Northam outside of what I have seen on television and read on his website. While he seems a good and decent man, his policy positions are not representative of most Virginians, and he does not appear to have the vision or the will to take on the challenges facing the commonwealth. It has been said that 80 percent of life is showing up. Ed Gillespie is a man who has shown up for his friends, his neighbors, and his country time and again, and so I ask all of you to show up and vote for Ed on November 7th.

Joe Whited

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