With all of the news and noise emanating from Washington, D.C., it can be easy to miss a big event happening in our own backyard: the 2017 Virginia Governor’s Election. With less than two weeks until Election Day, the time is now for University of Richmond students to pay attention to the race that pits Republican Ed Gillespie against Democrat Ralph Northam.

The UR College Republicans believe that the student body and Virginia would be well served by electing Gillespie as Governor on November 7.

Gillespie has a compelling life story. The son of an Irish immigrant, he worked his way up from a job parking cars in the Senate lot to eventually serving as counselor to President George W. Bush. 

As Gillespie often says on the campaign trail, only in America can you go from living in another country to working for the president of the United States in two generations. Increasing opportunity and restoring the promise of upward economic mobility — no matter the station of one’s birth — is central to Gillespie's pledge to be a “governor for all Virginians.”

Gillespie is running an idea-driven, solution-oriented campaign focused on restoring Virginia’s economic competitiveness. Virginia currently ranks 39th out of 50 states in economic growth, and Gillespie knows that we can do better. He is looking to get Virginia’s economy moving again by repealing regulations and taxes that have stunted economic growth and decreased productivity. 

In addition to proposing to cut the state income tax by 10 percent, Gillespie has also promised to tackle the trickier problems facing Virginia, including the opioid crisis in the western part of the state and college debt facing students after graduation. While all the other side wants to talk about is statues of dead people, Gillespie is focusing on the issues that affect Virginians on a day-to-day basis.

Gillespie's opponent in the race, Ralph Northam, is a decent man with a record of public service. He is not, however, someone who deserves a promotion from Lt. Gov. to the oldest governorship in America. While Gillespie has visited every corner of Virginia, from Appalachia in the Southwest to the Tidewater region, “no show” Northam has largely confined himself to his wealthy donor base in Northern Virginia. While Gillespie has laid out 19 detailed policy proposals for how he would improve Virginia, Northam has yet to release one, and this is not fair to the voters being asked for their support.

Gillespie is a practical, reform conservative who will make a fine governor of Virginia. Nearly upsetting Senator Mark Warner in 2014 when he was projected to lose by double-digits is a testament to the trust Gillespie has built with Virginia voters and his strength as a candidate.

The UR College Republicans endorse Ed Gillespie for governor, and we encourage UR students to go out and vote for him on November 7.

Contact University of Richmond College Republicans Chair Mason Zadan at mason.zadan@richmond.edu.

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Collegian.

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