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Meet the Candidates for Governor: Republican Corey Stewart

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Corey Stewart is the Chairman of the Board in Prince William County, the second largest  county in Virginia. A Tea Party Republican, he’s a strong proponent of gun rights, a passionate opponent of abortion, and - in an election some view as a referendum on Donald Trump - Stewart told Sandy Hausman he’s definitely in the President’s corner.

Stewart: The economy is doing very, very well.  The stock market is setting new records.  He is rolling back nonsensical regulations, including the Paris climate accord which I think was a real damaging regulation on American businesses.  It did not have the same level of restriction on India and China, and so we were at a competitive disadvantage, and I think we’ve seen the results over the past several years where so many businesses are moving to China, to India, and many people have lost their jobs because of it - especially in Southside Virginia and Southwest Virginia.”

Hausman: And as governor of Virginia what would you do about those cities on the south side, those smaller towns that are suffering?

Stewart:  As governor I would cut taxes from 5.75% to 4.75%.  We would bring in broadband.  I’m going to bring back the coal tax credit, and we’re going to build out the Coalfields Expressway.  That’s going to help not just in Southwest Virginia but throughout Southside as well, and there’s a way to do it without increasing taxes.

Hausman: What’s that?

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President Donald Trump and Corey Stewart

Stewart: We’ve got to reduce spending in other areas.

Hausman:  Along those same lines, do you see spending more on higher education and on schools in general?

Stewart: Well I think we’ve got a problem.  The more we spend on higher ed, the more tuition goes up.  What I will do is cap tuition but also will, through my appointments to the boards of visitors, require the universities to shift more of their focus to technical education. These businesses are crying out for people with technical education.

Hausman:  So building new roads, bringing back coal, and what about those pipelines?  What’s your position there?

Stewart:  I’m not against the pipeline per se, but what I am against are the pipeline companies using eminent domain authority to trample on people’s property rights, because the state has ceded that power over to Dominion and other private monopolies, and they have used that power to really strip people of their property rights, give them next to nothing for, in some cases, almost destroying their whole property.

Hausman: Do you have any campaign contributions from Dominion?

Stewart:  No, and I never will!

Hausman:  You’ve been pretty vocal about the subject of illegal immigration, and I wonder if you’d like to see state police cooperating more fully with ICE.

Stewart:  Yes, absolutely.  I’m the only one who will require state police and every local jail in Virginia to cooperate with federal authorities in identifying every single person who’s been arrested for a crime, and if they’re here illegally we send them over to ICE for deportation.

Hausman:  The Virginia legislature is beginning to look at what it might mean to decriminalize marijuana.  I’m wondering what your thoughts might be on that.

Stewart:  I’m not for legalization, but I am for decriminalization.  I’ve had relatives who were jailed in some cases for 30 days because they simply were caught with a marijuana cigarette. I don’t think that’s good for the person who spends time in jail.  I don’t think it’s good for taxpayers, and I don’t think it’s a good use of law enforcement resources. 

Hausman:  Do you feel like your lack of state government experience is an issue at all? 

Stewart:  No.  In fact, I’m very proud of the fact that I’m not part of the problem in Richmond.  I’m not part of the establishment.  I’m an outsider, but I have governing experience.  No other Republican whom I’m running against right now has been able to win not just once, not just twice but four times in Northern Virginia, countywide, in a district that has almost a half million people.  So if you’re looking for a winner, and you’re looking for someone who’s strong, who has actually governed and done things, then I’m your guy.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
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