State Del. Tom Rust (R-Dist. 86) on June 15 will announce his intentions to seek a fifth term in office representing the 86th district.
So far, he is running unopposed.
“We’re in full campaign mode,” Rust said.
The Republican incumbent has served 35 years in public office, starting on the Herndon Planning Commission in 1971. He served several terms as mayor of Herndon from 1976 to 1984 and from 1990 to 2001.
He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2001. Rust now is a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and vice-chairman of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association. He also sits on the Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s (R) Transportation Task Force.
Rust in his bid for re-election is touting his record on transportation, health care and higher education.
In 2009, Rust secured unanimous approval from the General Assembly on legislation that allowed the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop corridors of statewide significance as part of its transportation planning responsibilities.
The transportation board recently used that authority to declare a portion of Loudoun County as a corridor of statewide significance, which would connect U.S. Route 95 south of Prince William County with Gainesville, Interstate 66, Dulles International Airport and state Route 7 in Leesburg and Interstate 270 in Maryland.
The move raised the ire of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, which voted to not support the plan.
However, Rust said he believes the corridor is a critical need for the state.
“It had a lot of support everywhere for it and I think you will see the Commonwealth Transportation Board judiciously using that authority on more and more transportation corridors. Their responsibility is statewide and that’s what I was trying to do, is to move those kinds of decisions to a statewide level where people were on a board looking at what was best for the Commonwealth and not what was best for Leesburg, or Herndon or Loudoun County. I think it was the right decision,” Rust said.
Rust lists state Route 7, I-66 and Fairfax County Parkway as major transportation corridors that need capacity improvements projects he said he intends to continue working toward funding for if re-elected. Rust said he also intends to work toward more funding for mass transit needs in the region.
“We are about out of space to build more new roads, so I think we’re going to have to have a heavier emphasis on mass transit,” Rust said.
The incumbent said, if re-elected, he intends to hit the ground running to continue building on plans to beef up Virginia’s higher education system through more accountability. Legislators, he said, are working on a funding package that will be tied to the number of students graduating with science, technology, engineering or mathematics degrees and the percentage of graduating freshmen.
“We’re going to change the way higher ed is done in Virginia,” Rust said.