The three candidates for the 41st District House of Delegates seat don’t see eye-to-eye on what the top priorities of voters in the Fairfax, West Springfield and Burke-area district are.
Incumbent Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, of Springfield, who was first elected in a special election in 2010, said she has focused on consituent service and tackling issues that are important to her consituents.
“I’m always open to meeting with consituents,” she said, adding, “It’s a great way to get ideas for bills.”
Filler-Corn cited examples like her bill that passed this session requiring physicians to inform women who have dense breast tissue about the increased risk of breast cancer. She also carried bills this past session that would extend voting hours to 8 p.m. and restrict toll transponder fees.
Republican challenger Fredy Burgos, a Burke resident who owns a small contracting business, contends that Filler-Corn has not invested enough energy in the issue he believes voters in the 41st District are the most concerned about — jobs and the economy.
“That is irresponsible, especially at a time when families are trying to make ends meet,” Burgos said.
If elected, Burgos said he would focus on legislation aimed at making it easier for new entrepreneurs to launch businesses in Virginia.
Independent Chris DeCarlo, a City of Fairfax resident who owns Fairfax Propane, has centered all of his campaigns for various elective offices over the last five years on one issue: political corruption and the influence of money in government. This is the No. 2 concern of voters, according to a July 2012 Gallup poll, he said.
The ongoing scandal involving gifts Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) took from a Virginia businessman offers a window into the corruption that exists in government, DeCarlo said.
“This is nothing new,” he said. “For whatever reason, it became more visible this time.”
Filler-Corn agreed that the situation with the governor signifies that Virginia needs to examine its ethics and disclosure laws.
“People are concerned about how it makes Virginia look to the rest of the country,” she said.
Burgos, however, said he doesn’t believe that will solve the problem.
“Adding more laws does not change the behavior of people,” he said.
If re-elected, Filler-Corn said she would reintroduce some bills she tried to pass this session having to do with education-related issues.
One would make it easier for certain students to retake SOL tests. The other would develop an open source digital textbook database for Virginia colleges, an effort to help students save money on textbook fees.
As a member of the Transportation Committee, Filler-Corn said she will also be keeping an eye on the implementation of the transportation funding bill that the General Assembly passed this year.
If he is successful, Burgos said he would focus on issues like removing the fees for taking state licensing tests, something that he said can be a barrier for people looking to improve their economic situation.
Fighting regulations that affect businesses and improving transportation in Northern Virginia are also essential for developing a thriving economy here, he said.