This week I had the privilege of interviewing Virginia congressional candidate Jeff Dove, who is running to be the 11th district’s next congressman. Dove is an Army veteran, and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was awarded the Combat Action Badge. Dove and his family currently reside in Woodbridge, Virginia.
VA-11 is a tough district for a Republican to win. How do you plan to campaign differently than previous GOP candidates?
There’s no question that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 11th District. It was drawn that way deliberately. It hasn’t done a single thing to make the lives of the people in Northern Virginia better. I’m reaching out to the majority in the district who haven’t received real representation on the issues that matter to them. They care about jobs, transportation, infrastructure, and the core values that the people of Northern Virginia share. I’m not a career politician. I haven’t spent my life on the government payroll. I’m going to refocus voters here on the fact that they need a congressman who represents the district, not liberal party leaders. This election is bigger than politics.
I’m going to lay out some plans on how a member of Congress should make the lives of citizens in the district better. We need to champion the cause of personal privacy and safety – things such as legislation to protect citizens from identity theft. I think a member of congress in this district should champion transportation upgrades. It’s ridiculous that our citizens spend so much time on work commutes that should be shorter, safer, and allow them to spend more time at home with their families. There’s no such thing as quality time on a Beltway commute. These are quality of life issues. Residents of the 11th District spend too much on taxes for too little in real-life services from their representative.
You’ve written an op-ed in support of Ed Gillespie for Governor this fall. If Republicans fail to win the governorship this November, it could set them back for decades in our state with its blue shift. Why is it important to win and how do you think Gillespie can achieve that?
I’m all in for Ed Gillespie. He’s a kid who grew up above a family store and worked his way into important positions. Ed understands how government works, but more important, he understands what Virginia needs. He’ll put a stop to the outflow of jobs to other, more business-friendly states by making our own state a great place to set up shop. And with the both of us in office, the 11th District will not only have the ear of Washington, but they’ll have the ear of Richmond. That’s a potent combination for progress and public service.
How can you work with Washington to make sure the voice of Virginians are heard?
One thing that I can promise the people of the 11th district is that I am going to be fully committed to working for them. I’ll focus on practical solutions for the needs of the district. You won’t find me wasting taxpayer time on the foreign affairs committee. The job of a member of the House of Representatives is to work for people here at home.
Virginians are passionate about education, jobs, and the economy. What would you say to those in the working class who feel left behind by the Washington elite?
The solution here is simple: serve a limited number of terms laser-focused on results at home, not climbing the party ladder. Incumbent congressman Gerry Connolly recently called Congressional offices “princely courts.” Think about the elitist mentality that informs that sort of worldview. We haven’t had a monarch since 1776, and we don’t need any princes.
You are a veteran of the U.S. Army. How do you think the issues plaguing the VA can be solved? If elected, what would you do to ensure that veterans’ voices are heard?
When I served in combat, our first rule was this: nobody is left behind. That ethos needs to be carried from the battlefield to the homefront when our warriors come home. The current administration is making VA employees accountable. This pressure needs to come from Congress, too. Veterans tell me about the dismissive attitude they encounter at the VA – being treated as if they’re the problem. That’s unacceptable. The VA needs a reboot from top to bottom, starting with its technology, so that nobody is lost in the system.