There are now six days until Election Day and as of yesterday, 688,302 Virginians have voted early. That’s according to data collected by the Virginia Public Access Project. About a tenth of that number comes from the Fifth District where Democrat Josh Throneburg is looking to unseat Republican first-term incumbent Bob Good.
The written version of the newsletter will have have a few quotes. You can hear the whole answers in the podcast version of the newsletter. Between now and them, I’ll have one question per day.
Today, opening statements from both candidates. Let’s begin with Bob Good, who served on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors before his election to the House of Representatives in 2020.
“I have been very active in the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance going back some 17 years since I moved back to Lynchburg,” Good said. “For those who don’t know, I grew up in the Lynchburg area. I attended Liberty University for my undergraduate finance degree and my MBA shortly thereafter. I worked with Citi Group for 17 years and then 15 years at Liberty as the chief fundraiser for the athletics department.”
“What I’m most proud of during my time in Congress would be how we have lead with constituent service and case work,” Good continues. “We have resolved over 3,000 cases for the citizens of the Fifth District and helped recover over $14 million that was owed to constituents of the Fifth District by their federal government. That doesn’t mean we went up to Washington and got money to bring home to the district, per se. What it means is that they were owed money by the [Internal Revenue Service], the [Veterans’ Administration], Medicare, or some other federal agency and they reached out to a Congressional office for help. We’re currently working some 700 cases right now.”
Good said a majority of cases involve veterans. He also said there has been another 50,000 in written responses to community members asking questions.
This will be the first election under the new boundaries for Virginia’s Congressional Districts.
“We’re excited about the redistricting of the Fifth which will make a lot more sense geographically for the constituents,” Good said. “I think the Supreme Court did a good job there in starting over there with the districts which just make more geographic sense and allows the constituents to have their representative closer to them, hopefully more visible and more frequently in their respective city or county and I think they got it right in the Fifth District. We hate that we’re losing the areas we are but excited about the areas we are picking up. Now we’re kind of three hours end to end instead of five hours end to end which is just better to keep communities of interest together.”
Next, Democrat Josh Thronenburg had his chance to introduce himself.
“I live in Charlottesville with my wife and my two daughters,” Throneburg said. “My background is I grew up in a farming community in rural Illinois out in those cornfields that go forever and those tiny towns that dot them. That’s where I grew up, Loved it. Farming and agricultural community and it’s wonderful. My family also had a small business. My grandfather and his brother started a small grain elevator that kind of grew over time and became a pretty substantial business in our community.”
“I have spent most of my life, my vocational life, as a pastor,” Throneburg continued. “I am an ordained minister and that is what I have loved doing and have spent many many years, 15 years or so, pastoring in a local church and that’s been wonderful. My wife and I have also owned a small business here in Charlottesville and enjoyed that. That’s my basic story.”
“I think what inspired me to run for Congress is that as a parent the thing you want most in this world is for you kids to have a future that is healthy and safe and equitable and flourishing,” Throneburg said. “That’s what you want and I think there are a lot of things in our country where the trajectory of certain things is concerning to a parent, especially as you can probably tell, I’m a white male but everyone else in my family are women and they’re all women of color. My oldest daughter is adopted from Haiti and my youngest daughter is biracial because my wife is Korean-American. You want to make sure that what they are walking into is a world where they can grow and flourish and I think that there are some threats to that and that’s really what inspired my candidacy.”
This series will continue in the next newsletter. Other topics include national defense, regulation and taxation, workforce development, public safety, public health, and the role of higher education.
Thank you to the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce for permission to use the audio and the two other for participating.
Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the November 2, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.