Virginians vote in close election

Sallie Sledd

“The people have spoken and
that’s what it’s all about,” US government
teacher Justin Godard said.
Citizens of Virginia and District
7 voiced their opinions on Tuesday,
November 4.
Virginians chose between three
candidates who ran to be one of
their representatives in the Senate.
The selection of candidates included
Democrat Mark Warner, Republican
Ed Gillespie and Libertarian
Robert Sarvis.
Warner, the incumbent candidate,
beat his challengers in the
election by a hair.
The Democrat reached a total
of 1,071,283 votes. His competitor,
Gillespie, came in close second with
1,054,556 votes. Thus Warner won
by only 16,727 votes, a very close
race.
Chris Pace, another government
teacher at HHS, was glad that the
Republicans took back control of
the Senate.
“Not necessarily because I’m a
Republican, but now the Congress
will be able to send bills back to the
president,” Pace said, “The whole
election is kind of a shot at the president.”
Senator Warner’s win in this
election could potentially help out
college students in Virginia.
He has introduced a bipartisan
education reform package to ease
the burden of student loans and
make college more affordable for
Virginians.
Warner is working on legislation
to allow graduates to pay a percentage
of their income until their loans
are repaid, to protect graduates during
periods of unemployment or low
earnings.
In Warner’s opinion, the steady
rise in student loan debt will cause
the country’s next economic crisis,
something this legislation could
prevent.
His plan to assist families in better
managing college expenses could
benefit HHS students by giving them
the ability to receive a higher education
without being overwhelmed
by student loans that usually accompany
attending college.
Warner also co-sponsored the
Computer Science Education and
Jobs Act, a proposal that will promote
and increase computer science
and STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) education
for all Virginia students.
STEM education exposes students
interested in these fields, which
continue to grow every day, to the
endless job possibilities.
District 7 had three candidates
running for the House of Representatives.
Republican Dave Brat, Democrat
Jack Trammell, and Libertarian
James Carr.
Brat beat his opponents with a total
of 147,897 votes. Trammell followed
behind with 89,793 and Carr
with 5,347.
One of the most shocking things
about Brat’s win occurred back in
May in the Primary Election. He
beat Eric Cantor, who had been Virginia’s
previous House Representative
for years.
The chances of Cantor not being
re-elected were slim, but this
showed how people can change
what the expected outcome is.
For the past 18 years, Brat has
been an economist and an educator.
He opposes top-down approaches
by the federal government such as
Common Core and No Child Left
Behind.
His plan is to continue to support
efforts in placing the teachers, parents,
and local officials of Virginia,
who best understand the needs of
the community, in control of our
education system.
Brat opposes any efforts made to
limit the right to bear arms. He believes
that the right to keep and bear
arms is a fundamental right which
is preserved in the constitution for
a reason.
This is an important stance for
the people of Virginia, who are passionate
about their guns.
Godard wished there would have
been a higher turnout overall.
“If you stay at home and don’t
participate, it really does have an
impact,” said Godard, “It was an exciting
race because you had two sort
of non-incumbent challengers that
brought new faces to government.”

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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