24th District’s John Winfrey visits Bath

On Wednesday, October 25th, the two candidates for the 24th district in the House of Delegates for Virginia were invited to meet in a political forum at the Bath-Highland Recorder’s office. Candidate Ben Cline did not attend, so reporter Geoff Hamill asked the set of questions with Independent candidate John Winfrey. Mr Winfrey lives in Lexington with his wife Barbara, and is a retired professor of Economics from Washington and Lee University. After some introductory personal history, Mr. Winfrey spoke about why he hopes to represent this district in Richmond beginning in January.

“I am running against Ben Cline and Ed Gillespie, basically because they are against something I hold dear, and that is the Medicaid expansion. Now, the Medicaid expansion covers four hundred thousand Virginia families. This is a bill that helps them out. This is true in every state, and thirty-two states do this program, and we decided, in our infinite wisdom, we don’t want it. We’re loosing millions of dollars every day by not joining this program, which many, many red states, as well as blue states are into. It’s just ridiculous really. It’s despicable that they have made this choice for us. And I’m talking about Ben Cline and Ed Gillespie.

Mr. Winfrey acknowledged he knows how important accessible jobs are to people in the Allegheny-Highlands.

“We want start-ups is what we want. We want jobs for everybody, and to get start-ups you have to have a place where they want to go, a place where they see they can get some help. They’ve got start-up benefits; they’ve got small banks that are going to give them loans, they’ve got a community college that is going to give you the kind of jobs that you need, the new kind of jobs.”

He also mentioned listening to the President of Davidson College, where he received his undergraduate degree in economics, reflect on future skills and technology. She had commented to students.

“These people that are freshmen in our college, we have no idea what kind of jobs we’re training you for. Those jobs are being invented everyday, and there will be a whole new set of jobs, when you get educated and get ready for them.”

Before closing the forum, moderator and reporter, Geoff Hamill, asked a question of interest to many in our listening area.

“We have a lot of people concerned with construction of the Dominion pipeline through the county. Would you oppose construction of a project like that through Bath County, or would you support that?”

“Well, I always say, it’s gotta be done the right way. Now, the talking I’ve done to individuals around here, a lot of them are just totally against pipelines, and they don’t see why the governor doesn’t figure that one out. I guess at best, they should go with the pipeline doesn’t just cut through every stream. It would just be impossible to make that safe. When I say to people ‘well, this pipeline has got to be safe; they say, ‘this pipeline that they’ve got going through every stream, they say, it’s impossible to make that safe.”

For more information on Independent candidate, John Winfrey, visit winfreycampaign.com.


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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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