Announcement of Candidacy
"Good morning and thank you for being here. Over the past couple of months I have been extremely humbled as many people - from all over Northern Virginia, from different communities and from different political parties - have encouraged me to run for the 11th District Congressional seat so that I can bring the same record of conservative, fiscally responsible, common sense leadership to Congress that I have brought to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. After speaking with my family and carefully considering this important decision I have decided to run for the 11th Congressional District seat.
For those of you that do not know me, I was elected Springfield District Supervisor in November 2007 after over 25 years of active business, sports and civic leadership. I live in the Centerville/Clifton area with my wife of 20 years, Nancy, and my teenage son Sean and daughter Valeria. Raised in Fairfax County, I am a 1978 graduate of West Springfield High School and received a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Virginia Tech in 1982.
When I joined the Board of Supervisors in 2008, spending and taxes in Fairfax County were out of control. Property taxes had doubled in the previous seven years and spending had increased $1 billion over inflation and population growth. The county's housing bureaucracy was so out of control that the government had become among the county's largest landlords and was subsidizing housing for families making over $100,000 dollars a year.
Since joining the Board of Supervisors I have successfully led the charge to reign in our out of control spending and focus our government on core functions. Two years ago, at the start of our current financial crisis, my colleagues on the Board, including our sitting 11th District Congressman, insisted on passing a budget that included only a paltry amount of cuts and a tax rate increase. I presented an alternative budget that included a real reduction in spending and contained something that had been unheard of in recent times in Fairfax County: a tax bill decrease for our residents.
This budget laid the groundwork for last year's budget where we began to fix the county's spending problem. After a decade of reckless and out of control spending, last year, in a bi-partisan fashion, we reduced spending for the first time in recent memory, cutting almost $100 million out of the county budget. We also were able to close our $650 million shortfall without raising the average tax bill in the county or cutting the services most important to our citizens.
In community and civic service, as a business leader, and now as an elected official I've also been a leader on transportation. For example, I have been leading efforts for short term and long term solutions for I-66, a critical corridor that has been ignored by Fairfax County leaders for far too long.
I've been a leading voice in making sure we focus our education resources on our teachers, students and classrooms. Unfortunately over the past decade the philosophy in this county has become one where we place a higher priority on administrative staff and administrative office buildings than on our teachers in the classroom. I've led the charge to change the equation on the school budget by calling for a much needed reduction in administrative expenses so that we can direct more resources into the classroom which will directly benefit our teachers and students and allow us to retain the programs most important to our children and school system.
I am extremely proud of all that I have accomplished in my two years on the Board of Supervisors and I very much enjoy serving in local government. But as I look across the river to Washington D.C. and I see the decisions being made by this Congress, I am truly frightened for the future of our country. Simply put, I believe our country is at a crossroads. The Federal Government is on a dangerous and unsustainable course. Congress should be focused on reigning in out of control spending, lowering taxes, and creating jobs. Instead, Congress is focused on advancing an out of touch, liberal government based agenda that is only making the situation worse.
I stand here today as a candidate because the taxes being raised, the health care policies being levied and the changes in tax codes are disproportionally going to affect the citizens of the 11th District. Our sitting Congressman has been a part of the leadership team that has delivered the massive spending and reckless attacks on the citizens of the 11th District.
• Where was he when we needed him on the irresponsible $800 billion stimulus bill that has done little to create jobs and will be financed on the backs of our children?
• Where was he when we needed him on the cap and trade bill, which is nothing more than a tax increase on his own constituents?
• Where was he on the health care bill, which is a reckless bill that will harm middle class families and raise taxes on many of Northern Virginia's small businesses while failing to provide quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans?
• And where will he be when we need him on Card Check, a bill that would fundamentally change our global competitiveness and take away a worker's right to a secret ballot?
Gerry Connolly is on the wrong side of all of these issues. Although he ran as a moderate, Congressman Connolly has spent his time in Washington representing Nancy Pelosi's agenda instead of representing the people of the 11th district. As president of the freshmen class, Congressman Connolly has voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time. We need a Congressman who will go to work every day to represent the interests of the people of the 11th district and not those of Nancy Pelosi.
We need a Congressman in the 11th District who won't be a rubber stamp for an out of touch liberal agenda. We need a Congressman who understands that the Federal Government can't be all things to all people. We need a Congressman who understands that we must reign in the Federal Government's out of control spending so that we do not saddle our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt that will limit their opportunities and prosperity. As the only candidate in this race with a demonstrated record of fiscal responsibility, I am that person.
It is clear that now more than ever we need a Congressman in the 11th District who understands fiscal responsibility and can read and comprehend a balance sheet. As a lifelong Fairfax County resident who has been a leader in numerous government, civic, and business associations, I have shown a strong commitment to the community and to public service and I possess a deep understanding of Northern Virginia and the issues we face. I will be a leader who provides the vision and common sense solutions to ensure our future success.
I can not sit idle in this pivotal moment in our country's history. That is why over the next few weeks and months I will be bringing my message to all corners of the district and working as hard as possible to earn the votes of the citizens of the 11th District."