17th District Race Could Tip Balance of Power in Virginia Senate

November 4, 2011

It's one of the closest watched and most expensive races in Virginia this election year. Sen. Edd Houck has represented Virginia's 17th District for 28 years, but Republican challenger Bryce Reeves is giving him a run for his money thanks to lots of dollars from Governor Bob McDonnell and the Republican Party.

Like many elections this year, the biggest issues are jobs and the economy. Houck points to his track record and Virginia's relatively low unemployment rate as reasons he deserves your vote.

“I think the key is to hold on to those basic elements that make Virginia a business-friendly state,” he explained. “Our right to work laws, our AAA bond rating, the fact that we are a low tax state, I think we've got the right ingredients. It's just a tough task during the recession particularly.”

Meanwhile, Reeves says his background as a business owner would bring a new perspective to the General Assembly.

“Three things I look at as a business owner are stability, flexibility and predictability. If I can plan my year out as I do each quarter from estimated quarterly taxes and all those things, when I go to Richmond I'll look at legislation in that prism of stability, flexibility and predictability,” said the challenger.

When it comes to supporting higher education, Reeves focuses on working within the budget and encouraging universities to “optimize their dollar and debt” and refinance capitol improvement loans. Contrarily, Houck is quick to call for more funding for education.

“We put $50 million in this past session. More funding is needed because we're seeing the state's share continues to be diminished, which means universities rely more on tuition, which in turn makes it out of reach of more middle class parents and students,” he said.

Republicans only need to win three seats to take control of the Senate.

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