Candidates for Lynchburg-area state senate seat share views at public forum

Published: Jan. 4, 2017 at 9:31 PM EST
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Side-by-side on the same stage, the differences between the three men vying to represent the 22nd district in the state senate were noticeable on issues like raising the minimum wage.

"I will vote against the state imposing any kind of wage limit. That is not the state's duty, job, or responsibility," said Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg)

"People can not live off of $7.25 an hour, so I'm in favor of doing anything that we can take a look at and research," said Ryant Washington (D-Buckingham).

"From a business perspective, we have to decide how to be better and stronger than our competition to survive. If we don't then we lose customers," said Joe Hines (I - Farmville).

Voters in parts of Lynchburg and all of Amherst and Appomattox counties will chose between Peake, Washington, or Hines when they vote in a special election next Tuesday.

During a forum at Hampden-Sydney College Wednesday night, the candidates worked to highlight differences on issues like whether the Virginia Senate should vote to expand access to Medicaid in the commonwealth.

"I can tell you unequivocally that, if you send me to the state senate, I will not vote to expand Medicaid," Peake said.

"I will work hard to ensure people of the 22nd district at least have access to health care," said Washington.

"I would want to take a fresh look at that, provide a fresh perspective from a business perspective, and see does it really work or is it really viable versus it being this big battleground between the two parties," said Hines.

This 22nd district senate seat is open, following former State Senator Tom Garrett's election to Congress. Voters have to chose Garrett's replacement before the General Assembly convenes next Wednesday.

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