Sterling, Va.–Before an audience of 40 supporters and concerned residents at Park View High School, both Del. Tom Rust and Stevens Miller squared off to prove which candidate will best represent the 86th District in Richmond. The debate began shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday night and was moderated by Sheldon Pratt, who introduced both candidates without their official titles. Del. Rust opened by touting his endorsements.
The first question posed to the candidates was about whether or not they would raise the gas tax. Miller ducked the question, but brings up a local income tax for Northern Virginia as a suggestion to raise revenue. Rust called for more transportation funding, which caused rebuttal amongst the candidates.
Of course, it goes without saying that the next question focused on the abuser fees, and Miller attacked Rust on his support for the abuser fees, then calls for change, as well as bashing the toll road. Both candidates want to use the revenue from the tolls to fund the rail to Dulles.
After talking about transportation, the debate then turned to the state budget. Rust said everything was on the table, while Miller claimed that he lowered property taxes as Dulles district Supervisor on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The claim by Miller is untrue, as pointed out in previous posts.
Lastly, there was a question which focused on the increase of gangs and crime in Sterling. This question asked each candidate what they planned to do to stop this problem. Miller stated that he does not think “enhanced law enforcement” is the answer. Rust discussed his record of protecting the community against gang violence.