As we all know, the contest in VA-11 features 2 political all stars: Keith Fimian and Pat Herrity. I recently had the chance to interview Pat Herrity about his race for Congress in the 11th District.
Let’s start with the most basic question. Why run for Congress?
Our nation is at a crossroads. We need to get back on track. I’ve spent most of my life supporting conservative principles here in Fairfax County, and I can’t sit ideally by as Congress takes our Country in the wrong direction.
What is Gerry Connolly vulnerable on? What are you offering instead?
Well there are many things that he’s vulnerable on, but I’ll just start with a few things:
He’s completely out of touch with the district. He’s not the pro-business moderate that he ran on two years ago. He’s voted 97% of the time with Nancy Pelosi. Also, He’s not listening to his constituents. 70% of people did not want Obamacare, and he voted along with Democrats in Congress to pass it.
He’s helping take the country the wrong way in the wrong direction. Citizens want to see the country get back on track. I’ve got a proven record of cutting government spending, and balancing budgets. I’ve been a conservative leader on the Board of Supervisors.
What will keep this district from going back and forth from Democratic and Republican control every 2 years?
I always been about common sense solutions. We live in one of the most educated and affluent districts in the country. I think the residents of the 11th district just want common sense solutions. The hallmark of my 2 and a half years of service on the Board of Supervisors has been my constant communication and connection with constituents. I’m going to take that to Congress. The majority of the people in this district didn’t want Obamacare, but Gerry Connolly voted for it anyways.
How confident are you that you can compete with Gerry Connolly and possibly win in the Fall?
I ran for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors shortly after the 2008 election. I went from being a 10 point underdog to 1% away from winning. I ran on a message on issues that people care about and came close to winning 2 weeks after Barack Obama’s Inauguration. During that race, while I lost county-wide, I won the 11th district by 10%.
I plan on using a similar strategy of running on a message of common sense solutions to issues that people care about.
What is your response to the recent Fimian poll that showed him ahead by 13 points?
I take it with a very large grain of salt. Last year he cited polls that showed him down by 3 points before the election, yet lost by 12 points. He hasn’t released any other information about his poll. It hasn’t jived with what I’ve been hearing going door-to-door. When we released our poll, we opened it to reporters so they could look at it and make sure it wasn’t a push poll. I have no idea of knowing whether or not their poll was a push poll.
How to you respond to the accusation that you raised taxes?
There’s line between being deceitful and just lying. Keith is using Connolly math. Gerry Connolly dropped the tax rate when he was Chairman, but people paid double in taxes. That was a tax increase.
I have not increased taxes on the average Fairfax County family. As a matter of fact, the average Fairfax family paid about $550 less than in previous years. I’ve been a conservative leader – I’m the one with a record of cutting spending. I took on gatehouse. I voted against 2 out of 3 of the budgets. Even on the ones I voted against, they still have my spending cuts in there that I proposed.
Why the change in tide from 2008 to 2010?
Congress has taken the country the wrong way and in the the wrong direction. People understand that spending is out of control. People understand that its businesses that create jobs. 70% of people opposed Obamacare, yet they passed it anyways. People have had enough and its time for a change.
There you go! Don’t forget to vote in the primary on June 8th. For more information, visit http://patherrity.com