Benito Loyola lost the June 2020 primary election to Scott Taylor. Taylor will be named on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 2nd District. Click here to learn more about Taylor.
Candidate Name: Benito Loyola
Race: U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 2nd District
Biography: Ben Loyola is a 30-year U.S. Navy veteran, retired Navy captain, and small business owner.
He was born in Cuba, where his family experienced the horrors of socialism and communism firsthand. Thanks to sacrifices his parents made, they were able to come to America when he was just 2 years old. They arrived with nothing to their name except for the one suitcase they were allowed to take with them.
Ben learned the value of hard work at a very early age, from helping his parents with their small business, to keeping his grades up at school thanks to their encouragement and support. That hard work paid off, and he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, which was followed by a 30-year career in the Navy.
After returning from active duty, Ben started his own small business out of the guestroom in his home. Twenty-nine years later, Loyola Enterprises is still a successful, award-winning engineering firm with over 40 employees and headquartered in Virginia Beach.
Ben and his wife, Gretchen, live in Virginia Beach with their two daughters. They are members of Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church. Ben has been an active community leader since the 1980s and has served in many leadership roles including vice chairman and chairman of the Commonwealth of Virginia Public School Authority, commissioner for the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, and board member of the Virginia Ballet.
He is running for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District so that he can continue serving our country and community.
Why should Virginians elect you to the U.S. House of Representatives?
My entire career has been about working hard and delivering results. I have had a successful military career, a small business which I built out of the guestroom in my home and grew into a successful award-winning engineering firm, and I have a wonderful and supportive family.
I served our country for over 30 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a captain. I served our community as a commissioner for the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission. I served our commonwealth as chair of the Virginia Public School Authority. I want to continue my long history of service by serving the 2nd District in Washington.
I am running for Congress to bring common sense, free market principles, and accountability to Washington, D.C. I will always stand up for our values and our constitutional rights. I will fight for a growing and prosperous economy, better care for our veterans, a strong national defense, and other commonsense policies that will ensure America continues to lead. I am answering the call to serve my country again and I am ready to lead.
What is the most important legislative issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
The most important issue facing Virginia is getting our economy moving again. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I have experienced the challenges of leading a business to succeed in this highly over-regulated climate.
While a lot of us are struggling to navigate the current crisis brought on by COVID-19, small businesses are especially hard hit. We must get them moving again. I know that decreased regulations, pro-growth economic policies, and limited government are what create the right environment for businesses and people to flourish.
After Congress passed the President’s tax cuts, millions of jobs were added, wages increased, and our markets thrived. This can happen again. In Congress, I will fight to protect these successful policies and help our country move forward with bigger, bolder tax and regulatory reform that unleashes America’s entrepreneurial spirit and jump starts the engine of economic growth.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it if elected?
Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District has the highest concentration of military in the country. So
much of our economy in Hampton Roads is dependent on that military presence. The most important challenge facing the Second District is maintaining and strengthening that military presence, which requires strong investment in our national defense.
As a veteran, I understand that a strong national defense is vital to protecting our country. I know from my 30 years of experience in the U.S. Navy that a well-equipped, well-educated and well-trained warrior is what makes the United States military the best in the world. As technology continues to evolve, we must ensure that our military continues to adapt to these needs.
I fully support the efforts that the Trump Administration has taken to expand and fund our military. In Congress, I will champion the funding and advancements in technology our military needs. I will also make sure our veterans are taken care of. As a veteran, I’ve experienced the long wait lines, the burdensome processes, and the unnecessary regulations plaguing our veterans care programs. I will cut the red tape, fix our broken Veterans Administration system, and find workable solutions that will support our nation’s veterans.
In light of Virginia’s recent gun control debates, what, if any, gun laws would you support changing?
Our founding fathers had the wisdom to see why the right to keep and bear arms was so essential to freedom, and that is why they ingrained it in our Constitution. I will always stand up for our Second Amendment rights. The only thing that is going to protect innocent people from a lawless individual with a gun is for lawful individuals to be able to protect themselves and others with guns. We must stop over-regulating and restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities in our healthcare system, our local economy, and our toxic dependence on China.
As a small business owner who screens and proposes healthcare plans for our company employees, I understand the challenges in our healthcare system and believe the best way to reduce costs is to expand free market competition, not undermine it through burdensome over-regulation.
In Congress, I will fight to reduce regulatory barriers that limit competition among healthcare providers. I will also support legislation that further promotes private sector innovation, such as expanding access to telemedicine.
When it comes to our local economy, we must continue to support the many and diverse small businesses in our community. We need a tax and regulatory system that is easier for them to navigate. We must also continue to provide the COVID relief that the hardest-hit sectors of our economy need in order to bounce back.
The coronavirus pandemic and the many drug recalls in recent years expose the vulnerability of American consumers’ dependency on Chinese manufacturing. I’ll work to bring the manufacture of critical antibiotics home and protect the health and safety of Americans. We must bring antibiotic manufacturing back to the U.S. and I will spearhead efforts to do so. Domestic manufacturing is simultaneously a healthcare issue, an economic issue, and a national security issue.
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