Charles West is the Libertarian candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 91. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 2.
Candidate: Charles West
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 91
Biography: Charles West is a 26-year-old from Hampton. He has lived in the Hampton Roads region his whole life. He has been a carpenter for 6 years, working on critical infrastructure and defense projects across the region. West graduated from Tabb High School in Yorktown in 2013 before continuing, while working, to attain his associates of science in social studies from Hampton’s Thomas Nelson Community College in 2019.
This year is his first foray into politics, and he has said he is running this year because he is “tired of being forced to choose from the least-worst on offer,” and he maintains the first job of government is to protect the freedom and enforce the rights of the people. If elected, he wants to make school choice more widely available, protect Virginian gun owners while working to reduce violence in our area, keep the police and state government accountable, and reduce the artificial barriers to business success in the Commonwealth.
Why should Virginians elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
Hamptonians and Bull Islanders alike should vote for West if they are tired of seeing the officials they elect to represent them work as cogs in the political machine instead of working for the better of our community.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
If elected, we hope to bring term limits to the Virginia House of Delegates. We want to make it easier for families to choose their children’s education and ensure every officer in the Commonwealth is wearing a camera on their chest.
What is the most important issue facing your district, and what is your position on it?
The most important issue facing our district is the way in which the initiative to govern is taken away from our communities and given to Richmond. The Commonwealth then tries to govern in a “one-size-fits-all” manner, often doing right by no one in the process. This shows in many ways, from the challenges in education, to the way we are policed, to the way we are taxed. I believe the state government is swelling in the same manner the federal government has, and we must get back to the people instead of the agendas.
What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?
While it is incumbent on the government to educate the citizenry about the hazards we face, it is not in their purview to mandate things like masks and business closures and then back them up by force. If it were me, I would want the Virginia government be looked to as a source of help instead of a threat or burden.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
- The sudden closure of schools and the public schools’ reaction to it has exposed many dangerous gaps in our educational system, and we can mitigate these risks simply by restructuring how education is funded at the state level.
- The mandates mentioned above have drawn a dangerous rift in the citizenry which, as I was worried it would, has fallen along ideological lines. We must realize that while the government should keep people informed, attempts to force behavior from the populace are ill-advised at best.
- For a long while businesses and services have been restricted by state order. Those families who weren’t able to work from home and who had young children no longer able to attend day care; many of these situations weren’t based on current trends or the best approximation of conditions. They were by state mandate. These types of emergencies do not allow for the rigid policies developed to respond to COVID-19, using them creates “cracks” for people to fall into only deepening the sense of crisis we feel.