HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — We are in the midst of one of the most expensive General Assembly election cycles in recent history. All the seats are up for election — 100 in the House of Delegates and 40 in the state Senate.
Here in Hampton Roads, 10 On Your Side is tracking the truth in the 24th District state Senate race (formerly Senate District 1), which covers all of York County, Poquoson and Williamsburg and parts of James City County and Newport News.
Incumbent Sen. Monty Mason faces Republican challenger and former York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs, who served in that capacity for 23 years and 45 years overall in law enforcement.
The commercial against Diggs goes:
“When you think of a felon who comes to mind? Rapists, murderers, Danny Diggs thinks doctors should be felons.”
Truth Tracker finds that claim FALSE.
Diggs has never served in the General Assembly, nor has he established votes supporting that position.
The commercial continues: ”Diggs promised to pass a sweeping new ban on abortion in Virginia making ob-gyns felons.”
Said Diggs: “I have never vowed that. I’ve never said it. I never texted it. I’ve never written it. It’s not on the internet, and all that is made up stuff.”
10 On Your Side followed up with Diggs’ campaign and asked if he were to be asked to support doctors to be made felons for performing abortions outside the law would he?
Diggs answer was this, through Diggs’ campaign manager Joe Link, and it is unedited:
“So to answer your question, here is Danny’s response, also the link, citing the code section listed below.
“That’s the current law (Virginia code § 18.2-71.) that even my opponent says he supports.
“If ANY doctor performs a procedure that is against the law, they are held accountable administratively and under the law.
“I would need to see the specifics of any legislation before commenting, but I do not believe jail time is the correct course of action except in the most egregious cases.”
It is true Diggs does support greater restrictions on abortion than Mason.
“I’m not for a ban,” Diggs said. “I’m for a limit on abortions up to 15 weeks, and after that, following terrible crimes of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered.”
Mason supports the current law allowing abortions until around week 26, not 15 weeks like Diggs.
Mason’s commercial continues:
“Say no to Danny Diggs, and his extreme agenda.”
We asked Mason whether Digg’s abortion stand at up to 15 weeks to allow an abortion is extreme?
Mason told us:
“It is a reduction of rights. We do not believe you should reduce anyone’s rights. When you start taking away rights, that is extreme.”
Diggs goes further:
“How do I get elected six terms and have the reputation in the community I have by being this extremist?”
Here is part of Diggs’ commercial against Mason:
“WHAT kind of politician supports higher taxes when inflation is soaring? Ask Monty Mason. He voted to double our gas tax and increase our sales taxes.”
Truth Tracker finds that TRUE.
Mason did support higher taxes, but did so to pay for badly needed road projects supported by the Hampton Roads community, and Mason is unapologetic.
“Look, the gas tax, the sales tax, and use tax, the widening of 64 on the Peninsula, the Hampton Roads widening project, and the widening of 64 all the way to Richmond are paid for by those two sources of revenue.”
We mentioned that to Diggs. The Hampton Roads community has firm agreements on which transportation projects to pursue and earmarked taxes to help pay for it,
We asked Diggs whether the taxes used to pay for the roads in Hampton Roads is a legitimate use of taxes?
“We had $5 billion in revenues,” Diggs said. “Certainly some of that money could have been used to build our roads.”
“Diggs is playing both side of the issue,” Mason said. He says, I’m going to cut your taxes, but I love all the projects the money goes to fund. You can’t have it both ways.”
Another Diggs commercial goes after Mason on what appears to be a loose lips statement we were told was with CNU students, and it is audio only,
You can hear Mason say: “That is online parental garbage. The bill says you have to have parental consent. I mean it’s just stupid.”
That is true, Mason did say that.
Does he wish he had not used those words including another time during the recording when he uses the words “parental crap”
“Well, of course, the words were inarticulate,” Mason said.
We asked Mason about the parental crap comment and what he meant by that?
“That was in reference to one particular piece of legislation that had to do with online shopping and e-commerce, and my opponent is using that as the foundation of his campaign,” Mason said.
That is true, and Diggs welcomes the opportunity to talk about it.
“I mean, come on, that was like Terry McAuliffe 2.0,” Diggs said.
That is in reference to Terry McAuliffe during a gubernatorial debate saying that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Many believe that helped lead to his defeat against now Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Coming up next week, another hotly contested race. What’s true? What’s false?
Find out next Monday