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Votes

Mark Calhoun — 40th District

Special Election

<lst>Name: Mark Andrew Calhoun

Party Affiliation: Independent.

Age: 33

Family: One brother, Craig.

Town of Residence: Centreville.

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in history, Christendom College, Front Royal, 1999; associate of arts degree, Brevard Community College, Melbourne, Fla., 1993.

Occupation: Newspaper Distributor.

Web site: www.markcalhoun.com.

What do you believe are the major issues in the 40th District? I believe the central issues in the 40th District are primarily the same as those of the state and the nation. In short, I believe that the proper role and rights of the human person and the pursuit of justice are the most important issues in our society. Respect for human life, chiefly threatened by abortion but increasingly by euthanasia and embryo manipulation, is therefore a main issue. Additionally, the right to use effective means for self-defense, the right of a parent to send their children to the school of their choice free from economic infringement, and the right of individuals to provide for their retirement security independent of government solvency are close runners up. The General Assembly must take care not to impede the exercise of individual freedoms, whether through physical or financial coercion, for the government is for the individual, not vice versa. This is not to say that it should not step in to help those who have fallen on hard times, for the capitalist economy, despite its foundation in human freedom, falls short of curing all ills. The furtherance of justice is the second most crucial element in our society. The General Assembly must approve laws which further the common good, not political careers, and choose state judges who deal out justice equitably and with an eye to the needs of the individual person. In summary, by avoiding what it should not do, and effectively performing what it should, the General Assembly will be assisting the 40th District, Virginia and the nation to the greatest degree humanly possible. All those lesser issues which remain, and new ones which will arise, will be more creatively and effectively resolved as a result of this proper response to the most central issues.

What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office? I believe my whole life’s experience will prove to be beneficial should I be called upon to serve the residents of the 40th District as their delegate. My qualifications include civic volunteer experience, higher education in related fields and a wide variety of real-world work experience. I have assisted local residents on the neighborhood level through my homeowners association and Neighborhood Watch, on the county level as a representative on the 2001 Area Plans Review (APR) Task Force which made recommendations on zoning changes, and as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy right after I graduated from high school. I have also taken several college courses in government and have acquired my bachelor's degree in history. But more importantly, I have experience working at various jobs, some menial and some intellectual, some as the supervised one, and some as the supervisor, and the experience, skills, habits and character traits which I gained from working were more crucial to my development than any degree of book learning. I may have already forgotten half of what I’ve read in my life, but I don’t believe I’ve forgotten the lessons one learns from hard work.

How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent? I will leave this for the voters to decide.

If I'm elected, I will … If I'm elected, I will do the duty the public will have assigned to me, that is to represent them and strive for their common good and the common good of all Virginians. With their assistance, I will be always mindful that the power I wield is not mine outright, but is on loan from God, and has been entrusted to me by the people, so that I may properly serve their needs.

Why should people vote for you? People should vote for whomever they believe is the best candidate, whomever will strive to do what is right, regardless of pressures to the contrary, and has an educated conscience able to discern right from wrong in complicated situations. Such an individual needs to be humble enough to listen to even the most seemingly insignificant among us, in order to better educate himself or herself on the circumstances involved in his or her decision. Coupled with experience dealing with people, and a grasp of the issues, this person will be prepared to serve the public effectively. If the electorate chooses this type of person, they will be the winners this election. I believe I am this type of person, and I believe a vote for me is a winning choice.