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Votes

Del. Tom Rust (R-86th)

AGE: 64

FAMILY: Wife, Ann; daughter, Robin; stepsons, Douglas and James

CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 913; Herndon, VA 20172

CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-437-1871

E-MAIL: trust@tomrust.org

WEBSITE: www.tomrust.org

OCCUPATION: Civil engineer

EMPLOYMENT: Patton, Harris, Rust & Associates

EDUCATION: B.S. in Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech (1965); M.S. in Public Works Engineering, George Washington University (1978); M.P. in Urban/Environmental Planning, University of Virginia (1989)

QUALIFICATIONS: Served as Herndon's mayor for 19 years; Member of the House of Delegates since 2002.

1. What is your top public service accomplishment?

I successfully modified transportation legislation in 1985 to include mass transit funding, which will benefit Northern Virginia. I also sponsored the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund.

2. What is one thing you promise not in office?

I will never forget that I serve the people of the 86th district and the state. I will continue to reach out to all citizens through my constituent service office, town meetings, newsletters, and attendance at community events.

3. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?

The biggest issue facing my district is transportation funding. We need to identify funds to make transportation improvements a reality.

4. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?

That will completely depend on what the legislation is. For example, I support a ban on partial-birth abortion that will pass constitutional muster, and I support appropriate safety regulations on abortion clinics to help make abortions safer for women who choose to have them.

5. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, counties currently have fewer taxing powers than cities or towns. I have supported legislation that would "equalize" the taxing powers of counties so that local governments can reduce their dependence on real estate taxes. The real estate tax can also be regressive, as evidenced by many elderly residents whose property taxes exceed their retirement income, forcing them to move from a home they have enjoyed for many years.

6. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?

Property taxes are the sole jurisdiction of local elected governments. The Commonwealth can help reduce their reliance on property taxes by adequately funding K-12 education, which is the biggest expense for local governments in Northern Virginia.

7. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?

I do not support same-gender marriage. However, I also believe that basic human rights such as hospital visitation and inheritance should be afforded all couples.

8. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia's highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?

Public-private partnerships are encouraged under Virginia law. Many projects are proceeding under the "PPTA" legislation that authorizes them. Examples are the Route 28 improvements, the proposed I-81 widening, the proposed HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway and the Dulles Rail extension. While not every project should be a public-private partnership, the program offers more flexibility and potential cost savings for the Commonwealth.

9. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?

Illegal immigration is a growing problem in Virginia. I have pushed federal authorities to be more pro-active on this issue, which is a serious threat to our national security. Local and state governments need to receive more resources, training and additional authority to assist the federal government in resolving the complex issues surrounding illegal immigration. We need to work closely with our federal representatives so they know the critical problems we face with illegal immigration in our own communities.