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Votes

Chris Craddock (R-67th)

AGE: 27

FAMILY: Wife, Katherine; daughter, Katie

CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 3728 Farmland Dr., Fairfax, VA 22033

CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-961-9511

E-MAIL: Jim@chriscraddock.com

WEBSITE: www.ChrisCraddock.com

OCCUPATION: Director of Student Ministries

EMPLOYMENT: The King's Chapel, Fairfax, Va.

EDUCATION: B.A. in economics from George Mason University; also attended Floris Elementary School, Franklin Middle School, Oakton High School

QUALIFICATIONS: Fairfax County Public Schools employee and Chantilly High School soccer coach, life-time Northern Virginia resident, community youth counselor for nearly a decade.

1. What is your top public service accomplishment?

For nearly a decade, my wife and I have served hundreds of Northern Virginia teenagers and their families as mentors and coaches. In opening up our home and our lives to our community, we have seen suicides averted, drug addictions overcome, and families restored. For us, there can be no greater accomplishment than this, but we feel that more can be done to help our families, which is why I am running for political office.

2. What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?

I believe in lower taxes, and placing the values and vision of my Northern Virginia constituents at the highest priority. My Democratic opponent has publicly stated that he supports $9.5 billion in new spending, which would increase our tax burden in Fairfax County by $7,923 for every family of four — nearly $2,000 for every man, woman and child. I do not share my opponent's belief that the only way to solve traffic and education problems is to raise taxes so the government has more money to spend. We need to make government work more efficiently and effectively. I believe that we need to give Northern Virginians the chance to put our own money to work by adjusting the tax formulas so that we receive our fair share of tax dollars and have more of our own money to address Northern Virginia's unique traffic, education and infrastructure problems.

3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?

I promise not to ignore the heavy property tax burden that has been levied against our citizens. With property taxes rising double digits and salaries remaining the same, even with small cost-of-living raises and bonuses, families are seeing dramatic income decreases each year. For too long we have had legislators who are willing to compromise the needs of Northern Virginians as we sit in traffic for hours on end and make continual cuts to our family budgets as state and property taxes continue to rise.

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

Northern Virginia struggles under the burden of the two T's: Taxes (specifically property taxes, as well as state) and Traffic. Currently, Northern Virginia taxpayers contribute the lion's share of state revenue, yet never receive a proportionate amount of allocations — especially as the transportation budget is raided time and again for other projects around the state. I will work with the many Northern Virginia delegates and the Republican majority who have endorsed me to end that unfairness and to see that our own money is returned to us so that we can use our fair share of tax dollars to take care of our own families and community — a community that is suffering under the stress of long commutes and over-taxation.

5. 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?

I believe in the sanctity and dignity of all human life, including the elderly, the infirm, and the unborn. In nearly a decade of mentoring, my wife and I have counseled and aided several women who were victims of rape or experiencing a crisis pregnancy. We must continue to promote positive options like adoption so that men and women in crisis pregnancy situations have better alternatives. I know from experience that it is important for mothers to have complete information about making any life-or-death decision, and I think that any clinic that conducts invasive medical procedures should meet health and safety standards that protect their patients.

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

The Dillon Rule serves to protect the citizens of our Commonwealth from abuse. Time and again, our localities have proven that they will tax their own people beyond what is reasonably bearable — most recently through providing only minimal tax relief despite skyrocketing property taxes and quietly pocketing annual surpluses. Property values/taxes have seen 20 to 30 percent increases, while salary levels increase at a much lower rate. The Dillon Rule is a great safeguard serving to protect its people.

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

I agree wholeheartedly with Jerry Kilgore's plan for a 5 percent property tax cap. The skyrocketing property taxes are crippling the budgets of all of our residents — from young families like mine who are just starting out to senior residents of our community. Unlike our annual double-digit property tax increases, our residents are not seeing double-digit salary increases. We must do all we can to continue to make Northern Virginia a beautiful, thriving, affordable place to live and raise our families.

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

While tolerance and respect for different lifestyles and beliefs are vital to the health of our community, marriage between one man and one woman is the building block of our nation and remains the best arrangement for raising healthy, well-adjusted children. As delegate, I will work to strengthen existing heterosexual marriages and ensure that the traditional family model is honored in our society.

9. 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?

I believe that public-private partnerships are essential to moving forward in Northern Virginia. These are opportunities to alleviate our traffic burden at little cost to the taxpayer. Public-private partnerships infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into our transportation budget while insuring that the tax rates do not surge out of control.

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

Illegal immigration is quickly becoming a major problem in Virginia, and particularly in our district. The notorious criminal gang MS-13, for example, had a presence right here in Fair Oaks. I do not believe that the government should give incentives to those who are in this country illegally, and feel that it contributes to both higher taxes and gang activity. If we continue to give incentives to those who break the law and come here illegally, we are undermining the rule of law by which we live and which makes this nation great.