House of Delegates–District 39: Vivian Watts (D)

House of Delegates–District 39: Vivian Watts (D)

Question & Answer


Vivian Watts

Virginia House of Delegates Candidate Questionnaires

* = Incumbent

District 34

http://www.connecti…">Kathleen Murphy* (D)

http://www.connecti…">Craig A. Parisot (R)

District 35

Mark L. Keam* (D), no response received

District 36

http://www.connecti…">Kenneth R. "Ken" Plum* (D)

District 37

http://www.connecti…">David Bulova* (D)

http://www.connecti…">Sang Yi (R)

District 39

http://www.connecti…">Vivian Watts* (D)

District 40

http://www.connecti…">Jerry Foltz (D)

http://www.connecti…">Timothy D. Hugo* (R)

District 41

http://www.connecti…">Eileen Filler-Corn*(D)

District 42

http://www.connecti…">David Albo* (R)

Joana C. Garcia (D), no response received

District 43

http://www.connecti…">Paul J. McIlvaine (I)

http://www.connecti…">Mark Sickles* (D)

http://www.connecti…">Anna Urman (R)

District 44

http://www.connecti…">Paul Krizek (D)

District 45

Mark H. Levine (D), no response received

District 46

Andrew G. "Andy" Bakker (L), no response received

http://www.connecti…">Sean Lenehan (R)

http://www.connecti…">Charniele L. Herring* (D)

District 47

http://www.connecti…">Patrick A. Hope* (D)

Janet H. Murphy (I), no response received

District 48

http://www.connecti…">Rip Sullivan* (D)

District 49

http://www.connecti…">Alfonso Lopez* (D)

District 53

http://www.connecti…">Marcus B. Simon* (D)

District 67

http://www.connecti…">Jim LeMunyon* (R)

District 86

http://www.connecti…">Jennifer Boysko (D)

Paul R. Brubaker (I), no response received

http://www.connecti…">Danny Vargas (R)

Incumbent, unopposed

Town of residence: Annandale

Age: 75

Family: Married 55 years to Dave; 2 children, Cindy and Jeff; 6 grandchildren.

Education: B.A., cum laude, University of Michigan

Offices held, dates: Delegate, 1982-86; 1996 to present. Virginia Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety, 1986-90

Occupation and relevant experience: Executive Director, Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Researcher employed by Arthur Young; Arthur Anderson; and Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

Community involvement: Service includes: League of Women Voters, President; Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Transportation Chair; Diversion First Board; School Bond, Co-Chair; Judicial Center Bond, Co-Chair; Salvation Army Board; PTA, President.


Email address:

Name three favorite endorsements: NV Technology Council, Fairfax Education Association, Sierra Club


What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?

Motivation: Understanding the challenges of governing, investing in the future, and achieving liberty and justice for all. Commitment: I will continue to try to foster constructive dialogue that respects and encourages citizen involvement.

What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?

This year, I don’t have an opponent. However, I attend every voter forum, even if I can’t speak, to hear citizen concerns. To be accountable and to understand each group’s values, I answer almost every questionnaire.

Given the political makeup of the state legislature, what examples from your own experience suggests you can successfully bridge the intense partisan differences there?

Because I conscientiously do my homework and try to be an honest broker, I was called on extensively by members of both parties in developing and passing the 2013 transportation funding bill.

In order, list your top 5 specific legislative priorities.

(1) Mental Health services and reform to deal effectively and humanely with crises, reduce loss of lives, and provide counseling support for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse and for veterans and their families dealing with PTSD; (2) Adequate school funding that treats Fairfax County equitably; (3) Wise transportation decisions; (4) Nursing home patient protection; and (5) Growing jobs and diversifying Virginia’s economy.

How has your district changed in the last 10 years? What caused those changes?

Redistricting changed my district 40% in 2001 and another 42% in 2011. Within my district, a number of neighborhoods are gaining new vitality from young families living alongside those who’ve aged in place. Re-development that brings in young professionals and provides downsizing options for longtime residents is being spurred by changes to Springfield Mall and BRAC. I also meet many new citizens knocking on voters’ doors. Their backgrounds are incredibly diverse. Some lost family to political persecution or perilous journeys. Others came from the intelligentsia of Asia, former Soviet block countries, Africa, the Middle East, or South American countries like El Salvador.

Will you support legislation restricting high interest lending including car title loans?

I voted against bills that, regrettably, opened the door and continue to support restrictions.

Will you support funding for Fostering Connections which would result in an influx of federal funding for foster children aging out of foster care?

From 7 years with CASA, which is assigned the most challenging court child abuse and neglect cases, I’m well-aware of the support and guidance foster teens need to transition into productive adults.

Do you support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and if so, what would you do to make that happen?

I strongly support getting back over $4 million per day in federal ACA taxes that Virginia citizens and businesses have paid in order to provide basic managed care for 400,000 Virginians whose only recourse is to go without healthcare or use expensive emergency room services. 70% are in working families and 12,300 are veterans. I will continue to address the two arguments I repeatedly hear against expansion: reform Medicaid before we expand it and 90% federal funding will disappear. Reform: I certainly agree we have a duty to improve any program, but Virginia’s been first in the nation for two years in Medicaid fraud recovery. Furthermore, there’ve been 61 audits since 2002. Frankly, being 47th in Medicaid spending, Virginia doesn't have much room for waste. 90% federal funding: By not expanding Medicaid under ACA, we get just 45%. Last year, to cover severely mentally ill adults and to provide dental care for pregnant women, we took $85.6 million in state tax dollars from other needs – such as K-12 funding – rather than use 90% federal funding under expansion. Economic reasons for expansion are as strong as humanitarian reasons.