GOP Speaker of the Va. House Reacts to Returns
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) tonight issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2007 General Election:
"For the fifth General Election in a row, Virginians have selected the House Republican Caucus to lead the House of Delegates. Our caucus continues to be honored by the confidence placed in our members by the people of Virginia, and we will continue to work diligently, thoughtfully and constructively on their behalf.
"The true test of a strong majority is whether it can weather bad times as well as good. Tonight, our strong Republican majority in the House of Delegates endured despite a challenging political environment.
"Our extensive record of accomplishment, as well as our affirmative reform agenda, was what made the difference for House Republicans in this year's election. While our Democrat counterparts relied primarily on expressing their dissatisfaction with our achievements, we highlighted our extensive record on education, health care, taxes, land use, the environment and more. And, while our Democrat counterparts failed to present or advance their own vision for Virginia's future, we championed a positive agenda on school construction, health care, transportation, mental health, property tax relief, illegal immigration and state spending. If this election is any indicator, when given a choice between a predominantly negative attacks and a specific, detailed positive agenda, Virginians choose the latter.
For those who paid attention during civics class, this is heartening news, providing further evidence that good policy does indeed make for good politics.
"Now, it is our job to act upon the positive reform agenda we advanced during this election. As we've already made clear what we intend to do in the 2008 General Assembly session, we'll be busy crafting and submitting legislation over the coming weeks to fulfill our commitment to the people of Virginia. Of course, we also face the important task of constructing a fiscally sound biennial budget and protecting the state's Rainy Day Fund from being raided in a time of growing revenues.
"We have a number of new members to welcome to our caucus, and we all look forward to working closely with Delegates Manoli Loupassi, Jimmie Massie, Don Merricks, Brenda Pogge, and Charles Poindexter. There also are new faces on the other side of the aisle, and, on behalf of the House Republican Caucus and entire chamber, I welcome Delegates Bouchard, Mathieson, Morrisey, Nichols, and Vanderhye to the oldest continuously elected law-making body in the world.
"Virginia has made much progress during the eight years Republicans have been leading the House of Delegates. As indicated by our track record, we are prepared for the challenges ahead and are optimistic about successfully advancing our new ideas, innovative reforms and common-sense solutions for Virginia's continued progress and prosperity."
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