Tom Perriello listens to an IUE-CWA Local 162 union member asking about automation.
Tom Perriello’s last stop in his listening tour through Roanoke was at the IUE-CWA Local 162 Roanoke headquarters where about 10 union rank and file members and union shop stewards from Verizon, ITT now the Harris Corporation, GE and Virginia Transformer peppered him with questions. Union members are not shy about asking questions.
Before Perriello arrived Jack Roland Chief Steward with Local 82162 at Harris Corporation said he wanted to know how Perriello views the future of the working class. Where does he see unions place in the future.
Jeff Moran, who works for Harris Corporation (again formerly ITT
Greg Habeeb announces his candidacy for the 8th district house of delegates.
Greg Habeeb, a 34 year-old attorney and partner at Gentry Locke Rakes and Moore said that he was getting calls asking him to run for Morgan Griffith’s seat even before Tuesday’s election results were in. Griffith, the 52 year-old Majority Leader in Virginia’s House of Delegates defeated 28-year Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher to become Congressman-elect for the 9th district.
Trixie Averill, 6th district Republican chair kicked off Habeeb’s announcement in front of a crowd of over 100 supporters outside the Old Salem Courthouse Monday. Republican officials surrounded Habeeb as he confidently announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 8th district House of Delegates.
Former delegate William Fralin, Senator Ralph Smith, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Roanoke County Board of Supervisor Mike Altizer and Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith flanked Habeeb as he announced as a candidate for the Republican nomination.
I am proud to be a Republican … but I do not distinguish people along party lines, geographic or any other lines.” “I want to bring leadership to Richmond for all citizens of the 8th district.” Habeeb saw last Tuesday’s election as voters were not asking for more partisan fighting – they are crying out for true leadership.”
The Blue Ridge business journal named Habeeb one of the top 20 business leaders under 40-years old. Habeeb is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law.
Goodlatte energized a crowd of Republicans still giddy from the elections characterized as a Republican tsunami. Goodlatte said Habeeb “had big shoes to fill – literally” that brought chuckles as they both Griffith and Habeeb looked down at the obvious difference in their shoe size. “It’s going to be a short campaign,” said Goodlatte giving some comfort to Habeeb’s wife Christy and their three young children Daniel 5, William 3 and Anna 1.
Griffith said he had known Habeeb as a 17 year-old at Christiansburg High School student. He had traveled to the high school to put on a presentation honoring Habeeb as Virginia YMCA’s Model General Assembly Youth Governor.
Habeeb expects people to hold him accountable for his principles – “the constitution says what it means and it means what it says. While I believe that government is not always the problem it is very rarely the solution.” Habeeb added that he “believes in personal freedom and personal responsibility … and the entrepreneurial spirit.” He added his belief that “live begins at conception. The circumstances of that conception does not define the value of that life.”
After his announcement Habeeb said his partners at Gentry Locke Rakes and Moore support his candidacy telling him that “we need good leaders in the community because we are dependent on a vibrant business community for our market to work. They agree that I am someone who can help foster that environment.”
“We have incredible resources in the 8th district. My partners more than anybody recognize the value in promoting this area and they think I am someone that can help them. I’m going to bring a conservative approach to leadership but to me if we can solve a problem let’s solve the problem. My goal is to look for times that I can work with the other side of the aisle. I’m not going in thinking I have all the answers.”
Habeeb hasn’t taken a position on Privatization of ABC stores but philosophically he thinks, “there are very few private type industries we should be playing in. Once we have played in that industry for so long you just don’t go out overnight to change it. Clearly Richmond has become dependent on the revenue stream. We’re going to have to reduce dependency on some of those revenue streams. That’s what I like about my party, the Governor has a plan and some people in his party disagree.”
Habeeb defined the process as “someone throws an idea out then you work with them on the idea. Maybe we’ll come to a plan that works – maybe we don’t.”
Griffith when asked who would be a valuable mentor for Habeeb in the House of Delegates if elected. He thought Delegate Dave Nutter (R-7), Terry Kilgore (R-1) or even Roanoke City Democrat Delegate Onzlee Ware. Habeeb said he’d look to any member of the Roanoke area delegation.
According to Averill, the 6th district will set the closing date for nominations at their meeting Friday, November 12. Certification of the 9th congressional results won’t be concluded until November 22 and then Griffith would give up his house seat. A special election requires that 45 days must elapse before the election. That would set the election to be on January 11. The 2011 General Assembly session starts on January 12.