Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Religion and Republican Primaries

30th District

Outlook: Safe Republican
Primary Outlook: Toss Up

This could be one of the closest primaries of the year. Mark Jarvis seems to have a good strategy here of trying to unite the anti-tax wing of the GOP with the social conservatives. He also has a geographic advantage over his opponent, incumbent Ed Scott. This is a district where Democrats have voted in GOP primaries before, and Scott will need that again this year to win.


By Bob Gibson
Daily Progress staff writer

MADISON - The Rev. Mark Jarvis says an anti-tax group recruited him to run for the House of Delegates, yet his passion for the race is inspired more by Christian activism than by budgetary fervor.

"I've got 40 endorsements from pastors," including friend and mentor the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, Jarvis said after praying over a luncheon meal of barbecue, slaw and beans at the Pig-N Steak.

Jarvis is challenging Del. Edward T. Scott, R-Madison County, in a June 14 Republican primary in the Orange-Madison-Culpeper 30th House District. With no Democrat or independent running, the primary again will be the election determining who will represent the Republican-leaning district in Richmond the next two years.

Scott, 39, handily won the seat two years ago in a three-way June GOP primary and is defending it as a businessman with a legislative record he calls solidly conservative and pro-family. He has won endorsements this spring from the National Rifle Association, the Virginia Education Association's political action committee and the Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association.

He is one of six Republican delegates facing a primary challenge as a result of a 2004 vote for a budget compromise that included a $1.4 billion tax increase.

Jarvis, 54, may have been recruited by the leadership of his campaign's biggest contributor, the Virginia Conservative Action PAC, but his politics are less corporate boardroom than country pulpit.

A 1980 graduate of Liberty University, Jarvis believes "the church and family and government have got to work together" to promote the Judeo-Christian values upon which the nation's founders based America's greatness.

"America's great because America's good," he said. "If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

A Republican since he started working for Ronald Reagan's campaigns in Lynchburg, Jarvis speaks earnestly and sincerely about his desire to help put God in the middle of the public square.

"We need to get God's presence back in our public life," he insisted.

"I'm not running against Ed Scott," he said. "I am running for a world view that's made America a light to the world. That's the Judeo-Christian principles. That's having God back in government [and] bringing our Ten Commandments back and teaching morals."

Activist judges are to blame for taking God out of government, Jarvis said. "No legislative body has ever said it's illegal to have voluntary Bible study and prayer in our schools - never. It's always been an activist judge."

Scott, an Episcopalian who grew up in the district and earned an animal science degree at Virginia Tech, is as soft-spoken a voice of business and community consensus as Jarvis is an outspoken advocate of Christian political activism.

The manager of retail operations for the Culpeper Farmers' Cooperative, Scott's experience in government and politics includes eight years on the Madison County Planning Commission, three as chairman, two as director of governmental affairs for the Virginia Agribusiness Council and the past two as delegate.

"I bring a businessman's perspective to this job," Scott said. "I've tried in the last two years to address a wide range of challenges within the 30th District," advancing what he called fiscally conservative policies while seeking responsible levels of additional funding for education and transportation.

"It's a record of targeted tax cuts" as well as support for the budget compromise of 2004 to end a protracted budget crisis, Scott said. "Somebody had to go to work to see that we did reach an agreement on a budget for schools, for public safety."

Scott portrays himself as "a guy who was born and raised here and has been active in the community" while alluding to the contributions and support for Jarvis from the anti-tax Virginia Conservative Action PAC. The anti-tax group gave Jarvis $17,667 and anti-tax movement leader Paul C. Jost of Williamsburg donated $5,000, yielding $22,667 of the $27,457 the Jarvis campaign had raised through March 31.

"In the end, I'm not sure the people of Culpeper, Madison and Orange want somebody outside the district telling them who their delegate should be," Scott said.

"I am more than happy to talk about my values," he said. Scott co-sponsored a bill permitting prayer prior to the start of government meetings, which passed, and legislation allowing school boards to prohibit the use of school facilities by any student club or group that encourages or promotes sexual activity by unmarried minor students, which failed.

Scott said he voted for legislation to expand the freedom of religious _expression on public property, including schools. "Ed Scott is a conservative, faithful delegate," he said. "My voting record reflects that. The personal values that were instilled in me and which I am trying to instill in my daughter reflect that, and I've supported every significant piece of pro-family legislation in the past two years, from marriage to prayer."

He said he is grateful for his endorsement this week by the NRA. "I am interested in sportsmen and conservation issues," Scott said. "I think I had an opportunity to show the depth to which I've gotten engaged in the issues of our community."


At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Terry M said...

So when has religion and God been out of the public square and politics?? I always find it interesting that the religious folks always complain about a need to return God to everthing...schools, government, public buildings. When did he leave?? We have 80+ percent of the public claiming some kind of belief in God, we have free churches on every block, we have God in most of our government symbols and currency, we have an entire political party and agenda based on Jesus, we have private prayer in schools, the metro, traffic jams, football games, etc. So where is the gap? I guess in the God army anything less than 100% God, and they really mean Jesus, all the time is minority status in America. God save us all!

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some would say the GOPs policy towards the poor is not very Jesus centric...


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