Marshall gets to know 18th District candidates
Michael Webert, 18th-R speaks to a crowd gathered for a public forum at the Marshalll Community Center on Tuesday night. Webert, who's going for his second term in the General Assembly, is opposed by Democrat Colin Harris. Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Kipp Hanley
Judging by the number of shirts and blouses adorned with political stickers, there weren't too many undecided voters at Tuesday's 18th District candidate forum in Marshall between Republican incumbent Michael Webert and Democratic challenger Colin Harris.
However, it was good to be able to hear from the candidates three weeks before Election Day, said the Pegues.
While they plan on voting for Harris, John and Kathy Pegues of Orlean called both candidates "very thoughtful men."
Each candidate spoke briefly about his platform during Tuesday's event before fielding questions from the audience packed into the small meeting room at the Marshall Community Library.
Attendees asked a wide array of questions ranging from the candidates' work experience to whether or not they would use state money to support the maintenance of national parks in light of the then-current federal government shutdown.
During his 15-minute talk, Webert touted his involvement with the General Assembly's newly formed Business Development Caucus as well as legislation he helped sponsor last session involving business development grants at area community colleges.
Harris spoke at length about leaving land use matters to individual counties as well as his plans to stay out of people's bedrooms. He said if he was elected, he would reach across the aisle, something he said isn't done enough in Richmond these days.
However, Harris also took a few jabs at Webert regarding some of his votes, including the one for the controversial ultrasound bill that was modified but ultimately passed by the General Assembly during last year's session.
During a phone interview Wednesday, Webert said he tried to stay positive because of the limited format of the event and criticized Harris for his negative comments during the forum.
"I believe it's better to point out the positives and where we want to go and what we want to do than to point fingers," Webert said.
Harris said pointing out Webert's voting record during the forum wasn't "inherently negative."
"Michael has voted 95 percent with party leadership, and that's not how I would do it," Harris said in a separate phone interview Wednesday. "It matters as much as what you do as what you say."
For the complete story, pick up a copy of tomorrow's Fauquier Times.
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