Candidates For Virginia's Second District Pitch Bipartisanship | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Candidates For Virginia's Second District Pitch Bipartisanship

Play associated audio
Incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) greets workers showing at work bright and early to the Newport News Shipbuilding plant.
Matt Laslo
Incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) greets workers showing at work bright and early to the Newport News Shipbuilding plant.

There's only one House contest in Virginia analysts are closely watching this year: Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. It promises to maintain its distinction as one of the most volatile swing districts in the country.

Most workers filing through the gates at the Newport News Shipbuilding plant don't have politics on their minds. That doesn't stop incumbent Republican Scott Rigell from pressing the flesh. He has mostly supporters here offering him encouragement.

But one gentleman, who hurries inside without offering his name, has a request for the first-term congressman: "Let me ask you to do this for us, you and your congressman, fellow friends: work together. That's the problem with our country."

The last two incumbents from the 2nd District were ousted in wave elections, and Rigell knows he's in a close contest. He assures the man he's not beholden to Republican party leaders.

"I push back on my own party when we're wrong," says Rigell. "I'm with you on that. I got into this for the same reason you just mentioned; I share that."

Rigell can be considered a moderate in this hyper-partisan Congress. He's started the Fix Congress Now Caucus with a couple Democrats, but the group has no accomplishments — merely a proposal to cut off lawmakers pay if they fail to pass a budget.

Rigell's opponent, Democratic businessman Paul Hirschbiel, gladly points to the Washington Post, which calculates Rigell has voted with his party 92 percent of the time.

"It's not about what you say, it's about what you do, and that's what, I think, people are looking for," says Hirschbiel. "They're looking for people that just don't talk, but they actually walk the walk; they get up there and they do something."

With the presidential and Senate contests dwarfing the 2nd District race, there's a chance the district will just go the way the rest of the state does. That s not stopping these men from courting voters with a message of bipartisanship that hasn't been witnessed on Capitol Hill in years.

NPR

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.