Voters are making their way to polls this Tuesday morning in Northern Virginia to select a new member of the General Assembly after the 33rd Senate District seat was vacated following last year’s midterm elections. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in portions of Loudoun and Fairfax counties, including the cities of Sterling, Leesburg, and Herndon to choose between Republican candidate and former House of Delegates member Joe May and Democratic candidate and Delegate Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax).
May was a member of the House of Delegates between 1994 and 2014, making a name for himself as a moderate Republican in a deeply “blue” part of an already Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia. The inventor and businessman said addressing traffic congestion is a continued priority for him, backed by his experience as chairman of the House Transportation Committee during his tenure as a state lawmaker.
The Republican hopeful says on his campaign website that as a state senator, he “will always fiercely protect seniors’ Medicare benefits and support access to health care coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.” Furthermore, he will also work to upgrade sometimes antiquated Virginia technology laws, and look to improve higher education statewide to build a robust workforce.
Insofar as working with the razor-thin Republican majority in the General Assembly, May will oppose progressive economic measures like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and other tax increases, which his opponent Boysko supports.
According to her campaign website, if elected to the Senate, Boysko would “push for in-state tuition for immigrants who arrived as children,” and “advocate to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.” Furthermore, she reportedly will work to provide legislation that grants undocumented immigrants and refugees driver’s licenses.
Moreover, Boysko said her top priority is working with Governor Ralph Northam (D) to build “an economy that works for everyone.” One of those efforts is $2.2 billion in new state spending, $1.6 billion of which would be recurring after Northam’s term ends. The encroaching Democratic Party will also work during this year’s 45-day session in Richmond to subsidize the earned income tax credit (ETIC) to “level the playing field” among Virginians, tantamount to a middle-class tax increase.
While May would join Republicans in pledging to re-conform Virginia’s tax code after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017 – offering an alternative budget which keeps $1.2 billion in the hands of taxpayers – Democrats, joined by Boysko, have refused to respond to the tax hike.
Although the 33rd district has voted for a Democratic legislator since 2007, the GOP caucus will be looking to expand a one-member majority in the General Assembly’s upper chamber with a victory from Joe May.