Who am I?
My life has been devoted to serving the people of Danville and Virginia as a doctor, educator, small business owner, and public servant.
Growing up in the Southwest Virginia coalfield town of Gate City you had to work to help support your family. My first job was as a construction worker when I turned 16. Summers, weekends and after school were spent learning the value of hard work and the importance of having a job. I have never forgotten that lesson.
My passion for medicine began when I worked as a hospital orderly while a student at Virginia Tech. Helping people has always been important to me, and that is why for years, I have joined mission ministries in Central America and mission trips to rural Virginia with Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and Crossroads. I also speak to local church groups about keeping their hearts healthy.
After graduating from Virginia Tech, I enrolled and received my medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. I became board certified in internal medicine, family practice and cardiology after completing residencies at MCV, the Medical College of Georgia and East Tennessee State University.
I have practiced medicine in Danville for 25 year as a cardiologist and founded Cardiology Consultants of Danville. I have led in my field and grew a successful practice. My passion for cardiology is what initiated a relationship with Duke University to start our area’s first open-heart bypass program.
Why am I running?
Danville City Council appointed me to fill a vacancy in 2008. The citizens of Danville asked me to serve them again by electing me to a four-year term in 2010. I am also honored to serve as Danville Vice-Mayor and represent them on the West Piedmont Planning Commission.
Nearly everyone in our community recalled when Dan River Mills, the areas top employer, went into bankruptcy in 2008. One of my patients came into my office and told me that he would lose his job and health insurance after 38 years. Taking care of a patient's medical issues was not a problem, but what could I do to help my patient and other people find jobs.
That encounter helped me find my second calling: serving my community to find common ground solutions to rebuild, renew and recruit jobs to Danville.
The people of Danville and Southside Virginia deserve a leader who will put the people of Virginia’s 14th House of Delegates district before politics. Our district has the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We need good jobs in our area because there is nothing like the feeling of pride and dignity that comes with being able to provide for your family.
I will renew the commit to represent all of the people in the 14th District because we are all in this together - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have to start working together and put the people they represent before politics.
As a member of the Danville City Council I have voted for economic development projects to revitalize our Downtown. My top priority is and will be to find common ground solutions to bring good jobs to our area. The City has invested $25 million in downtown; and private investors have brought $78 million into downtown, with building purchases and renovations. This is job creation.
I also worked to bring a doctor's residency program that pumps millions of dollars in to our local economy.
I am pleased with my work on City Council, but I can do so much more for this district and the people of Virginia as a member of the House of Delegates.
I will also make sure our children not only receive a world class K-12 education, but also promote vocational and technical training as early as middle school to prepare them for the workforce.
The US 58 and the US routes 29 and 220 corridors are our veins and arteries of commerce. We must invest in those transportation corridors, so we can start rebuilding our economy. We have to invest and maintain our public infrastructure: roads, bridges, schools, rail, and broadband internet because they are vital to recruiting industries to our area.
My DFA Values
As a small business owner, I know what it takes to make payroll, balance a budget and create good jobs.
Not only am I an educator; I am from a family of educators. I know a well-educated and skilled workforce are considerations that companies look for in a community when making the decision to relocate. A world class education and skills training will create opportunities for children today and in the future.
We have to have an honest discussion with our children and educators about career paths before our children enter middle school. Not every student will attend college, and we need to promote vocational/technical training before students enter high school. Studies have shown that there is and will be a shortage of skilled workers: welders, plumbers, draftsmen, utility lineman all of whom earn an average salary of $43,000.
We should find and prosecute any person or organization that commits voter fraud, but we should not write laws restricting the right of citizens to vote.
I supported our current Governor’s election reforms that would have allowed for the automatic restoration of voting rights for non-violent convicted felons. Virginia remains one of two states (Kentucky) that doesn't allow automatic voting rights restoration. A person should not be punished for the rest of their life after they have paid their debt to society.
The VA House of Delegates has been practicing medicine without a license. Too many politicians are making bad medical decisions for Virginia’s families, women, veterans, seniors, and children.
A family’s medical choices should not be decided by legislators in Richmond who don’t understand providing medical care and the needs of patients.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I plan on reaching out to the voters of this district by canvassing along side my many volunteers. Our campaign office is open we have daily phonebanks and launch canvasses from this location, along with many staging locations throughout district in the homes of supporters. This will be Southside Virginia's first grassroots campaign.
We will work with several organizations, including local Democratic Committees, Va Coordinated Campaign, and Southwest Virginia Young Democrats to engage voters.