Decision 2021/House of Delegates – Q&A with Todd Gilbert

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Todd Gilbert

Todd Gilbert

Age: 50

• Party: Republican

Education: J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1996 (President of the Student Bar Association); B.A. Government, University of Virginia, 1993; Central High School, 1989 (Student Body President). 

Work: Attorney at Law, Private Law Practice, 2011-2021; Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shenandoah, Warren, and Frederick Counties, 1999-2011; Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, City of Lynchburg (Member, Violent Crime Prosecution Team), 1997-1999.

• Elected office: Republican Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, 2018-present; Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 2006-present. 

• Distinctions: Virginia YMCA’s “Service to Youth” Award; Family Foundation “Legislator of the Year”; Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys “Champion of Justice Award”; Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police “Legislator of the Year”; Virginia State Police Association “Legislator of the Year”; National Rifle Association “Defender of Freedom Award”; Virginia Court Clerks Association “Legislator of the Year”; American Conservative Union “Defender of Liberty”; Virginia Chamber of Commerce “Legislator of the Year” and “Free Enterprise Award”; Virginia Retail Merchants Association “Legislator of the Year”; Virginia Manufacturers Association “Industrial Strength Leadership Award”; American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia “Legislator of the Year”; Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists Award.   

• Family: Wife, Jennifer; sons, Grant (4) and Jackson (1). 

• Why are you running for public office?

It has been the highest honor of my lifetime to represent the people of this district. I grew up here in the Shenandoah Valley and I am blessed to be raising my children here now. Like all of those I represent in Richmond, I want to secure a brighter future for the next generation of Virginians. 

What makes you the best candidate? 

As a limited government conservative, I believe in individual liberty, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. I believe that when these values are supported by public policy, it makes the world a better place for everyone. With that in mind, I believe that my views represent the values of the vast majority of the people of this area, and that I have been a steadfast defender of their beliefs. 

• What is the most pressing issue facing the people of the 15th District? 

Like everywhere in Virginia, and America it appears, economic insecurity has emerged as the greatest threat to our way of life and our ability to live, work, and raise a family. Policies that have been enacted by Democratic leadership in Richmond have made this problem far worse. For example, in their quest to deprive us of cheap and reliable sources of energy, Democratic leadership in Richmond passed a sweeping “green” energy overhaul, which will cost the average family $800 more per year in energy costs. Additionally, they have pursued countless policy changes that will make it harder for people to start or maintain a business and preserve the good paying jobs that go with them. I believe we need to return common sense to Richmond. 

• What is the one thing that you would most like to change or improve about Virginia?

Two years ago, I warned every voter at every possible gathering that if Northern Virginia Democrats were in charge of the legislature, Virginia would look a lot more like California rather than the Virginia that we know and love. I regret that that has come to pass in so many areas and that Democratic leadership in Richmond has pushed beyond California-style progressivism in a number of areas. Higher taxes, increased regulation and higher prices are the result. I intend to help bring back common sense, conservative governance to Virginia where we still put excellence over so-called equity, where we don’t treat criminals like victims and police like bad guys, where we respect parents and their rights in the education of our children, and where we let people keep more of what they earn.  

• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.

In the wake of Governor Bob McDonnell’s well-publicized gift scandal, I led the way on legislation to sharply limit the gifts that legislators and other public officials were able to receive from private interests. This was obviously not popular with some who were used to that treatment as a component of their public service. The ethics reforms that I was able to pass into law have dramatically changed the way public officials behave and I hope it has restored a significant measure of the people’s trust in their government. 

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