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Marshall: Work is not completed yet
14th House District race
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Incumbent 14th District Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, said he believes Southside Virginia has made strides economically since he first was elected in 2001, but the work is not yet finished.
“We’ve been in a rebuilding process the entire time” he’s been in office, Marshall said, who is running for re-election Nov. 5. “(We are) trying to create an environment in Southside to lure jobs, and while we’re in session I’ve asked the speaker to put me on the committees that relate to job creation.”
Among those assignments are Commerce and Labor, Cities Counties and Towns, Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, as well as others.
“All these different things are just related to trying to get jobs to our area,” he said. “Are we there yet? No. (But) we’re making some progress.”
One specific goal Marshall said he always has had in mind was to get the area’s unemployment rate equal to the state average. Virginia’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We’ve always been anywhere from 4 points to double the state average,” Marshall said. Martinsville’s rate in August was 14.6 percent.
Marshall said he wants to improve the local job market to benefit the quality of life for local residents “so that people can stay and live in our part of the state.”
To help do that, he said continuing to invest in higher education institutions such as the New College Institute (NCI) will be crucial.
“(NCI) is going play an important role in building our economy in Southside Virginia,” said Marshall, a founding board member of NCI.
Marshall, a former concrete business owner in Danville, said he hopes the General Assembly can find a creative way to eliminate the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) and Machinery and Tool taxes, but only under the right circumstances.
The assembly is “looking at alternate ways to eliminate those taxes to make them revenue neutral” for the localities, he said. “It’s a proven fact that if we remove those taxes, it will spur growth” economically, but Marshall said he wasn’t interested in bringing forth a bill that isn’t revenue neutral for the localities, which could lose significant revenue if those taxes are eliminated.
Marshall opposed lifting Virginia’s 30-year moratorium on uranium mining during the last session of the General Assembly. He said he expects the issue to continue to come up.
“From Virginia Uranium’s standpoint, there’s too much money on the table” for the issue not to come up “year after year,” he said of the company that wants to mine uranium in Pittsylvania County.
“This is going to be a fight that goes on for a while” until Virginia Uranium decides not to pursue it any longer, he added.
Marshall said he typically does not worry about partisanship in the General Assembly, saying the parties generally work together for the good of the state — a contrast from the bitterness often found at the federal level.
Each year, “the General Assembly puts in (about) 3,000 bills. About 900 actually pass,” he said. “If you went back and looked at the voting, the vast majority will pass” with bipartisan support, he added.
“There are some that are partisan in nature,” on issues such as guns or other hot-button topics that “will get played up” in the media, he said, but such issues are rare.
“If you come to the General Assembly, you’ll see that we get along,” he said. “We get things done in Richmond. We don’t have the partisanship they have on the national level.”
Name: Danny Marshall
Education: Danville Community College, Averett University
Occupation: Virginia delegate; former Danville city councilman; past president, Marshall Concrete Products; former professional racecar driver
Memberships (past and present): Danville Industrial Development Authority; Danville Area Development Foundation; Dan River Region Economic Development Task Force; Southern Virginia Economic Development Board; Pittsylvania Economic Development Organization; Danville Chamber of Commerce; Danville Arts and Humanities; Danville Life Saving Crew; Virginia Concrete Masonry Association; Virginia Masonry Council; National Concrete Masonry Association
Family: Wife, Kaye; daughter, Jessica Marshall Younginer