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Libertarian is seeking Hurt's seat
Fifth Congressional District
Friday, July 4, 2014
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Accent Writer
Libertarian congressional candidate Paul Jones admitted he still is learning about Henry County and Martinsville, never having visited the area before.
Jones, who is running for the 5th District House seat in the Nov. 4 election, said he knows the area is recovering from economic problems due to losses of businesses and industries in recent years.
But when told that Martinsville’s monthly unemployment rate usually is the state’s highest and jumped to more than 20 percent roughly five years ago, he exclaimed, “Good golly, I did not know that.”
Jones said he plans to visit Henry County and Martinsville in the near future as part of his campaign, but a specific date has not yet been chosen.
In the Nov. 4 election, he will face incumbent 5th District U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham; Democratic challenger Lawrence Gaughan; and independent/Green Party candidate Kenneth Hildebrandt.
The retired Charlottesville businessman said he favors reducing taxes and fees that small businesses have to pay, as well as reducing regulations that are costly for them.
Small businesses are “the backbone of our country,” Jones said in a phone interview Wednesday. Yet for many people, costs and regulations “take the incentive out of” launching businesses, he said.
The most important thing as far as stimulating the economy, Jones said, is to lower the federal income tax. That would enable people to keep more of the money they earn, he said.
“If people in Martinsville had more money in their pockets,” they would have more money to spend and that “would help the businesses in Martinsville,” he added.
He pledged that if elected to Congress, he will “vote against any tax increase, ever” and not support measures that would increase federal spending.
Jones said “the federal government is just too big” and encroaches on people’s rights too much.
Also, he said he favors ending federal financial aid to other nations, as well as bringing home soldiers overseas and not participating in foreign conflicts.
“I can’t think of any reason why we should leave our shores” and go to war, Jones said. “Our military should be for (U.S.) defensive purposes” only.
Jones, 66, retired this year after working in real estate with his wife, Judy. He has two grown children and is a graduate of John Marshall University. He has an extensive interest in history and has been a docent (volunteer guide and educator) for the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.
“I’m not a politician by trade, but I’m learning” how to be one as his campaign progresses, he said.
Jones wants district voters to know they can select someone other than a Republican or Democrat to represent them in Washington. He thinks people are getting fed up with the politics of those two parties.
“Republicans and Democrats will do anything to further their goals,” regardless of the consequences, Jones said.
When problems arise, he continued, they “don’t have solutions except more spending and higher taxes, and that is not working for Americans. The voters are starting to realize that.”
Furthermore, he said, Republicans and Democrats “don’t want any third parties coming in (to politics) ... which is why they make it difficult” for candidates from smaller parties to run for public offices.
Last week, the Virginia State Board of Elections confirmed Jones as an official candidate. The filing deadline was June 10.