Here is Democratic candidate Don Beyer’s unedited response:
I ask you to re-elect me as your Congressman on November 8th so that I can continue to serve you, and to work on many issues that are critical to our neighborhoods, to Virginia, and to the country.
For those of you who do not know me, I am a small business owner in northern Virginia, with a now-43-year-old family auto business. I was Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor for two terms in the 1990s, served as President Obama’s transition director at the Department of Commerce, and then was appointed Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from 2009 to 2013.
Being your Congressman is the most interesting and satisfying job I have yet held, because I can touch all of the issues of our time in some way, and work to forge relationships and make incremental progress on problems large and small.
One of my primary motivations for running for Congress was and remains a desire to find solutions to climate change, both through a carbon tax that returns revenues to every American, and through smarter renewable energy policies.
I am dedicated to equality and civil rights for all, from greater economic empowerment for women, to a continuation of our great progress on equality for the LGBT community, to comprehensive immigration reform and restoring voting rights to ex-offenders.
Like so many of you, I am deeply disturbed by the 30,000 annual deaths from gun violence in our nation, and am working to find reasonable solutions. We will not give up.
Federal workers and federal contractors remain the backbone of this congressional district, and their needs and concerns will always be a priority.
We must address the infrastructure needs of this country, starting here at home with Metro safety and reliability, and the needed repairs to Memorial Bridge. In addition to focusing on these matters, my staff and I stand ready to help constituents with myriad issues, such as problems with federal health insurance, veterans’ benefits, and immigration and passport problems.
As a freshman legislator in the minority, I know that I must work diligently to make inroads. I am pleased that I introduced four pieces of legislation that passed the House, one of which became law and two others that stand poised to do so.
I have an open door to all constituents, and look forward to continued conversations with you, the residents of one of the nation’s most educated and sophisticated congressional districts.