Joshua Cole is running in district 28, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to fill the seat vacated by the retired House speaker. Joshua is an assistant pastor at the Union Bell Baptist Church. He also serves as a behavioral aid at the public school. He would be the first African American to represent Fredericksburg. Hillary won 45% of the vote in this district in 2016, as did Obama in 2012.
His website is: www.jgcole.org
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Describe the moment you decided to run for delegate: I decided to run this year after observing our current leadership during my time as staff assistant to the Virginia Senate. I felt many legislators were looking out for their own interests and not their constituents. One day, I observed a senator advocating for her people on the senate floor. When I asked why she fought so hard, her response moved me, "many politicians vote their conscience, but my conscience didn't get me elected - it was the people." She constantly kept in touch with her constituents and asked their opinions. I believe a new fresh direction is needed in Richmond.
What is the #1 issue you want to work on in the legislature? If elected Delegate for the 28th District the first thing I would push is to expand Medicaid in Virginia. Just this year, Virginia's General Assembly voted across party lines and rejected, again, the expansion of Medicaid. Virginia is giving up 30,000 plus jobs, coverage for over 400,000 citizens and about $10,000,000 in federal funding.
What is uniquely cool about your district? The 28th House District is uniquely important to our national history! The district comprises parts of Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg, I refer to the 28th District as the gateway to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. In Stafford, we have Government Island, the source for Aquia Creek sandstone used in the U.S. Capitol, White House, as well as numerous historic homes in Virginia, Ferry Farm the childhood home of George Washington, and Gari Melchers’ Belmont – home to one of the best twentieth century American artists. The City of Fredericksburg has a rich history with homes of the Washington family (Kenmore, Mary Washington House, The Rising Sun Tavern), the law office of President James Monroe, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and committee in General Weedon’s Tavern in Fredericksburg, and the area was the epicenter for four major Civil War battles. We have a rich African-American history, from John Washington’s freedom narrative to the Civil Rights leadership of Dr. Philip Wyatt, Mamie Scott, and Gladys Todd. The 28th District is gorgeous, extremely picturesque and a wonderful destination that many people call home.