Joshua Cole, a pastor in the Stafford area, is running for Delegate to the 28th District. He has proposed a cap on prescription drug costs and reallocating state budget funds back to schools. The seat is currently held by Bob Thomas.
Name: Joshua Cole
Running for: Delegate – 28th District
Work: Pastor and Administrative Assistant
Education: North Stafford High School
3 years at Liberty University
Community Involvement: President – Stafford NAACP
Former Mentor – Rappahannock Area Boys and Girls Club
Member – Stafford County Public Schools Equity Diversity and Opportunity Committee Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council
Questions and Answers
PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?
Cole: Transportation/Traffic, School Funding and Healthcare
PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Cole: Creating an RTA to address the traffic and transportation issues, returning school funding to pre-recession rates by reallocating funds in the state budget back to our schools, introducing legislation to cap prescription drug costs.
PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?
Cole: To be the voice of the people in Richmond and make sure the people of the district are aware of the issues facing them.
PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?
Cole: I’ve been a former staffer for the Senate of Virginia and a Delegate’s Chief of Staff, so I’m familiar with the General Assembly cycle and how the system works. I’m familiar with reading and creating legislation and already have connections in Richmond to help get legislation passed.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government?
Cole: I don’t believe they are, and this is evident when communicating with neighbors and knocking doors. My desire is to make sure everyone, or at least the majority of the constituency, knows who their delegate is and the issues going on during every General Assembly session. I intend to Facebook Live every subcommittee and committee I sit on for transparency, sending weekly updates while in session, numerous townhalls throughout the year and hosting accessible and reasonable office hours for constituents to visit and communicate their issues and concerns.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Cole: Everyone has made mistakes. I try to maintain a relatively quiet personal life so I don’t have any major issues. However I speed sometimes, I’ve received a trespassing charge in 2016 that was dismissed (hanging out on school property in Richmond after dark with a friend). During our 2017 campaign I was informed that suits and various items could be purchased with campaign funds. I was told it wasn’t a good look so I paid the funds back. (It still comes up as a concern for people.)
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Cole: As a Pastor for over 10 years I know how to effectively communicate to different people and make plans. As a homegrown citizen whose family has deep community connections I’m indebted to the Stafford/Fredericksburg community. This is home for me and I’m ready to fight to make it a little better and protect the great things about our area that we love. It’s also time for a different style of leadership, and that’s exactly what I bring to the table.