E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia, said Tuesday that he is seeking a solution to the commonwealth’s transportation funding woes that does not involve raising taxes.
Jackson elaborated on comments he made earlier at a press conference in Manassas, according to media reports. He talked for nearly an hour about his upbringing, faith and early years in ministry, past financial issues, and his statements on abortion, race and homosexuality. He also alluded to past drug use.
During the press conference, Jackson said he wanted to “revisit the transportation bill and find a way to solve our transportation problems without raising taxes” by “getting the economy growing.”
He told The Washington Post on Tuesday evening that he would try to find a fix without a tax increase because “that's what people want.”
“We’ve been taxed enough already,” Jackson said. “I think that a couple of the outcomes of the elections in the Republican primary demonstrated that people aren’t happy that anybody voted to raise their taxes.”
Asked for specifics, Jackson said the solution is “something we’re working on.”
“We’re going to come out with a comprehensive plan about that, but I think we begin with the premise that we’ve got to come up with solutions that don’t further burden the taxpayers of Virginia,” he said.
The General Assembly passed a $1.4 billion-a-year transportation funding overhaul this year. Championed by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), the plan will pay for road, highway and rail projects. It was criticized by some conservatives as a tax increase.
Jackson faces state Sen. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk) in the November general election.