In the 19th legislative district, three conservative republicans have pitched themselves against three incumbent Republicans in order to test the conservative waters in southern Fairfax County.
The June 14 primary will also be a "way to identify Republican voters," said Lawrence D. Pratt, one of the conservatives, explaining why they chose to run individually rather than put their resources behind one man. The two other conservatives are Robert L. Thoburn and John W. Adams Jr.
Two of the incumbents, James H. Dillard and Warren E. Barry, often regarged as a team themselves, admit they feel a certain threat.
"The incumbent they'd like to see go is me," Dillard said. "They call me a liberal [WORD ILLEGIBLE] my record is one of moderation. I'm neither a conservative nor a liberal."
The third incumbent, Robert E. Harris, dismisses the conservative coalition. "That sense of a threat may have come from others who have not done their homework," Harris said. "The relative strength of these candidates in terms of a challenge to the incumbents has been grossly overrated."
The conservatives have pooled their finances and say they will spend between $4,000 and $6,000 for the primary. Their three names will appear together on literature mailed to voters. Dillard estimates he will spend $1,500 and Barry plans to dispense about $1,200 he said. Harris said he will spend between $1,000 and $1,500.
Here are the candidates and their view:
John W. Adams Jr., 47, 7524 Murillo St., Springfield, is making his first bid for office and says if elected he will vote "no" to any and all tax increases.
One of his objectives would be to maintain the status quo on taxes for 1978 and to reduce taxes in 1979 by "not approving funding for some things we have at this time" such as the "state standards in education."
Adams cites roller skating rinks and closed-in swimming pools as some of the luxuries which the government had no right to supply us in the first place." They should be built by private business. Adams said.
A partner in a paint and wallpaper company, Adams said, "I'm a conservative by nature. I'm born and raised in Virginia and that's part of our tradition in Virginia."
Adams opposes collective bargaining for public employees, which he says is "an unwarranted threat to the pursestrings of the taxpayer." Bargaining groups "always wind up as a pressure group," he said. A no-strike clause is "meaningless" since employees would use a "sick out" or a "slowdown" to get what they wanted, Adams said.
Among his other legislative objectives would be to urge the U.S. Congress to "pass a human (right to life) amendment to the U.S. Constitution"; to oppose the ERA with its 'direct blow to the basic unit of society" and to allow parimutuel betting at privately owned, state licensed racetracks.
Warren E. Barry, 43, 8308 Withe Lane, Springfield, presently the House minority whip and the only Republican with four committee assignments, is seeking his fifth term as delegate.
"I will continue to serve as a Republican," Barry said, referring obliquely to his much-publicized debate last winter over whether to remain in the Republican Party or join the Democrats. He decided not to abandon the Republicans because "I would be running away from a moral obligation to the two party system."
On taxes, Barry said, "it would be easy to take a populist position, (but this would be) irresponsible because that's not what the constituency wants. People have to make up their minds if they want better services or lower taxes."
Barry favors a higher inheritance tax and a tax on capital gains. He opposes any increase in the income tax since "Northern Virginia (already) pays a higher percentage of the (income) tax," he said. Barry would like local governments given additional taxing powers "to relieve the burden on property taxes" and has suggested a tax on services like dry cleaning and auto repairing.
Barry, who operates a commercial and industrial property management firm, favors collective bargaining for public employees "providing there is no affiliation with a national labor union and providing strikes are prohibited."
Although he said he doesn't feel the ERA is "necessary" he will vote for it "based on the results of an annual poll I conduct which, at present, shows 61 per cent in favor."
James H. Dillard Jr., 43, of 4709 Briar Patch Lane, Fairfax, is a high school government teacher seeking his fourth term as a state delegate.
This primary is a race between "those with legislative experience and those people with very conservative points of view and less experience," Dillard said in a recent telephone interview. "I don't think they (the conservative team) reflect the Republican Party in Fairfax County - I sure hope they don't," he said.
Calling his record "outstanding," Dillard cited his legislative accomplishments in combatting soil erosion; creating a consumer protection agency; expanding the freedom of information act and setting up standards of quality in education. Dillard also favors passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and collective bargaining (on a no-strike basis) for public employees.
He would support moves to give local governments a larger share of state revenues in order to reduce their dependence on property taxes. Dillard also said he would like to see the tax on cigarettes raised and he said property tax assessments should be limited to a 20 per cent increase as a maximum in any one year.
On the subject of judicial selection and scrutiny, Dillard said, "Judges are selected through political deals in a closed Democratic caucus. Any move to open this process and make it more deliberative would be welcome. Until the judiciary is remived from the Democratic Pary patronage system, the (Judicial Inquiry and) Review Commission's role is a moot issue."
Robert E. Harris, 41, 4440 Glenrose St., Fairfax, is the third Republican incumbent. He is seeking renomination for his third consecutive term as a delegate. Harris, director of Atomics International Programs at Rockwell International, made an unsuccessful bid as an independent for Congress in the 89th District in 1972.
Harris said collective bargaining for public employees "means higher taxes" and therefore he opposes it.
Although he initially gave his support to the ERA, Harris has changed his mind "because I believe through personal research that (the ERA) would hurt the Virginia state laws which protect women especially in regard to divorce."
Harris is against giving local bodies tax options because they "are grossly abused by local governments."
In answer to a question about financial disclosure for state delegates, Harris said he "is a favor of the current law" that requires disclosing the source, but not the amount of any outside income. Full disclosure "would scare away qualified people" Harris said.
If reelected, Harris said he will work to get a special Northern Virginia highway district "because of our urban flavor." He is presently serving on a special legislative committee studying this concept, he said.
Harris also cited a need for a comprehensive energy plan that would offer incentives to industry to convert to coal and that would give tax rebates to homeowners for insulating their homes.
Lawrence D. Pratt, 34, 6812 Landor Lane, Springfield, making his first bid for public office, says that voters are more concerned about rising taxes.
"There is a general desire to get government and taxes and spending under control," he said. Pratt wants to look for ways to "reduce the growth of government so it's possible to reduce taxes and to deliver the services people do want but at lower prices."
He suggests that localities take a closer look at contracting with private, taxpaying businesses that can usually provide municipal services like firefighting and trash collecting more cheaply than governments can as a way to hold down costs.
If taxes aren't checked, Pratt warns, "instead of the government being our servant we'll all be their servants."
Pratt is the Washington representative for the Gun Owners of America, which he describes as a half-million member "political action committee with its headquarters in Sacramento, Calif." He also serves as executive director of the American Conservative Union.
Next to taxes, Pratt believes voters are most concerned about crime."Just about anyone you talk to has been vandalized or burglarized," Pratt said in a recent telephone interview. He endorses the concept of criminals paying restitution to their victims.
The ERA does not have Pratt's support "because of its legislative history in the U.S. Congress" which did not exclude women from the draft. But Pratt said he would "support any measure which protects the right of a women to be financially secure in her decision to be a full-time homemaker."
On the subject of disclosure, Pratt said he does "not plan to make a disclosure of my income, modest as it is. Disclosure of income is not as important to me as how a person votes and what a person thinks," Pratt said.
Robert L. Thoburn, 47, 11121 Pope's Head Rd., Fairfax, is the founder and administrator of the private Fairfax Christian School. He is also a minister and businessman and this is his first attempt to win a delegate seat.
Thoburn "favors as much local government as is practicable, but under no circumstances would I favor a local income tax," he said. In fact, if he is elected he would work for a tax cut by "cutting programs like stopping the funding of abortions."
Thoburn opposes what he calls "regresive taxes like Social Security and sales taxes" and "a family's savings should be given to the children, not confiscated by government through inheritance taxes," he said.
Thoburn says he is running for office because we "need people who will hold the line on taxes."
Thoburn opposes the Era because, "I do not think men should have rights as higas women in some areas (like exclusion from the draft)." Thoburn would not vote for collective bargaining legislation for public employees because "elected representatives of the people should control government rather than the union bosses."
Believing it is "the civil government's function to punish, not reform," Thoburn said he would like to see the reinstatement of the principle of restitution by which a criminal repays, in double, whatever damage he caused. This would be a viable alternative to the penitentiary which Thoburn said is a "miserable failure." The school administrator said he would favor "following the Biblical solution for rapists, that is capital punishment." But he concedes that it would be "silly" to advocate it since the public would not take it seriously.
If elected Thoburn says one of his priorities would be to sponsor legislation that would remove employment barriers for youth and older persons.