Prince William County Democrat Esteban Garces began his campaign Monday for the newly created House of Delegates seat.
A lifelong Northern Virginia resident, Garces kicked off his campaign at La Luna Restaurant in Woodbridge with about 25 supporters. The event was scheduled for earlier in the month, but Garces had to cancel because of a family emergency, officials with his campaign said.
Garces, 30, will face Republican Mark Dudenhefer, chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. Dudenhefer announced in May that he planned to run for the seat. He said there needs to be a more conservative voice in the House who will work to keep taxes low and limit government intervention.
On Wednesday, the Virginia New Majority — a civil rights group that represents various minority groups including immigrants, African Americans and women — said it endorses Garces for the seat. Group members said in a news release that Garces reflects their vision for a Virginia in which “all residents benefit from fairness, opportunity and economic security.”
Garces said the 2nd district, which spans eastern Prince William and Stafford counties, is plagued by transportation problems that will only get worse when almost 3,000 new people arrive from the Base Realignment and Closure proceedings. Garces said there needs to be more flexible transportation funding that can go to “high impact traffic problems,” including those caused by BRAC.
On the education front, Garces said he wants to see a new funding formula put into place that will provide “adequate and more stable funding” to area schools.
Garces said he also wants to see changes to the foreclosure process. He said banks should give families at least 45 days notice when they are going to foreclose their home.
A graduate of Mary Washington University, Garces now works for a nonprofit that “advocates for fair and safe policies” throughout Virginia, he said.