Marshall, Bell debate Transportation, Priorities in race for 13th

By Dan Roem Source: Gainesville Times THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 2009

Candidates for the 13th District House of Delegates seat clashed Sept. 22 in Manassas, offering differing views on transportation funding and legislative priorities while also agreeing on several key points.

Incumbent Del. Bob Marshall, a Republican from Manassas, focused on a list of legislative initiatives and achievements he has made during 17 years in the state General Assembly. During his opening remarks, Marshall listed 10 legislative accomplishments including a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and Gov. Tim Kaine's (D) request that he introduce a smart growth bill.

"I say what I mean and do what I say. I say the same thing here as I do elsewhere. You won't find any contradictions," said Marshall.

Challenger John Bell, a Democrat from South Riding, spoke more broadly, repeatedly citing his experience as a financial officer and comptroller in the Air Force to convey the point that he knows how to manage budgets.


Bell pushes Marshall on Social Issues in Debate

Written by Jonathan HunleySource: Inside Nova

It wasn’t until the candidates questioned each other that the debate got a bit fiery.

John Bell, the Democratic challenger for the 13th District seat in the House of Delegates, asked Del. Robert G. “Bob” Marshall why he has focused on social issues such as abortion, suggesting other matters are more important.

But Marshall, arguably the General Assembly’s most prominent conservative, quickly shot back using a name not thrown around lightly in the Old Dominion.

“Who dealt with the question of right to life?” the western Prince William County Republican asked. “A fellow named Thomas Jefferson. The first right that he talked about in the Declaration of Independence was life — liberty, the pursuit of happiness.”

The candidates differed on issues — including sin taxes, transportation funding and Virginia’s use of federal stimulus money — in a 50-minute debate held Tuesday night by the Prince William Committee of 100.

The nonpartisan Committee of 100, which puts on forums throughout the year, conducted debates for the 13th and 50th House districts at the Four Points by Sheraton outside Manassas.