Image attributed to Gage Skidmore.

You don’t have to look very far to find alarming statistics about Virginia’s decline in the past few years: for three years in a row, more people have moved out of Virginia than have moved in, which should be shocking, considering that Virginia has not seen this level of out-migration since data started to be collected in 1978. So how do we ensure Virginia is an attractive state to do business? Through simple economics-based ideas.

“I look forward to running on an ideas-based and solutions-orientated campaign that Virginians are looking for,” Ed Gillespie, candidate for governor, said to students at the College of William & Mary today. And solutions-oriented he is: citing the need for a more diversified economy, Gillespie touted his plan to make across-the-board cuts on the income tax, a tax level that has not been touched since 1972. Putting more money in the pockets of individuals and families and creating conditions that allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive is critical to achieving this economy, he argues.

But Virginians need to see a boost in the existing major industries as well. Agricultural exports, despite agriculture being the largest industry in Virginia, have declined since 2014. One of Gillespie’s primary concerns is to open up these markets and fight petty regulations while “[balancing] the responsible stewardship of our environment with our economic needs.”

Virginia also needs to think differently about young people and the four year degree. Gillespie wants to slow down the creeping tuition hikes in Virginia while encouraging eager workers not convinced about college to pursue technical jobs.

As governor, Ed Gillespie (a small business owner himself) would be a leader willing to push back against Washington when their overreach necessitates resistance. Gillespie is seasoned, yet fresh: he has spent many years negotiating the tangled web of politics, yet cuts past the distractions and finds solutions, all while presenting an energetic and youthful demeanor. As a champion of individual liberty, rational citizens will most likely flock to the ballot box to vote for Ed in June and November of 2017.