Virginia voters cite economy, education and gun safety as top priorities ahead of primary

“My top voting priorities—it’s definitely our economy,” a Loudoun County mother, Kristine, said. “We need help getting that back on track.” 

Prashant, of Ashburn, Virginia, said his top issue when voting is the “economy, economy, economy — all these three.”

“Inflation. Everything’s more expensive,” a Virginia man, Daniel, said, “My money isn’t going as far as it used to, and we want to see some things done better.”

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Voters cast their ballots during the Virginia Governor Race, at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, U.S., November 2, 2021.

Voters cast their ballots during the Virginia Governor Race, at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, U.S., November 2, 2021. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

While primary elections are being held for two Virginia tickets, the GOP already tapped candidates for several others. The Loudoun County Republican Party, for example, last month selected Hung Cao, a retired Navy captain and Vietnam War refugee, to face off against Democrat incumbent Rep. Jennifer Wexton.

Cao has campaigned on cutting taxes, securing America’s borders, removing political agendas from classrooms and backing law enforcement, according to his website. Wexton has advocated for criminal justice reform, enhancing disability rights, battling the opioid crisis and gun violence prevention, according to her own site.

Lisa, a Loudoun County voter, said her priorities are “First amendment rights, freedom of speech, Second Amendment rights and just seeing Americans’ liberties restored again.”

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Northern Virginia residents also said education and curtailing gun violence are top priorities. 

The 10th District, which includes Loudoun County and a portion of Fairfax County, where the school board has faced contentious debate for its policies since the pandemic began. The board last week approved a rule making it possible for students as young as fourth grade to be suspended for “malicious misgendering” or “deadnaming” their peers. 

“Deadnaming” is a term used to describe the act of referring to someone by a name they used prior to transitioning genders.

Heather Fruzzetti makes a public statement as people protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021.

Heather Fruzzetti makes a public statement as people protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

“Woke cultures is a poison to us, and we need to kind of nip it in the bud,” Daniel said. 

The Loudoun County school system is not focused on parent-teacher- and student cohesion, according to Kristine. 

Nathan, a Virginia voter, said education was his top voting priority.

“The safety of our kids, safety of our family,” are a concern, Prashant, of Ashburn, said.

Tysons Corner Center in Virginia.

Tysons Corner Center in Virginia. (Google Maps)

“I’m feared to go to a mall after that Tyson Mall shooting,” Prashant continued. 

Over the weekend, a man opened fire at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia. 

Rosa, a Loudoun County mother, told Fox News that gun control in this election is “top of mind.” 

She said she wants a candidate that backs “regulations to make sure that the right people are buying guns.”

Polling hours in Virginia run from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Elizabeth Heckman contributed to this report.