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Del. John Avoli and Randall Wolf run for Virginia’s 20th District seat

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Delegate John Avoli and Randall Wolf are facing off for the 20th District seat in the House of Delegates.

Incumbent John Avoli said he hopes to continue serving the area and placing a focus on early intervention in education.

“It is imperative that we continue to do the best that we can for our children,” Del. Avoli said. “I can tell you as a former high school principal, without that early intervention, without prevention at an early age, when I got them in high school, it was a matter of putting Band-Aids on some of those kids. It’s hard to correct at that point.”

Del. Avoli said he’d also like to address some of the issues within the mental health system as well as transportation.

“I-81 continues to be a quagmire up and down the Valley here and needs to be fixed. Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Del. Avoli said. “We’re seeing some action, perhaps as early as next year at the Staunton intersection with 81 and 64, as well as moving up north.”

He added that safety and affordability of the Valley are among his priorities as well.

“I will continue to do the right thing for the people of the Shenandoah Valley, the people of the 20th district that I truly love, our farm land, our tourism, our beauty of Staunton and Waynesboro that I represent. It’s good. It’s a good thing that I see. I see a lot of positiveness in the area,” Del. Avoli said.

Del. Avoli is a founding member of the Commonwealth Caucus, where democrats and republicans on the House side come together periodically to discuss common issues.

“It has been a good thing. It really has. I understand better why some people vote the way they do now, and I hope they understand as to why I vote the way I do. I represent my constituents,” Del. Avoli said.

He said his time in office during the pandemic has been difficult but rewarding.

“We’ve been able to help an awful lot of people here in the 20th district with the DMV issues, issues with unemployment benefits,” Del. Avoli said.

Democrat Randall Wolf told WHSV that he is running for office because of the division in the country.

“I hate how divided we are, and I want to be part of that solution to start to get people to work together and talk together more,” Wolf said.

He believes that his experience as a life-long journalist has helped him in serving communities and getting to know what issues need to be addressed.

“I will hold town hall meetings. I will keep a very active Facebook page and social media presence to make sure people have a way to get in touch with me. I want to know what people think, so I can represent everyone here, not just the select few,” Wolf said.

One of those issues, Wolf said, is supporting local farmers and making sure they have a viable path forward to be profitable.

“Part of that is solar energy. A number of family farms, in the Valley in particular, have sought to put in industrial-scale solar and have been shut down. We need to encourage and empower that,” Wolf said.

Addressing the change in weather and taking care of the environment are other things that are important to Wolf that he said would also help our farmers.

He added that mental health is another top priority. Wolf said he’d like to see the money coming in from marijuana be dedicated to mental health and behavioral health care.

“And I think we need a third division in the 911 system that would be caregivers. They would work with law enforcement. They would work with fire and rescue, but they would be a dedicated group answering to their own chain of command to go out and help people in need,” Wolf said.

If Wolf is elected, he said he would like to create a Solution Space Caucus.

“That would be equal members of the republican and democratic parties, even if it’s just three or four of us from each one, to come together every session and put together good, bipartisan legislation that would serve primarily focus on rural issues,” Wolf said.

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