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The Blue & Gray Press | June 25, 2018

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Sarvis speaks to UMW community, asking for support

BY GLENN GRIGSBY

sarvisRobert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for governor of Virginia spoke with students at an event hosted by the University of Mary Washington’s No Labels chapter on Oct. 21.

No Labels is a nationally recognized bipartisan political organization that aims to fix political problems in Washington, D.C.

Sarvis studied mathematics at Harvard University and the University of Cambridge and received his law degree from New York University. Sarvis also earned his masters in economics at George Mason University, according to an article in The Free Lance-Star

Sarvis previously ran for state senate in 2011 as a Republican, according to NBC Washington.

Sarvis said “elections are about accountability, and when both parties have failed, we have to hold both parties accountable.”

During the event, Sarvis spent a majority of his hour answering student questions, but before opening up the floor, he spoke briefly about how he aimed to solve Virginia’s economic struggles by deregulating markets and ending “crony capitalism,” while simultaneously working to preserve personal liberties such as gun rights and changing policies that prohibit marijuana and gay marriage.

“It seems preposterous that we’re still talking about whether or not same-sex couples deserve equal benefits,” said Sarvis.

Sarvis told the Washington Post in early September that the theme of his campaign is “open-minded and open for business,” concerning economic and personal freedom.

“I think that he may shine a light on some things that don’t normally get highlighted, like drugs, gay marriage and cronyism,” said Nate Levine, junior history and English major and president of the Student Senate. “I hope that he causes the prospective Republican and Democrat candidates to step back and look at possible problems with their own platforms.”

Students asked Sarvis a number of questions pertaining to a variety of issues including economics policy, drugs policy, education policy and the affect he hopes to have on the upcoming election.

The theme that ran throughout Sarvis’s answers regarding policy was deregulation. He said that deregulating the business sector would open up markets and make Virginia more competitive and that adjusting marijuana policy would save the Commonwealth money and allow police officers to focus on more pressing crimes.

Regarding higher education, Sarvis told students that the Commonwealth may be running their institutions with an outdated model. He aims to make higher education more affordable for students and end subsidies that are solely captured by the institutions.

Ultimately, Sarvis said he hopes to bring some competition to Virginia’s political market.

“The most important market is the market of ideas,” said Sarvis, and he said he wants to help open that market in both Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Students found his discussion to be useful for the election.

“I thought he was really personable, elegant, intelligent and brave in his ideas. He’s ambitious, and I like that,” said Levine.

“Sarvis seems fragile, he has a lot of good ideas, but he doesn’t seem aggressive and may not be able to fight for the issues that he feels so strongly on,” Lauren Rainford, freshman and prospective history and political science double major.

However, Rainford does think Sarvis is a good fit for his party.

“I think that he is a very good candidate for the libertarian party because he is moderate and therefore accessible to voters. I think he will take a lot of votes away from both the Republican and Democratic candidates,” said Rainford.