By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
What has characterized both parties during the 2016 presidential election, according to Virginia Sen. Bryce Reeves, is anger. The lack of positive perspective, what America is and what could be, is missing.
“No one is talking about what is that vision for America,” Reeves said, believing the candidates lack the optimistic view of America that he admired in Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, his favorite presidents.
Discussing bipartisanship, his running for lieutenant governor, taking action and encouraging students to do the same, Reeves attended and spoke during a meeting with College Republicans. He discussed the end of a 60-day long session in Richmond, where he and other state officials balanced the budget.
Unlike a few of the presidential candidates running, Reeves said that people will not have to guess how he will solve the issues that he sees in Virginia. “I can tell you exactly what I want to accomplish,” Reeves said.
He also talked about what could be an identity crisis in the Republican Party, as candidate Donald Trump has given few specifics about how he proposes to solve issues. “In our party, we don’t know, and that scares us,” Reeves said.
One student who attended the meeting, who said his and Reeves’ beliefs may not align, thanked Reeves for being willing to be bipartisan while bills were being proposed.
Reeves attributed this bipartisanship to being elected to do a job that is meant to benefit everyone in Virginia, not solely one party.
“I’m not elected to just represent Republicans, I’m here to represent all people,” Reeves said. During the meeting, Reeves announced that he would be running for lieutenant governor in 2017, believing he could make progress with issues related to the state.
A lieutenant governor, according to a definition from Ballotpedia, oversees movement of legislation and may take the role of governor if the current governor passes away or leaves temporarily.
His goal with all state policy, according to Reeves, is to help people. Most of his family members have served in some capacity, either in the military or in service-related fields of work.
Reeves also encouraged students to consider volunteering for his campaign. Senior political science major Sam Azzarelli, is Reeves’ communications director. Azzarelli started working for Reeves as a session aid, later going on to managing social media for the campaign and became communications director once Reeves decided to run for lieutenant governor.
“My experience working for both the campaign and legislative session has been amazing,” Azzarelli said. “I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and learned so much about Virginia politics and state government. Senator Reeves runs an awesome internship program, so once I finished the program I wanted to stay on Team Reeves and help in any way I could.” Azzarelli said Reeves likes to be involved with the university and will most likely be back to speak again.
Reeves has been among a few state officials who spoke with UMW students this semester. Governor Tim Kaine met with students nearly a month ago during a history class taught by Ranjit Singh, associate professor of political science and international affairs.