Special/Signature Issues » Independents' Day

Katherine B. Waddell


Race: House of Delegates

Name: Katherine B. Waddell

Why are you running as an independent?
I was elected as an Independent because I put the people of my district and the common sense solutions to the issues they are facing above the petty partisan squabbles of the two major parties. More Americans identify themselves as Independents than as members of the two major parties. They see how the extremes have hijacked the major parties and are eager for government to actually address their concerns. As I run for re-election, I will continue to be an Independent who does what is right for my district and the commonwealth of Virginia.

Why aren't you running as a Democrat or Republican?
For all of the reasons I listed above. I think the issue was settled when I ran in 2005 as an Independent and defeated an entrenched incumbent. People are tired of the status quo; they want someone like me who will put them first instead of a political party.

What are your signature policies and campaign issues?
I have championed the everyday concerns of my district. I have a good record of success after one term, having passed the Chip Alert which closed the loop-hole in the Amber Alert to include all persons enrolled in Virginia's high schools regardless of age so that when a parent reports a child missing, an alert can be sent out immediately, saving precious time. I have also secured needed funding to finally replace the Huguenot bridge. I fought for an anti-discrimination policy for the city of Richmond and will continue to push for fair and transparent government, particularly in its interactions with the citizens of my district.

Which political party do you more closely identify with?
When I say I'm an Independent, I mean it. I used to be a Republican but the party moved further and further to the right, focusing on social issues and requiring a litmus test. In 2001, John Conrad, who had been a Republican, was forced by the party candidate selection process to run for the House of Delegates as an Independent. In order to support John, I had to resign my official Republican Party posts. Of course, in Virginia, we do not have to register by party so I did not have to make any changes in my voter registration. I support the traditionally conservative Republican philosophy when it comes to the size of government and support of the free market, and I also agree with the general Democratic philosophy of tolerance and getting the government out of the bedroom as well. As an Independent, I fight for an efficient government that minds its own business and believe I can keep doing that best by staying unaffiliated.

How do you differ most from them?
As a former Republican, I am uncomfortable with extremes. At present, I do not believe the Virginia State legislature reflects the views of the majority of Virginians. Most Virginians are somewhere in the middle, not right or left. When knocking on doors, most people identify themselves as Independents and even if they identify with one party or the other it is rare to meet a citizen who marches lockstep. As an Independent in the Virginia House of Delegates, I have a proven record of accomplishment and as an effective leader and I will continue to put the people of my district above party affiliation.

What changes would bring you into the Democratic or Republican fold? I will continue to represent the 68th District as an Independent.

How did you arrive at your political convictions?
I was active in Republican politics for many years, serving on local committees, State Central, which is the governing body of the Republican Party of Virginia, The Virginia Federation of Republican Women, and many Republican campaigns. I worked in the Office of the Attorney General for Jim Gilmore and the Lieutenant Governor's Office for John Hager as well as working for State Senator Eddy Dalton. I watched as the state switched from being controlled by Democrats to being controlled by Republicans but ultimately nothing changed. It was disappointing to watch Republicans no longer support fair and impartial redistricting, merit selection of judges as well as spending most of their time on social issues. The issues that actually matter to voters like education, healthcare, public safety, transportation, economic growth and the environment were just not being addressed.

I felt the best way to make changes was to challenge the status quo, so I qualified as an Independent, won and now represent my district exactly like I promised I would; as their Independent voice of moderation and reason. I have had Republicans tell me how lucky I am that I do not have to caucus and vote in lockstep with the party. I am free to vote based on common sense, the right thing to do, good public policy, not politics and what is in the best interest of my constituents.

Are you running to win, or running to bring attention to certain issues?
I am running to win; to be re-elected. My victory in 2005 proved that people are ready for a change and my re-election will show that they support my common sense approach to government and constituent services.

Who is your political hero?
Susan B Anthony was an independent, educated woman who sacrificed and spent her life working to gain the passage of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. She also worked to afford women advancement in property rights, employment and educational opportunities, divorce and child custody laws and increased social freedoms.

Is it wrong to steal office supplies?Yes.

What kind of car do you drive?American car - Cadillac

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