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Independent seeks 5th District seat

When voters go to the polls next Tuesday, they will have a choice between three candidates seeking election to the position of 5th District congressman.

The candidates are incumbent Rep. Tom Perriello who is seeking his second term, Independent challenger Jeff Clark and Republican challenger Robert Hurt.

The Gazette will feature a biographical profile of each candidate leading up to the election.

Today, The Gazette features a profile on incumbent Clark.

Jeffrey A. Clark is the Independent candidate seeking the U. S. House of Representatives seat in Virginia’s 5th District race.
A native of Tidewater and Danville resident since 2004, Clark is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Services, having served in the Army for four years.

He and wife, Gerri, are currently Virginia State certified laboratory directors.

Creating jobs in the 5th District will be a top priority, according to Clark’s website.

“We must work to make this area of Virginia attractive to new or expanding businesses,” said Clark.

“A major contributor to the overall economic prosperity of Virginia is its involvement with the military. As your representative, in Washington I would work with local leaders in Richmond to identify companies that supply and produce goods for the military that are in the process of expanding or looking to expand in the near future.

“We would court those companies emphasizing the work ethic and distribution capabilities of the area enticing them to relocate or open a second location within the 5th District.”

Clark will vigorously defend the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

“The founders were clear that the right for the people to bear arms was crucial to the security and survival of the young republic,” said Clark.

“Some of the founders went as far to say that every citizen of a republic should own and be taught to use a gun. I will not support any legislation that would infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. We must not allow the incremental subversion of our rights in the name of social change. I will work to reverse unconstitutional restrictions on firearms, and I will not support any legislation that will allow the federal government to impose new restrictions through legislation. I will always stand for the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

Clark currently opposes the idea of uranium mining in Pittsylvania County.

“Before the people of the county make a decision, additional factors need to be studied beyond just safety and jobs,” said Clark.

“What effect will uranium mining have on the population growth as well as new business growth? Will environmentally conscious companies and families with small children risk moving to an area with uranium mining?

“Another factor to consider is why would we exploit our valuable natural resource when our country has not committed to expanding nuclear power use? We would be risking the health and safety of our people and risk damaging the family friendly perception of our community in order to sell our natural resource to advance the nuclear programs in Canada, France and China.

“There may be a time in the future when the United States and its domestic nuclear energy program needs more uranium, and at that time we may be asked to revisit the issue. As your representative I will make sure the people of the counties concerned will not be pressured by Washington into accepting a deal they find to be against their best interest.

Clark said America “must be able to reduce government imposed regulation on drilling and mining in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.

“We must allow the utility companies and the market to research and overcome serious feasibility issues facing current wind and solar technology,” Clark explained.

“Setting government mandated renewable energy requirements will only raise the cost of producing electricity and will actually hinder innovation in the renewable energy segment. As your representative, I will support domestic energy production and work to reduce government restrictions on the expansion of domestic energy resources,” he said.

Clark believes health care is in need of serious reform, but he does not advocate government control over the health care industry.

“Insurance companies should not be able to drop your coverage due to serious illness nor should they be able to raise your premiums with the intent of making coverage so cost prohibitive that you simply can no longer afford it,” said Clark.

“We must allow for true competition by allowing insurance policies to be sold across state lines, and no health care reform can be seriously contemplated without tort reform, thereby addressing the abundance of junk lawsuits.

“We must rein in Medicard and Medicaid costs by identifying fraud and applying harsh penalties for that fraud.

“The current version of House and Senate health care bills do nothing to address these issues and the current proposals are more about expanding government control than truly addressing them.”

Clark said the current tax code is unacceptable, adding he will work to reform and simplify the tax code with the goal of abolishing the IRS.

He said he would not support any legislation that involved amnesty or that simply nullified existing procedures in the name of making immigration easier, or any bill that will grant any form of amnesty for illegals currently in the United States.

Clark would support making being in the United States illegally a felony.