WASHINGTON - Virginia state senator Frank Wagner is going up against Ed Gillespie and Corey Stewart in the state's race for governor.
Wagner visited FOX 5 to talk about his campaign and his Virginia roots.
Wagner grew up in Arlington and graduated from the Naval Academy. He was a salvage diver in the U.S. Navy and was stationed out of Norfolk.
Wagner said his major focus in the campaign is transportation and calls it the number one issue northern Virginia is dealing with. “It is the number one problem everyone in northern Virginia looks to for a solution from Richmond and I'm the only candidate talking about it.”
"What we're doing now is we're turning our highways over to private companies," Wagner said. "That's why you're starting to see $20 or $30 tolls for those people who can afford to pay it. And those who can't sit in traffic."
PUSH FOR VOTES
"We're making huge traction," Wagner said. "Ever since that debate in Lynchburg, it was a televised debate, it was clear who knew what was going on. It was clear that Gillespie or Corey Stewart - neither one of them understood what was going on in Virginia."
"We've got to reinstill career technical education back into middle school - starting in middle school - because that's where the jobs are," Wagner said. A lot of students are geared more towards a career technical education than they are the SOL (Standards of Learning) route which is good for college bound."
Wagner says that when he speaks with businesses he is constantly told they cannot find skilled workers to fill the positions. “There are all kinds of opportunities but we've got to reinstill that,” he said.
Wagner says that after leaving the Navy he started his own ship repair company and says that he is the only one of the candidates that is a business man and has started their own company.
“I've worn a hard hat all my life. I’ve work around welders, ship fitters, machinists, pipe fitters - the kinds of people that make Virginia run”, he said. “I have the deepest respect for people who are skilled craftsman and I want to see that respect transferred to more and more people. And I want to do something to really invigorate the economy of Virginia which is ensure we have a pipeline of skilled people to fill the jobs that are currently available right now.”
"I can't go to Texas like Ed Gillespie and round up a bunch of oil money and bring it back home. I'm not a friend of the Bush family like he is," Wagner said. "If you want a Washington, D.C. insider – the guys made millions of dollars on lobbing up here in Washington - you got you’re guy. Gillespie is your guy."
Ultimately, Wagner says, voters are hiring someone to run Virginia. And he says he is the right man for the job.
MORE ONLINE: http://www.wagnervagovernor.com/