Patch recently sent questions to each of the candidates running in the Democratic primary for the 8th congressional District. The primary election is June 10. There are currently seven candidates in the Democratic primary race. This is the fourth of the Q&As, with candidate Patrick Hope.
1. Patch: What one thing would you hope to accomplish, more than anything, if elected?
Patrick Hope: Even if Obamacare were fully implemented in all 50 states, there'd still be more than 20 million uninsured Americans. That's why my first bill will be to bring these people into our healthcare system. Not only do I believe that healthcare is a universal civil right, but extending healthcare to all Americans is the fiscally responsible thing to do. I'm an expert in the healthcare field, and more than anything I hope to achieve is universal healthcare coverage for every American.
2. Patch: What makes your platform unique from the other candidates?
Patrick Hope: My first experience in politics was as a community activist, which is why I know that every neighborhood has their own unique set of issues- it's why I've committed to visiting all 159 precincts in the 8th district. My platform is unique because I'm the only candidate talking about local issues. From eviscerating predatory payday lenders to extending Metro's yellow line, I recognize that not only must our next member of Congress have a grasp on the national, hot-button issues, but they must also have a deep understanding of the communities they represent. I have a strong record as the founder of the Virginia Progressive Caucus, have a background in healthcare policy, have Hill experience, and am committed to building seniority so I can bring back federal dollars to our district like Jim Moran has done for over 20 years.
3. Patch: What is the biggest struggle you've ever overcome?
Patrick Hope: I've had a very lucky life — from a fantastic childhood in Texas, a great education and now I am blessed with a wonderful wife and three incredible children. That's why I became a coach for many years in the Special Olympics — to help those with real struggles. The motto of the Special Olympics is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt." I learned more from the time spent with those athletes than anything else I have ever done.
4. Patch: What has been your biggest achievement?
Patrick Hope: Republicans have a supermajority in the House of Delegates, so it's not easy to pass progressive legislation. However, I'm proud of the work I've done in prison reform. Prior to my efforts, pregnant women used to be shackled while giving birth in Virginia. I've also helped reduce the number of prisoners in solitary confinement by 70 percent — many of whom would eventually be released into our communities. From the economically disadvantaged to people with disabilities, I've worked hard to stand up for the voiceless, and that's what I'd do in Congress.
5. Patch: Who is your hero (political or otherwise)?
Patrick Hope: Hubert Humphrey. I'm a Hubert Humphrey Democrat, and I judge the effectiveness of government the same way he did — by the way we "treat those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." That's been my North Star throughout my life in public services, and that's the government I'd strive to achieve in Congress.
6. Patch: What, to you, is one of the most distinctive qualities about the community of the 8th congressional district?
Patrick Hope: Our federal workforce is the most special thing about the 8th district. Federal workers are the backbone of our government and economy, and their hard work goes all-too-often unnoticed. We're so lucky to have these tremendous public servants, and I'd work to restore the federal transit subsidy, increase pay raises, and would never support a government shutdown.
7. Patch: How would you describe yourself in just three words?
Patrick Hope: I hope that people see me as honest, compassionate, and a hard-worker.
8. Patch: What is your definition of success?
Patrick Hope: Success implies satisfaction. While I've accomplished positive things in the state legislature, there's a lot of work to be done. Voters can rest assured that I'll never stop fighting and I won't compromise on my values or the people I represent. I first ran for office to make the playing field fairer, the environment cleaner, and to give a voice to the millions of people living in the shadows — from LGBT youth to immigrants to the poor and the handicapped. I can't see myself ever being completely satisfied with the work I've done and pretend that we've successfully accomplished all of our goals. Success to me means spending my life building a stronger, more equitable country so that future generations can build on our progress — just as we're building on the progress of generations before.
- Q&A with Don Beyer
- Q&A with Adam Ebbin
- Q&A with Bill Euille
- Q&A with Lavern Chatman
- Q&A with Mark Levine
- Q&A with Derek Hyra