Three-term state Sen. Jill Vogel and challenger Ronnie Ross III both see health care as a top priority for Virginia’s 27th Senate District, but disagree on the right answer.
Democrat Ross, a 33-year-old political newcomer, supports expanded Medicaid. Vogel has been working in the General Assembly to make coverage more affordable for small businesses and their employees through short-term and catastrophic insurance plans.
Her legislative efforts were vetoed by Gov. Ralph Northam, but the 49-year-old Republican succeeded in obtaining lifetime coverage for people with autism spectrum disorder.
The 27th Senate District covers a broad swath of the state. It includes parts of Stafford, Loudoun and Culpeper counties, plus all of Fauquier, Frederick and Clarke counties and the city of Winchester.
Vogel lives with her husband and children in Fauquier County and operates a law office in Warrenton.
Ross, his wife and their son live in western Loudoun County. He teaches at the private Highland School in Warrenton.
Vogel has served in the state Senate since 2008 and serves on the rules, finance, and general laws and technology committees and is chair of the Privileges and Elections Committee. She made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in 2017.
She is a native of Roanoke and earned her bachelor’s degree at the College of William & Mary and law degree at DePaul University in Chicago. She sees responsible governing, cutting taxes and growing the economy as her other priorities.
Ross is a Phi Beta Kappa member and summa cum laude graduate of Wittenberg University in his native Ohio. He also holds a master’s degree in education and has taught at Highland for a decade.
His other priorities for the Nov. 5 race are education and the environment.
He wants to see increases in teacher salaries and per-pupil funding. Plus, he seeks to improve public education by focusing on the preschool level and supporting career and technical training.
Ross believes the world is seeing the impact of climate change and that the state should move toward a green economy.
Vogel’s interest in responsible governing includes banning gifts to politicians as a step toward ethics reform, working to develop nonpartisan redistricting, and continuing to balance the state budget without increasing taxes.
She highlights her effort to deliver the second-largest tax cut in state history while balancing the budget and emphasizes her work on behalf of rural economies, which includes much of the 27th District.
The latest campaign finance reports from the Virginia Public Access Project showed Vogel had raised almost $400,000 for her campaign and had a balance of $159,823 as of Sept. 30.
VPAP reports showed Ross had raised almost $260,000 for his campaign and had a balance of $68,087 as of Sept. 30.