Jill Vogel ’92 breaks with Republican party on key issues in bid for lieutenant governor position

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October 31, 2017

12:11 AM

Jill Vogel ’92 is running for lieutenant governor as a Republican, yet during her 10 years in the Virginia Senate, she has broken with her party on issues ranging from transgender rights to ethics reform. She supports the Second Amendment and is one of only two senators with an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, but she also believes in climate change and wants to prioritize efforts to address rising sea levels. She banned child marriage in Virginia and views herself as a champion of women’s rights, but in 2012, she sponsored a controversial bill that would have required women to receive an ultrasound prior to undergoing an abortion. In her own words, Vogel is a politician who “bucks the system.”

Vogel is originally from the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in government and religion. During her time on campus, she studied abroad in South Africa and was a member of the social sorority Chi Omega. She then went on to earn a law degree at the DePaul University School of Law.

In the years since, Vogel has served as chief counsel for the Republican National Committee, deputy general counsel for George W. Bush’s Department of Energy, 27th district representative in the Virginia Senate and founding partner of a politically focused law firm.

In addition to my professional background, I think the thing that makes me best prepared to be lieutenant governor is the 10 years I’ve spent in the senate,” Vogel said. “[I have] gained leadership roles in a whole litany of areas that prepare me to lead as president of the senate.”

“In addition to my professional background, I think the thing that makes me best prepared to be lieutenant governor is the 10 years I’ve spent in the senate,” Vogel said. “[I have] gained leadership roles in a whole litany of areas that prepare me to lead as president of the senate.”

Vogel’s leadership roles include serving as chair of the privilege and elections committee, sitting on the finance committee and chairing the general government/technology subcommittee.

As a state senator, Vogel has tackled policy issues ranging from women’s health to redistricting and ethics reform. She said her initial priorities upon assuming the role of lieutenant governor, however, would be health care and the Virginia economy.

Vogel’s opponent, Democrat Justin Fairfax, supports the Affordable Care Act and hopes to expand Medicaid. Comparatively, Vogel proposes a more competitive private insurance market.

[Fairfax’s plan is] all government, all the time,” Vogel said. “In my view, that is the absolute wrong solution for healthcare. It’s not fair to say, ‘Oh well, Congress has done what they’re going to do, so now we just give up.’ We shouldn’t give up. There are things that we can do right now, in Virginia, that would vastly improve people’s access to healthcare and the affordability of healthcare, and what I propose is the absolute opposite of what my opponent proposes. His is single-payer, government-run. Mine is more competition.”

“[Fairfax’s plan is] all government, all the time,” Vogel said. “In my view, that is the absolute wrong solution for healthcare. It’s not fair to say, ‘Oh well, Congress has done what they’re going to do, so now we just give up.’ We shouldn’t give up. There are things that we can do right now, in Virginia, that would vastly improve people’s access to healthcare and the affordability of healthcare, and what I propose is the absolute opposite of what my opponent proposes. His is single-payer, government-run. Mine is more competition.”

In addition to promoting a competitive insurance market, Vogel said she hopes to increase funding for higher education, graduate more students in the health sciences field and expand telemedicine, which is the use of technology such as video chat to treat patients remotely.

Vogel’s plans for the economy, another key issue in the lieutenant governor race, center on protecting agriculture and rural economies. She has also promised the Americans for Tax Reform group that she will never vote to raise taxes.

Despite her largely conservative record within the Virginia Senate, Vogel said she has always placed principle before politics and partisanship.

“I’ve worked really hard to be a person who’s solution-oriented and works on all kinds of issues,” Vogel said. “And the issues that matter in my race, and the things that I’ve worked on transcend politics. If you’re working on opioids, you’re working on addiction, women’s health, combatting domestic violence and human trafficking –– those are issues that I’d hope young college students, women especially, would embrace and want to support, and also that young people in general would find a place and a way to support our campaign because we have been different. I have run a campaign that’s about being modern-thinking and forward-looking.”

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Meilan Solly

Chief Staff Writer Meilan Solly '18 is an English major in the W&M/University of St Andrews Joint Degree Programme. Previously, she served as editor of The Saint, St Andrews' student newspaper, and an editorial intern at Smithsonian and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazines.

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