Among the growing list of first-time Democratic candidates entering the region’s political races, Mavis Taintor is taking on one of the most difficult paths for Democrats. Running for the House of Delegates in the 33rd District, the investment banker and Waterford resident is facing a challenge in the Democratic primary against farmer and small business owner Tia Walbridge.
Should she win, she will then have to take on incumbent Republican Dave LaRock in a conservative-leaning district that covers parts of western Loudoun as well as Clarke and Frederick counties. Taintor spoke with the Tribune on how she plans to take the primary and then flip the traditional GOP stronghold that LaRock won by 23 percent of the vote in 2015.
Why are you running?
For years I’ve been living in Northern Virginia and Dave LaRock is my delegate and he wasn’t representing the 33rd district at all. He’s a do-nothing delegate. He goes to Richmond once a year for two months and accomplishes practically nothing. What he does accomplish is not germane to the vast majority of the 33rd District wants to have happen.
What do people in the 33rd District want to see happen?
They want to see much more progressive values being dealt within the Virginia state house. I think they want a wall between Virginia and all the nonsense that’s going on in Washington. I think they want to know that families do have access to healthcare, both mental healthcare and real healthcare. One piece of data that scares me is that Virginia ranks 49th in terms of per capita beds in psychiatry. If you have a mental health problem in Virginia you’re not going to get a bed on an emergency basis.
Also the whole consultation of values around families and the ability to earn a decent wage so you can bring your family up to a basic stranded of living. We also want to make sure that small businesses in this community can thrive. I think there are some simple things we can do to make sure that happens. That in itself is a generator of jobs and that in itself brings money into our families.
Why should they elect you?
They should elect me because I’m an absolutely can-do person. I have over 40 years of real life experience. I’ve been working out there in the public sector and the private sector. I’ve taught Head Start, I’ve worked for a congressional commission. I’ve gone around the country dealing with mayors, police chiefs and groups of fire fighters so I really know what’s going on in the local level. I’ve learned there that if you can start talking to these people and reach some common understanding of each other, you can really build some solutions on that. I’m a believer that solutions can be built in Richmond, in the state house, if people just take the time to do that.
What separates you from Walbridge in the Democratic Primary?
I have the experience. I have all these years being out there, working, feeling strongly about families in need and that are vulnerable. At the same time I’ve also managed to have an extensive career in some of the private sector areas where I’ve managed numbers of people and I’ve created new jobs and I’ve started my own business twice. I think I have the experience, the skills, the ‘roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done’ character to really make a difference in Richmond.
If you win the party’s nomination, how do you plan to beat LaRock?
I feel this all so strongly. I run a great organization. I’m out every day. I’m well funded. I just can’t wait to get to the real election, which is going to be against LaRock, which is going to be a lot of fun because I don’t think he has much defense in terms to not having accomplished anything in Richmond in many years. I’m going to beat LaRock.