Meet the candidates: Robert Short Sr.

A self-defined small-government and libertarian Democrat, Robert W. T. Short Sr., 24, is running against Republican incumbent Steve Newman for position of 23rd District Senate seat for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Short family — Robert Short Sr. with wife, Amanda, and two of his children. Photo provided

Short currently lives in Bedford with his wife Amanda and three children, Rebecca, 3; T.J., 2; and Andy, 6 months old.

Short, a student who is on sabbatical from Liberty University for a semester to run for office, an Iraq war veteran and a member of the Virginia National Guard, entered the race Aug. 23. He said that he decided to run for office when he saw that officials were not taking a stand on issues that affect the day-to-day lives of individuals, and he wanted to help rectify this problem.

“I have always believed that you have a calling in life, that God puts a drive and a focus in your heart, and that you should follow it,” Short said. “I have always felt the desire to serve others … For me, taking this next step in seeking public office is just a way of continuing my service.”

Short said his platform has been molded to address such issues as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controversy. This controversy involves the EPA coming into Virginia and, in order to confront the problem of pollution and dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay, “imposing costly erosion and pollution regulations on local governments and farmers,” according to the News & Advance.

According to Short, “these regulations were not going to be tailored to the specific needs of the area.”

He said that they were going to be the typical response of big government, or one-size-fits-all regulations. Short said he felt no one wanted to come up with a practical solution and put it into action.

There are many more issues that Short intends to address once in Richmond. For instance, one government action that Short said he strongly opposes is unfunded mandates where politicians decide that they want a certain action to take place. However, instead of making commonwealth laws, whereby the government would be obligated to fund the actions, officials just tell localities, “you have to do this,” and leave the localities on their own to figure out how to obtain the funds, which tends to lead to increased taxes, according to Short.

Other issues on which Short said he would take a stand are Virginia’s employment tax credit, the government unnecessarily borrowing money and the unbalanced budget.

According to Short, the General Assembly voted in their last session to borrow $600 million at six percent interest, which means that over the next 30 years citizens are going to be paying that money back, including the interest. However, Short said that now they are claiming that too much money was borrowed and they’re trying to decide how to utilize the surplus. Short’s response to this situation was that the state should not have borrowed that much money in the first place.

“I make this promise,” Short said. “I will follow the Virginia constitution…. I will balance the budget. If we need to borrow money, I will put it through the public referendum, like it’s supposed to be.”

Short said that he does not believe that tax money belongs to the government.

“The money comes from the people. It belongs to the people,” Short said. “It is wrong to take more money than you need to for the functioning of society, just because you can’t get along. And it is even more wrong to take money from people who haven’t even been born yet in order to pay it off.”

Short said that he possesses a biblical worldview, believes the best form of government is a constitutional democracy and is a staunch supporter of personal freedoms and limited and responsive government.

“I don’t think the government should be all things to all people,” Short said.

One of the disadvantages in the race has been the discrepancy between Short and Newman’s monetary funding, according to Short.

Because he has not campaigned for money or gone around to local industries and companies to try to obtain funding, Short said he has faced limited funding. However, Short said he had his reasons.

“I don’t think you should be indebted to any special interest group,” Short said.

However, Short has been dedicated in making public appearances and taking advantage of opportunities to share his platform and beliefs. The Richmond Times-Dispatch article also discusses Newman’s absence from a political debate held at Lynchburg College on Oct. 19, which was only one of the five debates that both candidates were invited to at which Newman was a no-show, according to Short.

One thing that Short said sets him apart from other candidates is that he recognizes he does not know all things about all areas of life or aspects of society over which government is involved.

He said that it is important for elected officials to actually go to their constituents, listen to them and find out what their needs are, instead of just appropriating what they themselves think that their constituents need.

“If they’re going out and voting on a bill for education, they should actually go and talk to teachers and find out what these teachers need,” Short said.

Another unique aspect is his desire to work across party lines to come up with common-sense solutions to address the problems that constituents care about, according to Short.

“I don’t care who comes up with the idea,” Short said. “If it’s a good idea, we should do it. The only consideration on whether or not we should do an idea is the merit of the idea.”

In this election, Short said that he hopes people are aware that there is a choice and to not just vote along party lines, but to carefully consider which candidate will represent their best interests.

“I look forward to walking across party lines and reaching compromise,” Short said. “I look forward to getting both establishments mad at me because I refuse to sit down and play by their rules, where you sit down on one side of the aisle and stay there your entire career.”

One comment

  • I served with Short in the Army. First of all, he is a narcissistic, self-righteous, judgmental, elitist that is extremely quick to ignore reality in order to promote his own well-being, even if that means destroying others around him. He did not pass his Physical fitness tests in the Army so I am not sure if he even deserved an honorable discharge if in fact he received one. Bottom line, he is not fit for office.

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