"There is too much focus on ideology. There's too much focus on the special interest," said John Lamie, the Democratic candidate for the 40th State Senate seat in Virginia. He thinks his perspective as a political outsider will help him.
His opponent is Republican Bill Carrico. Carrico has spent the last 10 years in Richmond as a delegate representing the 5th district.
He thinks his experience as a legislator will make it easy for him, if elected, to transition from the House to the Senate. "I've earned the respect of those people in the Senate and the House," Carrico said. "They know me, they trust me, they've worked with me."
On Tuesday when you step up to the ballot box you'll be asked to make many important decisions. If you live in the 40th district, one of those decisions will be whose business philosophy you want representing you in Richmond.
Carrico sees his role as one to cultivate relationships to make the region attractive for business, especially in manufacturing. Part of his plan is to change the mindset of the new generation entering the workforce. "The one thing that we've got to do in manufacturing is to take the stigma off of young people coming out of school that think manufacturing jobs are a thing of the past," he said.
Lamie wants to use his experience as a small business owner to stimulate job growth. "Of the people in this race I'm the only one that has created a job," he said. "We have 18 employees. In the hard times we've kept those 18 employees going and we probably need two new people now."
What kind of legislator will each man be?
"I think the current state of the political discussion and debate is really poor. I think it's time for somebody who has a particular viewpoint in mind as a small business owner to stand up and to try to change the debate," Lamie said.
"I'm just a little bit different of a legislator. More of a hands on, more of a meet you, get acquainted to you, accessible to you, try to talk about the issues", Carrico said.
Who ever wins this race will replace William Wampler in the Senate and will usher in a new era in Virginia politics.