5 questions with Virginia Beach House District 85 candidates

The Virginia House of Delegates 85th District is holding a special election on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Virginia Beach has two candidates running for the seat.

The deadline to register, update voter registration, status or apply for an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Southside Daily interviewed each candidate and asked them questions about their lives, policy and why constituents in District 85 should vote for them.

Cheryl Turpin (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Turpin for Virginia Beach)
Cheryl Turpin (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Turpin for Virginia Beach)

Cheryl Turpin – Democrat

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I grew up in a military family. My dad was a captain in the Army, so I was born at Womack Hospital in Fort Bragg. Much of my early years, we traveled from station to station, so I am well-connected with the needs of the military family. I ended up in Fairfax County and graduated there in 1981, then I went to VCU and got a degree in education and I’ve been a teacher for about 25 years. I went on to get my master’s degree at UVA and I’ve been a science teacher all my career.

How have your life experiences shaped your politics?

I think the best perspective I have coming into this race is only from the Commonwealth of Virginia. I’ve lived in five or six different congressional districts. So not only am I a Democrat, but as a Democrat and a representative of Virginia Beach, I’ve lived in Buchanan County in Virginia, coal country, for three years.

So I can take our perspective and our voice to them, even though they might be Republican and say “I know your needs, as well as I know mine, so let’s work together on making things happen.”

I have a really good understanding of not only our local issues, but the ability to reach across aisles and across landscapes almost to say “this is how we can help each other, and when this happens to us, this is how it will affect you as well.” I think that’s probably my strength.

What is the one major problem you think Virginia Beach faces today and how would you propose to fix it?

It has to be transportation, congestion and physical wear-and-tear on our roadways. I mean, everybody is affected by that. And if I can express our concerns here to the people in northern Virginia about why our services are needed, and why our developments must go forward … I grew up in their area and I know their concerns as well. So I can say to them “our area here is in dire need of congestion reduction and a comprehensive plan on what we’re going to do in the next 20 years.”

Is this your first time running in an election?

Absolutely. I’ve done precinct and election work for so long, through the Democratic committee, that I know how to put together a field plan. So, the field plan is coming together. When I get  [a campaign manager] hired, they’re going to come in and go “wow, this is really impressive, you’ve done 90 percent of the work,” because I’ve done it before, for other people’s campaigns.

Why should the constituents of House District 85 vote for you?

Not only do I have the ability to represent them, but I have the ability to take the narrative across the Commonwealth. And I have the ability to share that story to people in a fashion that reflects that region of the state as well. I think that’s my message.

I’ve been a public servant, I have no secret agenda, I am only here to represent my constituents. Their story is my story. I’m not a defense contractor and I have no other issues other than those of my constituents.


Rocky Holcomb (Photo courtesy of Rocky Holcomb Republican for Delegate)
Rocky Holcomb (Photo courtesy of Rocky Holcomb Republican for Delegate)

Rocky Holcomb – Republican

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I’m the son of a Navy chaplain, so I traveled growing up. I was in the United States Marines Corps as an infantryman, 0311. After being honorably discharged, I started working here in Virginia Beach at the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. I’m a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. I’ve been married for 22 years to my wife, Tracy, I have a son who is 16 named Norman and a daughter who is 19 named Summer.

How have your life experiences shaped your politics?

For my whole adult life, I’ve been in uniform. I’ve worn the cloth of this nation and I wear the cloth of this city’s Sheriff’s Office. So, I have been exposed to many different scenarios and many different situations that have required me to develop a new way of thinking and a new approach of how to deal with problems.

One thing it’s taught me is that you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got to talk and you’ve got to communicate. One thing about me is I have a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management. You’ve got to build trust to accomplish things and that’s one thing I bring to the table that I think is going to help me in the House of Delegates.

What is the one major problem you think Virginia Beach faces today and how would you propose to fix it?

I think we definitely have to create jobs and grow our economy. We need to make sure that that we strengthen small businesses and create a pro-business climate to expand job growth.

Is this your first time running in an election?

I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of fun being a first-time candidate and running in a special election. It’s a lot like trying to drink water through a fire hose, there’s a lot of information coming at you very fast. So, it’s awesome getting out, meeting constituents in the district and talking to people. It’s a fun challenge.

Why should the constituents of House District 85 vote for you?

For me, it’s a clear choice. If I’m elected, then I’m going to be in the majority party in Richmond. So, being in the majority party, I will be able to get things done immediately. And I’ll be able to serve the constituents of the 85th District and I’ll be able to get things done that my opponent won’t be able to, being in the minority party.

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