NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Republican candidate for governor Ed Gillespie unveiled a 15-point plan for helping current and former military members.
It includes establishing in-state tuition rates for military reserve and National Guard personnel, improving the absentee voting process for deployed service members, and ensuring that Virginia is, in his words, "BRAC-ready."
Gillespie said that Virginia could be harmed if there is another round of base closings.
He said he is singularly qualified to help on that score, because of his decades-long relationships with members of the Trump administration.
"I think to the extent that Virginia is affected very directly by federal spending and programs, 20 cents out of every dollar in GD:P is a federal dolls. Having a governor who can work with a Republican House, a Republican Senate, president Trump, Vice President Pence, the Trump administration, I think is an asset for us in Virginia and would be a good thing or the people of the Commonwealth," he said.
We reached out to Democrat Ralph Northam's campaign for comment.
In a statement, a spokesperson said:
"If Ed Gillespie is bragging that he has such close ties to the Trump administration, then how come he is not standing up against the guts to Medicaid funding, the proposed health care premiums hikes or the cuts to economic development funding under Trump's federal budget. Dr. Northam understands the needs of veterans and military families because he served in the Army as a doctor. He's the only candidate who will stand up to President Trump when the policies of D.C. hurt Virginia's veterans."
On the subject of base closings, the spokesperson said:
"I would also note off the record that in 2014, Gillespie said that BRAC Process did not need to be changed. He has a change of tune today on that front now."
Northam served as a combat medic in Operation Desert Storm.
Gillespie said he respects Northam's service, saying:
"I appreciate that very much."
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