Delegate C. Todd Gilbert has announced that he will seek another term in the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 15th House District which includes the counties of Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and a portion of Rockingham County. First elected in 2005, Delegate Gilbert’s re-election bid will be based on the principled and effective leadership that he has offered on behalf of the citizens he represents.
Gilbert campaigned in 2005 on a platform of limited government, keeping taxes low and trying to rein in wasteful and inefficient government spending. He promised to be a staunch defender of traditional family values and the right to keep and bear arms and to fight the wave of illegal immigration that has brought more crime to our region. He vowed to take on the scourge of the methamphetamines in the Shenandoah Valley and to be a champion for public safety. Gilbert also recognized the natural beauty and unique way of life in the 15th District and vowed to do all that he could to protect it. Gilbert’s legislative agenda and voting record reveal that he has stood firm for all of these promises and for the common sense, conservative principles that are shared by the vast majority of the citizens of his district.
In just his second term, Delegate Gilbert has demonstrated his effectiveness in Richmond by following through with real results on his campaign promises. Gilbert successfully took on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s plan to turn Interstate 81 into a toll-booth laden superhighway which stood to devastate family farms, battlefields, and small businesses in Shenandoah County and place undue financial burdens on the agriculture industry that is so important to the region. Gilbert brought together a broad coalition of interests including farmers, conservationists, historical preservationists and business owners and restored to the people of Virginia the previously unfettered tolling authority once enjoyed by VDOT. Because of Gilbert’s legislative efforts, VDOT will now have to get permission from the people’s representatives in the General Assembly before any tolling scheme is put into place.
As a career prosecutor, Gilbert has used his expertise to be effective in the area of public safety. In 2008, he successfully championed a law that puts mandatory, minimum sentences on drug dealers who sell methamphetamine in our communities. In 2008, a very tough budget year in Richmond, Gilbert’s meth bill was the only new criminal bill funded by the General Assembly. Gilbert also successfully removed the last parole loophole in Virginia which had allowed criminals sentenced to longer misdemeanor sentences to be eligible for early release. In the wake of the heinous 2003 gang murder of seventeen year-old Brenda Paz in Shenandoah County, Gilbert sponsored a bill that provides for the death penalty for the premeditated murder of a cooperating witness in a criminal investigation. Gilbert was able to muster the votes to override the veto of Governor Tim Kaine in both the House and the Senate to make his bill the law of Virginia. This year he fought Governor Kaine’s plan to help balance the budget by granting early release to felons convicted of serious crimes such as child pornography, child molestation, felony domestic abuse, and repeat drunk driving. By raising awareness about this issue during the 2009 session, Gilbert almost single-handedly beat back this misguided and dangerous effort by the administration. In 2007 Gilbert sponsored a measure which made illegal aliens ineligible for bail when they are accused of committing serious crimes in our communities. Though it failed in the Senate in its first year, this bill was later adopted by both the House and Senate leadership. When offered by Gilbert again in 2008, it passed both houses and was signed into law by the Governor.
Delegate Gilbert is proud of his ability to successfully take care of the specific needs of his district. In 2007, Delegate Gilbert expended substantial political capital in Richmond to get a bill passed which will eventually afford Rappahannock County the opportunity to get relief from the unnaturally high cost of operating its schools. This past year, Gilbert was requested by the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce to have Page County designated the “Cabin Capital of Virginia”. Gilbert led a successful effort to bring more tourism dollars to Page County by getting the bill passed into law. This year he also successfully sponsored a bill that would exempt many thousands of hunters and farmers in his district from a recent ruling by the Department of Taxation that would have required them to pay sales tax on the processing of meat and other food items that they already own.
Gilbert has risen quickly in the ranks of the General Assembly. For the past two years he has served as a committee whip in the majority Republican leadership. In just his second term Gilbert was appointed to be Chairman of the Teachers and Administrative Action Sub-Committee of the House Committee on Education and has served in that capacity for the past two years.
Delegate Gilbert praised his Legislative Director, Mr. Gary Frink, for helping to ensure that the needs and concerns of the citizens of this district have been addressed on a daily basis. Constituent service is the most important aspect of the day-to-day operations of any legislator, and Delegate Gilbert takes great pride in his ability and that of his staff to get results and answers for the people and localities he represents. Gilbert has also developed a website for the purpose of keeping his constituents informed: ww.delegatetoddgilbert.com.
Delegate Gilbert gave the following statement:
“I wake up each and every day honored to represent the people of the 15th District. I have made many friends and worked with many more to bring about changes in the law that will directly benefit the people I work for in Richmond. I will spend the coming weeks and months telling the people of all the hard work we are doing on their behalf and asking them to afford me the privilege of continuing to do so for another term.”
for 15th House Of Delegates