Virginia lieutenant governor candidate Lance Allen is determined to bring a new approach to state-level politics in the Commonwealth and offer Virginians with something that has been lacking: a politician who will listen to their problems.
Allen formally announced his entrance into the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election back in August, joining a handful of other Republican hopefuls in a pursuit to become the second-highest-ranking government official in the state.
“[I am running for Lt. Gov.] because I believe that the way we have decided to approach politics now has just become so hateful, so full of vitriol and partisanship and polarization that people don’t really debate the issues anymore, they just debate each other,” Allen said in an interview with The Virginia Star. Meanwhile nothing really gets accomplished and all of the people in between that end up suffering.
“I want to bring a sense of decency back to politics. That was the whole idea of the United States of America. The idea that we could come together and freely debate ideas, whether we agree or not.”
Self-described as a Ronald Reagan conservative, Allen believes that the true way to solve the various problems plaguing Virginians throughout the state is to actually listen to what people are dealing with.
“My campaign strategy is simple. It’s to not talk at people, it’s not to tell people the solutions that they need,” Allen said. “My platform is to go into these places with respect and understanding, and listen to what the problems are and how those people think they can solve their problems.”
To accomplish this Allen said he plans on visiting all 95 counties in Virginia before next November’s election and then do the same thing if elected “to make sure that Virginians feel like their voice is being heard.”
Some of Allen’s priorities that he finds especially important are preserving the 2nd Amendment and standing against attempts to take away people’s right to bear arms, opposing abortion rights, supporting law enforcement as well as cutting regulations and lowering taxes.
“Taxes are a huge issue to me,” Allen told The Star. “It is insane to me that not only are we overtaxed, but I like to say that we are perpetually taxed. There are certain things I think we can do a better job of making sure that people get to keep paychecks in their pocket to provide for and take care of their family.”
From personal experiences during ten years in the Air Force, Allen says he sees himself a servant leader, someone who understands that their job is to serve those around him.
Despite never being elected to or holding public office before, Allen feels strongly that he does not need a degree or experience in politics to understand the will of the people, and that he specifically chose to run for Lt. Gov. in order to use the position’s platform to help Virginians immediately.
“I believe that the Lt. Gov. [role] can be so much more than people let it be,” Allen said. “The Lt. Gov. is so much more than a tie breaker and it’s time people start looking at the position as that.”
Allen currently works for CACI, a security and technology firm in Northern Virginia, as director of strategic engagement, and lives with his wife and two children in Fauquier County, just southwest of the Washington D.C. metro area.
Joining Allen on the Republican ticket is former state delegate Tim Hugo, Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) and lobbyist Puneet Ahluwalia. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman has been rumored to be entering the race.
Democrats running for Lt. Gov. include: Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William), Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), former Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Paul Goldman and lobbyist Xavier Warren.
According to previous reporting from The Star, Prince William County School Board Chair Babur Lateef and Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan are also seriously considering bids.
“Ronald Reagan used to say that it is our job as citizens to participate in government whether we vote, run for office or volunteer. So, I’m just excited about the opportunity to participate in this thing that we call government, and show people that you don’t have to be a billionaire or have been in office for 20 years to [make a difference].”
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Anderskev. CC BY 3.0.