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Virginia House District 12

The House of Delegates has legislative power, with the Senate, to enact laws. Delegates serve a two-year term and are eligible for reelection. The salary is $17,640 per year. A Delegate must be at least 21 years old at the time of election and be a resident of the district he/she seeks to represent.
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    Chris L. Hurst (Dem)

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    Joseph R. Yost (Rep) Executive Director, Giles County Historical Society

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Biographical Information

What changes in Virginia's method of drawing electoral district lines (redistricting) would you support?

How would you ensure voting access to all qualified Virginians?

What are your legislative priorities?

education/Degrees I was born outside Philadelphia and developed a love for TV. After attending Emerson College in Boston and landing my first TV job in Washington state I came to Roanoke, to be a weekend reporter at WDBJ7.
experience After attending Emerson College in Boston and landing my first TV job in Washington state I came to Roanoke, to be a weekend reporter at WDBJ7. Only a couple of years later, I found myself behind the anchor desk where I stayed for over six years.
hometown Blacksburg
I fully support and will fight to ensure that a non-partisan commission draws Virginia’s legislative districts. Voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around.
Virginia lags behind other states in access to the ballot box. I’m in favor of automatic, same-day registration, no excuse absentee voting, and vote by mail to ensure that every Virginian’s constitutional right to vote is upheld. We also need to reinstate the Voting Rights Act to continue to combat all types of voter fraud, misinformation, and discrimination.
Restoring Education Funding: The NRV, since 2010, has lost over 2 million dollars per year in state funding. I want to change the funding formulas so that rural schools get their fair share and we restore funding to at least pre-recession levels. Healthcare: We need to expand Medicaid. Doing so would ensure thousands in the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia, provide millions in new spending, and create over 200 jobs right here in the 12th House District. I’m running to ensure that Southwest Virginia gets its fair share and for the people of Southwest Virginia.
education/Degrees A graduate of Radford University earning both a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice.
experience Joseph is finishing his 3rd term in the General Assembly where he has been a leader on mental health and education issues. Joseph has spent his entire life within the boundaries of the 12th District. He is married to Lisa Robinson Yost. They reside in Pearisburg with their daughter Virginia Ann.
hometown A native of southwest Virginia, Joseph was born and raised in Giles County; resides in Pearisburg.
I have previously supported and continue to support initiatives that promote a fairer redistricting process. I have co-sponsored measures that would have put a referendum on the November ballot to ask Virginia voters if they would prefer an independent commission to draw district lines in the Commonwealth. I am also supportive of reforms that look at establishing an independent commission and amending the Code to require the use of objective, non-partisan criteria during the redistricting process.
Voting is one of the easiest things one can do to participate in a democracy but it should also be convenient. During my time in the House, I have sponsored or cosponsored efforts to expand absentee voting as well as allow for a process to create an on-line voter registration system so that eligible voters can register from home. Additionally, I have supported efforts to streamline our restorations of rights process for individuals convicted of felonies so they can more quickly be participating citizens again in the democratic process.
Over the past 6 years, I have championed efforts to improve and reform our mental health system in the Commonwealth and provide much needed resources for our school systems. Whether securing money for children’s psychiatric care and crisis response, reforming our SOLs or advocating for teacher pay increases, these have been my two highest priorities. If re-elected, they will continue to be. Also, as a lifelong resident of the New River Valley and the 12th District, I want my daughter to grow up with the same advantages I had: excellent schools both at the k-12 level and university level, a beautiful environment and boundless opportunities. That’s why I’m running and that’s what I’ll support.

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