By: Jeremy Moser | firstname.lastname@example.org
Forrest Hite, the Republican candidate for the 12th District of Virginia’s House of Delegates, held a meet and greet event at the Radford Coffee Company Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The Tartan attended the event and interviewed Hite about his run for delegate.
Hite, who has been an amateur musician for years, performed solo pieces on his guitar, one of which was an original song, Pages.
“They’re just songs I like to listen to – they go well with my style. I like a wide variety of songs,” Hite said.
During intermissions, Hite roamed the crowds of people, introduced himself, and talked.
At a few points, he took to the mic to speak about his positions on issues that affect the New River Valley. In an interview, he stressed education and economics.
“I want to make sure we do get funding down here in Southwest Virginia. I think all-too-often our tax dollars do go to [Northern Virginia] or Virginia Beach or Richmond,” Hite said.
“We have some of the best schools in the state here in our district; I want to make sure they’re well taken care of.”
He stressed teacher pay as his priority and praised the five percent increase approved by Gov. Ralph Northam, but says it must continue.
Hite wants to generate the kind of business climate that would give Radford and Tech students the opportunities to stay in the New River Valley once they graduate.
On his website, Hite supports the second amendment and opposes abortion.
Hite considers himself a Radford native. He has lived in Radford for nine years and currently lives in the city with his wife.
[epq-quote align=”align-right”]“We have some of the best schools in the state here in our district; I want to make sure they’re well taken care of.”[/epq-quote]
He is a data administrator and editor for Heartcry Missionary Society in Radford, for which he handles finances and edits publications. The Christian missionary group establishes churches in impoverished countries.
“My dad was in the Air Force, so I kind of bounced all over the place as a kid,” Hite said. “I’ve lived here nine years, the longest I’ve ever lived in one place, and I absolutely love it here.”
[epq-quote align=”align-left”]“Some of the polling, political science stuff, believes that door-knocking can swing a race by five points, sometimes even more, so it is very important.”[/epq-quote]
Caleb Cruey, the Hite campaign’s Political Director, told The Tartan about Hite’s campaign strategy. Cruey has organized six campaigns and swears by the effectiveness of door-knocking, the practice of going to people’s houses to get votes.
“It really does make a difference,” he said. “Some of the polling, political science stuff, believes that door-knocking can swing a race by five points, sometimes even more, so it is very important.”
Haleigh Williams, president of the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a non-partisan conservative group at Radford University, told The Tartan she enjoyed seeing a different side of a politician than usually gets shown.
“It was also fun to meet other Forrest Hite supporters and feel that sense of community,” she said.
Haleigh personally has gone door-knocking for the Hite campaign before, but as YAF is non-partisan, the group does not officially support him.
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Photo Credit: (Jeremy Moser | The Tartan)
Featured: Hite thought he’d have to put his guitar down for his political career, but this is the second event like this that his campaign has done. Over 50 people attended this one.