Lewis speaks with area residents at county fair

Sixth District Democratic candidate Jennifer Lewis works the crowds at the Shenandoah County Fair on Friday evening. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Sixth Congressional District Democratic candidate Jennifer Lewis brought her campaign to the Shenandoah County Fair on Friday evening.

Lewis, of  Waynesboro, said she is finding that as she knocks on doors or is at an event, like the county fair, people are grateful to have someone running for office who wants to talk to them, and they are grateful that she is talking about issues that concern them.

Lewis is running on a progressive platform of health care for all, education for all and a clean environment. She is campaigning against Republican Ben Cline for the seat held by Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke), who is retiring from Congress.

“When they hear I am a mental health worker, the things people tell me what they or someone they love is experiencing,” Lewis said. “That is why I believe in Medicare for all. I believe Medicare for all is the best way to solve the health care issue. Medicare for all will increase providers in the rural areas, which are either underserved or not served at all. Medicare for all will increase prevention services so folks can lead healthier lives. Medicare for all will include fully funding mental health and addiction services.”

Health care is by far the No. 1 issue for people,” Lewis said. “They either do not know how they could afford health care and pay for medications. Some are insecure about the benefits they have, especially when they hear the Republican Party attacking the Affordable Health Care Act.”

Lewis said she believes education should be free through community college to produce an educated workforce that would strengthen communities. She said she would also work to fully fund educational budgets for the schools and its teachers, as well as support funding renovations and upgrades.

Lewis said she is an activist fighting to protect the environment. She was a board member at Wild Virginia, resigning when she won the primary, and an elected member of the Headwaters Soil and Water Board. She founded Friends of Augusta, a local pipeline opposition group to the Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but has not been active in that group since announcing her candidacy, turning over operations to the board overseeing the organization.

Lewis said she has been an active volunteer in Augusta County for 11 years,  serving as chair of the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Board for eight years and was chair of the Office on Youth Commission. She was re-elected as vice chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee but had to step down from when she won the primary, but not before they named her the Democrat of the Year in 2013.

Courtney Brill, who lives in Maurertown, said she will be voting for Lewis. Brill visited the Shenandoah County Fair on Friday to meet with and talk to Lewis.

Lewis’ positions on health care and education resonate with Brill, a special education teacher in a neighboring county school district.

Brill said she sees what the parents of her students go through to care for them.

“Just care about people,” Brill said, something she feels is lacking in the presidential administration.