Peschke to challenge Tyler

Published 9:30 am Friday, May 20, 2011

WAKEFIELD—A retired Naval officer and tree farmer from Wakefield will challenge Delegate Roslyn Tyler for her 75th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Al Peschke is the only Republican to announce for the Aug. 23 primary. Tyler, a Democrat from Jarratt who has served since 2006, has not announced but is expected to seek re-election. She did not return a phone call Thursday.

House District 75 includes precincts 301, 401 and 501 in Franklin, Camps Mill and Carrsville precincts in Isle of Wight County, and Forks-Of-The-River precinct in Southampton County.

Peschke said he would fund his own campaign.

“I don’t want to be beholden to any special-interest groups,” he said.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-profit that demonstrates how technology can improve public understanding of money’s role in Virginia politics, Tyler has raised $59,642 for the Nov. 8 election, while Peschke has raised nothing.

Tyler spent $73,547 when she ran unopposed in 2009, garnering 95 percent of the vote, according to VPAP. In 2007, she also ran unopposed, spending $61,367 while getting 99 percent of the vote.

Peschke, who owns a softwoods tree farm in Virginia and a veneer quality hardwoods farm in Indiana, said he is running to give people a choice.

“That’s what America is all about — freedom to choose,” he said. “When a candidate doesn’t have a competitor, he gets lackadaisical.”

Peschke says he’s very frugal and would be the same way with taxpayers’ money.

“If you ask people who know me, they will say ‘yea, I think he still has the first nickel he earned,’” Peschke said.

He does not favor the construction of a new U.S. Route 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg.

“That’s a waste of money and it’s gonna cut out these small towns along the 460 corridor,” he said.

Virginia Department of Transportation has approved the advancement of three private-sector proposals to build the new highway, estimated to cost $1.44 billion to $1.8 billion . It would require tolls from $5.50 to $11 for cars.

Peschke also is against an Outlying Landing Field for Southampton County. The Navy in February suspended until 2014 its plans to build an Outlying Landing field for fighter pilots, which could’ve impacted up to 30,000 acres in Dory, near Sebrell, and removed property from the county tax base.

The Navy has decided to focus its efforts on placing squadrons on the West Coast first, beginning in 2015. Placing a field on the East Coast will begin no earlier than 2014.

Peschke is the father of a daughter, Virginia, who is a second lieutenant in the Army.