Challenges don’t frighten Rebecca Colaw

Published 11:37 am Friday, June 9, 2017

Democratic candidate Rebecca Colaw of Suffolk isn’t someone who claims to have all the solutions when it comes addressing issues in the 64th district, which she hopes to represent in this year’s election. But the military veteran and practicing attorney said during an interview with Tidewater News editorial staff that she is someone who’s very concerned about the constituents, and is willing to do the work to best represent them.

“I give a ––– about the people,” Colaw said, insisting she be quoted that way, albeit tastefully. “We need to start paying attention to lower middle and middle class at the state level.”

Farmers, for example, are “very important,” and she acknowledges that the 64th is mostly rural. Still, Colaw thinks a lot of people don’t understand what the producers go through to maintain their farms, such as paying personal property taxes on the very machinery needed to raise crops and generate income.

“It’s crippling to farmers and small businesses when they make a capital investment and are still paying fees,” she said, adding that some relief is needed in that area.

Speaking of businesses, when asked if she would vote to cut Virginia’s 6 percent corporate tax — North Carolina is at 3 percent — Colaw said yes.

“We’re strangling the ability for a business to survive,” she said, pointing to Downtown Franklin, Wakefield. Southern Suffolk and Prince George. “People in Surry desperately want some business up there. The nuclear power plant? That’s it.”

As a delegate, Colaw would look at the tax bases and see what can be done at state and local levels,  particularly for middle-class businesses, which she describes as the “backbone of the this country.”

The candidate was reminded that delegates in the past, such as the late Richard Holland, were able to get things accomplished for the district. Colaw was asked what she thinks she’ll bring to restore our ability to have a voice at the table.

“I’m a little stubborn. I’ve been told all my life I can’t do things — told I won’t graduate, succeed in the Air Force or at law school,” she said, adding she done all those things and has three degrees. “Challenges don’t frighten me. They inspire me,” said Colaw. “I want this district to succeed.”

She continued, “I don’t want to be part of the club, but part of the change. I’m secure in myself. I’m going to have to learn and find out what’s wrong.”

It had been pointed out that the General Assembly is a box, pushing representatives to vote along party lines.

“I’m my own person,” Colaw said. “I don’t care whether I become a career politician. My job is not to be famous. Someone has to bring the change and changes are coming. People have realized things do need to change.”

To do this will require educating people in some instances, such solar power, which she calls “the future,” and wind farms. Sitting down with constituents to show the benefits of these energy sources is one way to help persuade people.

She also sees herself not being lockstep with Democrats or Republicans, and intends to carefully examine whatever would come across her desk in Richmond.

“I’m an American who’s in the Democratic party,” said the candidate.

To learn more about her, visit the website