Otto Wachsmann seeks 75th seat

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Otto Wachsmann

In addition to being a pharmacist, Otto Wachsmann wants to be of service as the next delegate for the 75th District, which has been represented by Del. Roslyn C. Tyler (D) since 2006. The 75th includes all of Southampton, Sussex, Greensville and Brunswick counties, both cities of Franklin and Emporia, and a few precincts in Lunenburg.

During a recent interview with The Tidewater News, the Republican candidate was asked why should voters choose him and not Tyler.

In the past 12 to 13 years he’s been back in the area, Wachsmann said, he’s not seen any improvements. “It’s time for new leadership,” he said, adding that the district does not seem to have moved forward.

“In fact, it’s kind of backslid,” Wachsmann said, noting that where he lives in Stony Creek, which is in Sussex County, the businesses include the pharmacy that he owns, a grocery, laundromat, a bank, and a post office that’s reduced its hours.

A “lack of vision and a lack of leadership” said Wachsmann are possible reasons that the 75th as a whole has apparently not advanced in business and employment opportunities compared to surrounding districts. “We need to draw people back [to the area], but how?”

As he states in his campaign literature, Wachsmann seeks “a new prescription for southside.”

He acknowledged that he does not yet have a specific plan to address the matter, but does want to continue meeting with people to get their input. This can include finding “creative solutions and look at different ways” to encourage growth.

As Wachsmann states on his website, “We need to show that Southside is open for business and that starts with a favorable tax climate and eliminating burdensome regulations that hurt businesses. Jobs are not a partisan issue. We need to work with everyone, regardless of party, to make sure Southside is an attractive place to open a business.”

To that he added that agriculture is also critical to the economy, and that includes both ensuring a preservation of farmland as well as a reduction of the unnecessary rules that stifle farmers and the industry.

Another priority of Wachsmann’s quality education for all students. This includes keeping the best teachers to pass along the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in life.

“If we are going to attract jobs to our region then we need to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow,” he states.

In Wachmann’s career as a pharmacist, he’s been with People’s Drug in Richmond and Emporia, later going to independent stores in Sussex, Petersburg and Prince George. Further, he worked as a manager of Managed Health Care/Technical Information for A.H. Robins Company in Richmond, and later its manager of New Product Planning/Technical Information.

Further, Wachsmann went on to become the director of Experiential Education at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy in Shenandoah University in Winchester. During the latter position, he traveled throughout the commonwealth and learned of rural residents’ concerns, one of those being the opioid crisis. Wachsmann also earned his doctorate in pharmacy at SU and served for a time as president of the Virginia Pharmacists Association.

With those experiences and education, Wachsmann has included increasing access to quality care in his short-list of priorities.

“Too many families in Southside suffer from an incomplete healthcare system,” he stated. “Access to quality care is limited, providers lack necessary resources, prescription drug costs are too high, and it’s nearly impossible to navigate the health insurance maze. We need patient-centered solutions that will allow those in our community to have access to the quality and affordable care they deserve, regardless of location. We also need to protect patients with preexisting conditions and ensure they get the care they need.”

In reference to the national opioid crisis, described by him as an epidemic, this is a situation that needs to be met “head on. We are losing too many young, talented individuals to this tragic disease while wasting valuable resources which can be used elsewhere. There has to be a better way. We must find a solution. We have to find a different approach.”

He returned to Stony Creek in 2003 and bought his father’s pharmacy. In addition to serving with the Stony Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Wachsmann is also a member of the Joyner Gray Yale Ruritan Club. His wife, Judy, manages the dual enrollment high school student program for Camp Community College in Franklin. They have two daughters, Katherine and Kirsten, who are both grown.

To learn more about Wachsmann, visit

[Editor’s note: This version corrects the listing of counties and cities within the 75th district.]