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Joe Preston says he's running for Congress to represent Southside values and interests

Posted at 10:09 AM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 11:20:40-05

PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Another candidate vying for the Democratic nomination to replace the late Congressman Donald McEachin said he is the best choice for voters in the Fourth Congressional District.

"I will represent our district competently and I will stand up for what is right," said Joseph "Joe" Preston, an attorney and one-time representative in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Preston filed his paperwork to run in the Democratic primary which will see him face — as of Tuesday — Del. Lamont Bagby, State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, and State Sen. Joe Morrissey.

"I'm running because I don't see any of the candidates that I think really represent the values and the interests of Southside Virginia, none of those candidates, none of the candidates in the race, have put in the kind of time and investment into trying to better this entire district than I have," said Preston in an interview with CBS 6 Tuesday night.

Preston said he has received "an overwhelming amount of telephone calls and visits" from people in the 4th asking him to run.

Preston said his work in the community has gone beyond his time in the House of Delegates when he won a special election to serve between 2015-16 in the 63rd District. He said he has worked as an assistant commonwealth's attorney, served on multiple civic boards and commissions and taught at Virginia State University

"As you can see from my record, I have not just sat back and been a legislator. I'm still very active in the community and I think I would be the ideal candidate to send to Congress," said Preston.

Preston said if elected, he has four areas that he will make his legislative priorities: protecting abortion rights, gun control, education and workforce development.

"I can tell you that a woman's right to choose is fundamental to the foundation of existence. And for the courts to put politicians between a woman's right to choose and her doctor is just something that we have to fix and get changed," said Preston of his stance on abortion rights.

Like Morrissey, Preston also raised issue with the short timeframe of the election.

"This timetable was just completely unreasonable, in my opinion, and that's another reason why I'm running because when you see things that are wrong, you have to speak out about it," said Preston, who added because of the short time to work with he is going to do what he can to get his message to voters. "I'm going to just continue to do interviews as like the one I'm doing with you…I'm going to be on the telephone and I'm going to be out in the district shaking hands this weekend, I'm going to try to appear at a couple of churches. I think the voters know who the candidates are."

The Democratic primary will be held on Dec. 20.

Nominees need to be finalized on Dec. 23.

The general election will take place on Feb. 21, 2023.

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