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by Brandon Jarvis

Democratic House of Delegates candidate Blakely Lockhart went onto a conservative talk radio show Wednesday to discuss her race against Del. John McGuire (R) in District 56. During the interview, Lockhart revealed that she tried to approach McGuire while he was canvassing her neighborhood for a discussion but he cut through yards to avoid her. 

The topic was raised after John Reid, the conservative radio host for WRVA that often emcees events for Republican candidates, asked Lockhart about accusations made by McGuire saying her supporters blocked his truck while he was campaigning in the district. 

Lockhart said that McGuire was actually parked in front of her house and her family was just parking at their home. She said they then went on a walk with their dog when they came across McGuire as he knocked doors. 

That is the moment that Lockhart said she tried to ask McGuire to debate her publicly. 

“I did ask him to debate me,” Lockhart said. “He refused to respond, he actually cut through people’s yards to try to avoid talking to me and then he drove off in his truck without answering.” 

The McGuire campaign did not immediately provide a comment for this article.

During the interview, Lockhart also accused McGuire of being too focused on a potential congressional run instead of helping the constituents in his district. “The main reason I am running is that we currently have someone who is not representing our district appropriately,” Lockhart said. “He is nowhere to be found, he is very focused on making it to Washington D.C. right now and challenging Abigail Spanberger.” 

McGuire sought the Republican nomination to running against Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s seventh congressional district in 2020, but he came up short against Del. Nick Freitas. Freitas eventually lost to Spanberger in the general election. 

It was reported in September that McGuire was calling donors in Texas and referring to himself as a “potential nominee for a top-five congressional seat — VA-07.”

“People were looking for coverage for healthcare and to our state for help,” Lockhart said. 

She also cited McGuire’s votes against teacher pay increases, funding for school nurses, and expanding broadband internet access in the budget. “I think it is time he leaves because he is no longer in touch with what our district really needs,” Lockhart said. 

Reid then referred to those items as Democratic budget priorities and asked her if she would vote in lockstep with Democrats, or independently. Lockhart responded by saying she “is not here to serve a party.” 

The district is heavily Republican, electing McGuire by 21 points in 2019. “I am serving the people. That is what I will continue to stick by.” 

“Yeah there are a couple of more Republican-leaning ideals and I am happy to support them – because that’s the job,” Lockhart continued during the interview. “I am here to represent our district and our community, not my personal ideals.”

Lockhart said she is completely against defunding the police and that she actually wants to increase funding for them significantly to provide more resources like mental health counselors. “Our officers are trained to deal with crime and not mental health,” Lockhart said. “I fully believe we should be supporting our law enforcement.” 

Lockart and McGuire face off at the polls on Nov. 2.

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By vascope