This is Mark Dudenhefer’s third run for the Virginia House of Delegates for the 2nd District that includes eastern Prince William County and the northern portion of Stafford County.
Dudenehfer won the seat in 2011 after serving for five years on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. He lost the seat to Michael Futrell in 2013.
While Futrell is not seeking reelection to the 2nd District House Seat, Dudenhefer faces a Primary Election challenge from Republican Tim Ciampaglio on June 9.
If Dudenehfer wins the Primary Election, he’ll go on to face Democrat Rod Hall in the November General Election on Nov. 3.
We sent Dudenhefer a candidate survey, and here’s what he told us:
PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?
1. Fixing our transportation issues and improving infrastructure.
2. Reducing the size of government to grow jobs and the economy.
3. Improving education by putting more dollars into the classroom.
PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Dudenhefer: I have a proven track record of fixing our region’s transportation problems. In my years of public service, I have spearheaded numerous projects including:
- Extending the express lanes to Garrisonville Rd.
- New Interchange and Widening of Courthouse Rd.
- Widening of Garrisonville Rd.
- Widening of Route 1.
- Straightening & Widening of Mountain View Rd.
- Adding over 1,000 parking spaces to the 610 Commuter Lot
PL: From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?
Dudenhefer: I have a proven track record of acquiring funding and finding solutions for our transportation needs and that will continue be a top priority of mine in Richmond. The current Delegate failed to stand-up for us while millions of transportation dollars were stripped away from our region. I will be a leading advocate to get those millions back for Prince William and Stafford Counties.
Everyday it seems like a new report comes to light regarding the waste of our tax dollars. I have proposed what is called the “Lean Government Initiative.” The “Lean Government Initiative” will do more with less, and help streamline government more like the private sector.
Lean government models have been used in other states to cut down backlogs, use taxpayer money more effectively, and improve governmental processes to ensure peak performance. My initiative has been endorsed by local business leaders and will save our state hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The quality and cost of education is something that is very dear to me. All of my children attended Stafford County public schools and three out of my five grandchildren currently are enrolled in Stafford County Schools. The cost of education at all levels is skyrocketing and federal mandates are not helping the situation. We need to do our best to make sure that the bureaucrats in Washington don’t dictate a one-size-fits-all approach.
Each school and county is different and the leaders in those communities know what works best for them. We need to get big government out of the picture, reduce the cost of education, and give our teachers and kids the tools they need to succeed.
PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?
Dudenhefer: I first got into politics to serve the people and make a difference. My goal is to be a tireless advocate for families in our region by leading, listening and being responsive. I have a proven track record of improving transportation, reducing the size of government, cutting taxes, and using common sense solutions to ease our traffic problems. In Richmond, I will continue to stand up for our region and provide the best services to our families at the lowest cost to taxpayers.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?
Dudenhefer: My biggest regret in life was the life-altering event that changed my family’s world forever, the night my daughter lost her life on a Stafford County road. Prior to that, I never thought I would run for elected office, I was happy with my life; I had a job, a beautiful home, and a great family.
The tragic loss of my daughter, Emily, led me to run for elected office to make our local roads safer for our families, especially our young drivers. Our calling to service is a burden that keeps [Kay Dudenhefer, wife of Mark Dudenhefer] and me resolute in fixing our crumbling infrastructure.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Dudenhefer: We need leaders in Richmond, not followers. I retired as a Colonel in the Marine Corps. Under my leadership, in the first few months as Chairman of Stafford County Supervisors, we repealed the BPOL Tax, lowered our own salaries and reduced the county budget.
I have a proven track record of making tough decisions to improve the lives of Virginians. Beyond my proven track record of previous public service, I have also been a leader in this race. I was the first to propose a Lean Government Plan; then my opponent followed with a very similar plan a few days later. Leaders lead and followers follow, and the last thing we need in Richmond is just another follower.
This campaign is about leadership. I have led Marines and I have led throughout my political life. Under my leadership, the Stafford County Board of Supervisors repealed the BPOL tax, reduced our own salary, reduced property taxes, and reduced the size of government.
We made the tough budget decisions to keep Stafford County fiscally sound. While in Richmond, I helped defeat over 2.5 billion in proposed taxes and budget increases. In this race, I was the first to propose a Lean Government Plan that was endorsed by local businesses. In Richmond, I will be accountable to the people and will always ask first, “What is best for Stafford County and Prince William County?”
Read more here.