RICHMOND, VA -- Republican Delegate Tim Hugo (District 40 - Fairfax and Prince William) shocked his constituents and local elected officials on both sides of the aisle by leading the charge against Governor Northam's plan to fund necessary Metro improvements without draining transportation money from the rest of the Commonwealth. Hugo, whose district suffers from what his own party calls "unrelenting traffic congestion", defeated Governor Northam’s amendments for Metro funding and road decongestion despite the Governor's plan having overwhelming support of the Republican state senate as well as local leaders from both parties.
Hugo, who recently needed a post-election canvass and a recount to win re-election by just 99 votes, put his pride and ego over improving the lives of his district's traffic-plagued citizens in killing Governor Northam’s fiscally sound Metro funding amendments - which were even supported by conservative Northern Virginia GOP Senators Jill Vogel and Dick Black. Governor Northam used what Senator Black called “rather modest” regional taxes to fund Metro fixes without having to rip needed road improvements from other areas of the Commonwealth. Hugo’s actions will not only hurt his own congestion-belaguered constituents by cutting from the Govenor's propsed funding of Metro, but will also punish localities across Virginia by forcing them to compete for already-scarce road funding.
The reaction to Hugo's destructive maneuver was met with swift and harsh criticism on both sides of the aisle.
Loudoun County Republican Supervisor Matthew Letourenau condemned Hugo by exclaiming, “Today’s House vote is Exhibit A as to why Republicans keep losing elections in Virginia. The fact that anyone — let alone delegates from Northern Virginia — would vote to reduce funding for roads — the number one issue in the region — when there was a better option on the table is a disgrace.” Sharon Bulova, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the leader of the Virginia jurisdiction affected most by Metro said that it “looks like Delegate Tim Hugo sold us down the river. Partisan politics over sound public policy.”
Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker excoriated Hugo for his destructive action, calling on Democrats in Fairfax and Prince William Counties to replace Hugo once and for all.
“Whenever you're stuck in traffic, don't get mad at the cars in front of you. Get mad at Tim Hugo...Governor Northam presented a bi-partisan plan that would fund Metro and reduce congestion in Northern Virginia and Delegate Hugo decided to punish his constituents and all Virginians for petty political purposes," Swecker said. Good thing for Delegate Hugo, he wont have to worry about NOVA to Richmond traffic after 2019 because the Democratic Party of Virginia is going defeat "landslide Tim" and give the people of 40th District a representative who looks out for more than just himself.”