- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2001

Jay Katzen, the Republican running for Virginia lieutenant governor, knows not all Virginians will know his name come Election Day but it won't be because he hasn't tried.
The 65-year-old, four-term state delegate, in an editorial board meeting at The Washington Times yesterday, has reached a point where he is through thousands of handshakes. He still remembers having knocked on 14,128 doors in his first race, and said he has met about half a million residents in his quest for the state's second post.
"I believe that's the only way to approach an election far more than hearing what's on my mind, hearing what's on the minds of the people," he said.
His Democratic opponent is Tim Kaine, Richmond's mayor, who, according to a poll in the spring, had a lead of more than 10 points over Mr. Katzen. But Mr. Katzen has been running for this post for six years he dropped out of the 1997 race in deference to another candidate and has risen to the challenge before, outlasting one formidable primary opponent this year and showing enough strength to keep another from entering the race.
The unabashed conservative is pro-life, supports the death penalty, has been a gun-rights supporter and has consistently voted against tax increases and for tax cuts during his tenure in the General Assembly.
"The overwhelming numbers of people in Virginia are conservative. They share our vision," he said.
The lieutenant governor's post pays part time, but Mr. Katzen said he will be able to treat it as a full-time job.
His foremost priority is jobs, he said. To that end, he supports laying fiber-optic cable in the southern and southwestern parts of the state to help the areas move from a textile economy and take advantage of technology jobs.
On education, he supports raising teachers' salaries to the national average within four years. He also supports the state's Standards of Learning accountability program. But he is best known as the chief patron of a bill to allow school choice to poor children through a tax credits and scholarships program.
On transportation, he has a priority for every region of the state including building a "Techway" link to Maryland across the Potomac River, widening the Beltway and curbing or lifting HOV restrictions on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia.
He also said he opposes a regional tax that would have Northern Virginians pay to build roads regionally "Northern Virginia provides roughly 43 percent of the state's revenues, and we're not getting 43 percent back," he said.


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