Fifth Congressional District Candidates Forum

The Congressional Candidates Showcase Forum is a biennial event sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.This year, only one candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic challenger General John Douglass, spoke at the event. Congressman Robert Hurt declined the Senior Statesmen’s invitation to attend the forum. This is only the second time since 1996 that a candidate has failed to attend. Mr. Hurt also declined in 2010.

The event took place at the August 8, 2012 meeting of the Senior Statesmen. The meeting was held at The Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Following the program, questions were taken from the audience. The event was moderated by Coy Barefoot. Mr. Barefoot is the host of WINA’s Charlottesville – Right Now! and an award-winning and best-selling author, radio personality, historian and political analyst.

5th District Congressional Candidate General John Douglass speaking at the Charlottesville Senior Center Wednesday.

General John Douglass (D) is running for Congress in the 5th District to help Virginia families get a fair chance at a better future.

After serving our country for 35 years under Presidents Reagan and Clinton, he went on to promote air and space policies that grow our economy by creating manufacturing jobs and keeping our skies safe.

Douglass worked his way up to the highest levels of military leadership. In 1995, he was chosen by President Clinton to contribute his expertise to the Pentagon by serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. Under Clinton, he was responsible for ensuring that our sailors and marines were fully supported with ships, aircraft, weapons systems, and equipment. For his service to the Navy and our nation, Douglass was honored with the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.

Prior to his work under Clinton, he served on President Reagan’s National Security Council as Director of Defense Programs. Responsible for the Strategic Modernization Program, he often briefed the President directly on key Defense and National Security Programs. After serving in the White House, General Douglass was named Deputy U.S. Military Representative to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, reporting directly to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

WINA’s Coy Barefoot moderated the event.

In addition to his work in the military, the candidate also worked to reform our defense policies. He was a leader in establishing and supporting the Presidential Commission on Defense Reform (known as the Packard Commission) and was a foreign policy advisor to former Senator Sam Nunn. More recently, General Douglass served as the President of the Aerospace Industries Association, where he advocated strong and sensible business practices at the Pentagon, an effective export policy for American aerospace products, and the preservation and expansion of United States jobs.

General Douglass earned degrees at the University of Florida, where he was member of the Air Force ROTC. He holds two Masters Degrees: one from Texas Tech University in Industrial Engineering and one from Fairleigh Dickenson University in Management Science. He now maintains a small family farm business, growing grapes for local distribution at his Fauquier County home, where he and his wife raise their two teenage boys.