Peace Statement: Re-election 2011

Delegate Peace Presents Mission Oriented Re-election Bid:“Smaller Government & a Stronger Economy” is Centerpiece of Peace Campaign Peace Highlights Record on Job Creation, Economic Growth, Lower Taxes and a Smaller, Leaner Government “Virginians deserve leadership committed to the taxpayer and to individual liberties,” says Peace

HANOVER, VA – Central Virginia Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-97th District) announces his intentions to seek a fourth two-year term to continue his commitment of faithfully serving the people of Hanover, New Kent and King William Counties. In a prepared statement Peace said “Serving the people of the 97th district in the Virginia House of Delegates is a tremendous honor.  As a Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly, I have worked hard to keep taxes low, make our schools better and communities safer, create opportunities for job creation and economic growth, and provide excellent customer service.  I have honored my commitments over my three terms, but I strongly believe that there is much more work to be done to make a smaller government and a stronger economy a reality. To improve our community’s quality of life and sustain Virginia’s economic recovery, government must lower the burden on taxpayers and respect individual liberty. For these reasons, I am announcing my intention to seek re-election.” He continued “As many people know, I consider my service a team effort. I thank my wife and children for their love, encouragement and support. Additionally, I appreciate the work of my Chief of Staff Julie Coggsdale and Legislative District Chairman Norman Sulser for their tireless work across the district.”

In just a short time in office, Delegate Peace has proved to be an effective, thoughtful and respected legislator serving on the prominent Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, General Laws, and Finance Committees. Speaker of the House William J. Howell has recognized Peace’s leadership skills and appointed him to several statewide boards important to the district: Joint Commission on Health Care, Virginia Commission on Youth, State Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education. He is also a member of several legislative groups namely the Conservative Caucus, Rural Caucus, Tourism Caucus, the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. This summer he will participate in a national leadership forum at UVA for emerging state legislators.

Peace, a consistent supporter of small business and prior recipient of the National Federation of Independent Business endorsement, recently visited small businesses in the district to learn whether the modest economic recovery is reaching local businesses and what the appropriate state government response should be. At the Ruby Slipper Boutique in Mechanicsville, Peace shared a report of the 2011 General Assembly Session with owner Vicki Trice and called attention to the good news regarding a reduction of taxes and fees on businesses, particularly those on small business.  Peace conveyed his support for recently passed budget amendments that work to phase?out the accelerated sales tax which required nearly 9,000 retailers to pay July’s sales tax in June.  The phase-out of the accelerated sales tax begins immediately and 80% of impacted retailers will not have to remit an accelerated sales tax payment. “This action is an example of making government work better on behalf of the taxpayer. Government should allow the real job creators to keep more of their hard earned dollar,” said Peace.

Peace acknowledged that the General Assembly has made the tough, but necessary, choices over the last two years to keep Virginia a top state for business, to raise a family and to earn a living. Legislators have made various reforms and approved targeted cuts in funding to programs taking spending back to 2008 levels. This leadership makes Virginia live within its means with a balanced budget. The state is better off today because of those difficult decisions, Peace commented. He noted that the focus has been and should remain on funding core services without tax increases. 

During the 2011 Session, Delegate Peace placed legislative efforts on job and economic development issues for suburban and rural areas. He successfully sponsored a measure to call for lower taxes as incentives to attract manufacturing industry, specifically defense production business (HB1822). Understanding the importance of a well trained and educated workforce, Peace co-sponsored the “Top Jobs for the 21st Century” Act creating a pathway for greater access and reduced costs at our institutions of higher learning. This bill will provide a blueprint for an additional 100,000 degrees awarded over the next fifteen years. Locally, he successfully carried a bill authorizing the Virginia Racing Commission to join the Interstate Racing Compact to improve the horse industry so important to much of the district. For non-legislative achievement, he is particularly proud of his leadership role in bringing natural gas service to King William County.

Government reform is also a top priority of Delegate Peace. His legislative leadership has produced results in the areas of government efficiency by allowing cost-saving joint aid agreements among localities arranging for the provision of aid to one another (HB2364) and government reforms saving the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by eliminating unproductive and unnecessary state boards and commissions (HB2520). Previously Peace passed legislation to create more accountability by requiring local governing bodies and their school boards to annually publish their approved budgets online. Lastly Peace sponsored and passed a resolution honoring state sovereignty and 10th amendment federalist principles because of his growing concern regarding the growth of the federal government (HR46).

Delegate Peace shared a partial listing of endorsements of elected officials from each of the counties in the district: Hanover County Commonwealth's Attorney Trip Chalkley, Sheriff  Dave Hines, Sheriff (Retired) V. Stuart Cook, Clerk of the Court Frank D. Hargrove, Jr., Treasurer M. Scott Miller, Board of Supervisors Robert R. Setliff, Elton J. Wade, Sr., and Deborah B. Winans; King William County Commonwealth's Attorney Stephen Palmer, Commissioner of the Revenue Sally W. Pearson, Sheriff  Jeff Walton, Board of Supervisors Cecil Schools and D.L. "Danny" Wright; and New Kent County Commissioner of the Revenue Laura M. Ecimovic, Board of Supervisors Thomas W. Evelyn and Stran L. Trout, Clerk of Court Karen Butler, School Board Member Terri Lindsay, and Sheriff F.W. "Wakie" Howard, Jr. to name a few.

Over the years, Peace’s voting record has earned him an A+ Rating from the National Rifle Association, 100% scorecard from Virginia Society for Human Life and the Family Foundation, a “Legislative Leader” by the League of Conservation Voters, frequent supporter of business by VA FREE (Virginia Chamber of Commerce), a long-time supporter of the Virginia Ag and Forest Initiatives and previously endorsed by Virginia Farm Bureau.

Since the people of the 97th District elected Peace as their representative, he has been named the State Police Association and Virginia Sheriff’s Association legislative Rookie of the Year (2006) and the legislator of the year for the Virginia Assisted Living Association (2007), the Virginia Council for Private Education and the Virginia Optometric Association (2009), the Virginia Housing Coalition and the Virginia Retail Merchants’ Association (2010).

Prior to his public service in the legislature, Peace worked at McGuire Woods Consulting, a national public affairs and public relations firm. He began his public affairs career by working as a legislative aide to then-Delegate Eric Cantor, and as a law clerk for the Richmond City Attorney and Virginia’s Attorney General. Currently Peace consults for Smithfield Foods, Inc. and is an active member of the DC Bar. He has taught legal studies as an adjunct professor of legal studies at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. An avid history buff, Peace serves as the executive director of Historic Polegreen Church Foundation, a historic preservation non-profit foundation, and established the Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail to honor the life and influence of Patrick Henry.

Peace received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampden-Sydney College and earned his law degree from the University of Richmond. In 2005, Style Weekly magazine named Peace one of the “Top 40 Under 40.”  He is an alumnus of Leadership Metro Richmond and University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Along with their daughter (Camden), son (Henry) and two dogs, (Sidney and Laney), Chris and his wife (Ashley) make their home in Mechanicsville and attend a local Episcopal Church.

Based on recent redistricting legislation, House Bill 5005 which was signed by the Governor on April 29th,  the reconstituted 97th District will include approximately 80,000 Virginians across all of New Kent County; part of Hanover County comprised of the Battlefield (401), Beaverdam Creek (406), Black Creek (404), Clay (301), Cold Harbor (403), Georgetown (506), Hanover Grove (604), Laurel Meadow (507), Mechanicsville (603), Newman (503), Old Church (402), Pebble Creek (405), Rural Point (502), Shady Grove (303), Stonewall Jackson (602), Studley (504), Totopotomoy (505), and Village (601) Precincts; and part of King William County comprised of the Aylett (301), Mangohick (501), and Manquin (401) Precincts and part of the Courthouse (202) Precinct.