- Name: Claire Russo
- Age: 40
- Years in public service: First-time candidate, served with the Marine Corps for four years and three years working for the Army as a civilian
- City/County of residence: Earlysville, Albemarle
- Virginia congressional district: 5th
- Party affiliation: Democrat
- Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
Tell us about your top three legislative priorities and why they are important to you and your constituents.
FROM CLAIRE RUSSO
Affordable, Universal Healthcare:
Growing up, my family struggled with access to affordable healthcare. We can’t afford the status quo any longer. It’s time we prioritize patients and families who need care — not big drug companies and insurance agencies.
Right now, too many people cannot get coverage or the healthcare they have is too expensive. We’ve made progress with the Affordable Care Act, but it’s not enough. We must introduce a public option so that every American has access to affordable healthcare. Our rural communities deserve more than one provider or plan. We must lower the cost of prescription drugs and enable Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies.
Women’s healthcare must no longer be treated as an afterthought – we need to prioritize universal prenatal care and family planning services so that all of our kids – regardless of zip code, income or race – are able to have a strong start.
We need to focus on the immediate needs of the people who are impacted by this crisis. In any financial aid we pass, we need to prioritize workers and employees. We must learn from the mistakes of the 2008 recession and make sure that we are bailing out Main Street not Wall Street – and that our financial aid does not go into stock buybacks or the pockets of CEOs. It’s unacceptable that the Lakers have been able to receive aid while my local mechanic in Earlysville still can’t get a loan from the bank when he hasn’t made payroll in weeks.
This crisis has highlighted the inequities in our society. As we map the recovery efforts of this nation we must make smart investments in the infrastructure, technology and industries that will help to address those inequities.
Leadership and standing up to Donald Trump:
The kind of leader we elect impacts every single issue that is important to our campaign, including protecting our environment and climate change, gun safety, campaign finance reform, foreign policy and more. I am a combat-tested leader that has taken on the tough fights all my life. We are going to need strong, bold leadership in office regardless of who is President in order to get things done on behalf of the people of this district.
I have led teams of Marines and advised three-star generals. I have taken on the military bureaucracy on an issue like sexual assault in the military — and won. I’ve spent my entire professional career fighting for change and equity and the voters of this district deserve a Representative with a track record of taking on challenges and getting results, and I am that candidate. I will promise to always do that on behalf of voters in the 5th district.