“You are going to get plain language from John Collick; I’m not going to lie. I am a no-nonsense conservative pro-America American first. I believe all of our lives matter, and I believe in the rule of law for everybody." John Collick is running as a Republican against incumbent Congressman Bobby Scott to represent the third district. Wearing a U.S. Marine Corps First Sargent's hat, he outlined his plans for the region in the Hampton Roads Chamber's virtual Town Hall on Thursday, August 27th. “I want you to thrive, not just survive, and not be dependent on the government.”
Hampton Roads Chamber President and CEO Bryan Stephens walked Collick through a series of issues. Collick was straightforward and to the point with each answer. Collick believes strongly in vocational and technical schools to help not only fill the job skills gap but to decrease unemployment in underserved sectors. He wants school choice. "That is what gives us an equal opportunity for success in life. I want everybody; I don’t care what color, race, zip code, and socio-economic level you should have the right to go to the school of your choice.”
Collick believes National Security should be a priority. “National security is extremely important. The Navy wants and needs more ships. We are in an economic war with China. The odds are we are going to be in a naval war with China over the next 20 years to keep the ship lanes open. We will have a war at sea. It may not be shooting, but it is keeping these trade routes open.”
Collick is firm in his belief in the right to self-defense. "I believe in the constitution as it was written. So when I read the constitution, it is very, very clear each one of us has the right to own, possess, and carry a weapon, period.”
Collick said he wants the Department of Defense to review all spending to stop overpaying for items and spend money wisely. Then use the money to build strength, including building more ships for the Navy.
He believes more is needed to help transitioning military and veterans. Circling back to the vo-tech schools, Collick wants to see night programs to train the military. He says the programs for disabled vets are working and used as a model for all transitioning military. “Veterans, in my mind, always come first. We have to use the tools we currently have for that training. After those tools are exhausted, we have to come up with other ways.”
Veteran healthcare is also a priority. “I would like to see every veteran have the choice, without going through red tape, to be seen on the outside. Need to have a primary care doctor on the outside, then you should not have to go through the VA for anything except a blood test, MRI, or medicine. A lot of work needs to be done with the VA’s. Some is policy change; some is hiring the right doctors.”
Collick believes in the right to life. "I have a son with downs syndrome. In 2004 we found out he had down syndrome before he was born. There was no way we could abort him. I am pro-life. I don’t support abortion at all.”
He sees affordable housing as the best way for people to develop personal wealth through homeownership. To support tourism and hospitality, Collick believes in lowering the taxes on employees. He does not support minimum wage regulation or right-to-work laws.
Collick believes everyone who paid into Social Security should benefit. People who never worked or who became citizens at a late age should not benefit.
As for COVID-19 relief, "The first thing I would NOT like to see in the package is a check for every person. People who are drawing full retirement or fully working should not get the check. Waitresses, bartenders, everything is drying up. They need that check.” He goes on to say, “Small businesses should get the help they need during this pandemic. Should Walmart be getting it? —absolutely not.”
Collick is opposed to businesses facing liability for COVID-19 exposure. “I don’t think there should be any liability because it is invisible. You can't see it. Most people don’t know they have COVID until they get tested. Should a business owner be faced with a liability? Absolutely not under no circumstances. Is a business owner liable if someone gets a common cold or the flu?”
On the issue of race relations: “All of us are made in God’s image. Number one: enforce the law. We have to maintain law and order—I don’t care who they are. Let the juries figure this out.”
Collick worked as an immigration officer. “Right now, immigration officers are being told to push through applications. They are not given the time to do the research. Is this person likely a terrorist? Has this person lived in areas terrorists likely reside?" Also, on the issue of immigration, "I believe in the border wall. When you come into the country at the airport, you go through a checkpoint. That’s all a border wall is, a checkpoint."
Collick says he will stay in office for only six years. His reason for running is simple. “ I want there to be two names on the ballot. We want to make our district, Hampton Roads, the best place to live, the best place to work, the best place to bring up our kids, and grandkids, the best place to retire. That's what we want.”
The Hampton Roads Chamber works to be an impactful advocate for our members. We have invited Congressman Bobby Scott to hold a Town Meeting as well. We thank our Legislative Affairs Partners, Platinum: Chesapeake Regional Healthcare; Gold: Sentara Healthcare-Optima Health; Silver: Clark Nexsen.