“Whoever shows up wins. Period. You have to be engaged. The Hampton Roads Chamber needs you to stay engaged and to show up to every meeting, or you’ll lose out in the future,” said Chris Saxman, the Executive Director of Virginia FREE.
On November 2nd, the Hampton Roads Chamber hosted part one of the virtual Election Coverage series with Chris Saxman. This series is part of the Hampton Roads Chamber Leadership Series. In the Pre-Election Coverage session, Saxman gave an overview of where Virginia and the country stand ahead of Election Day, providing scenarios he thinks the business community can expect to happen following either outcome.
This election is being referred to as the most consequential election in modern history, but Saxman shared that he actually believes it will be the 2024 election cycle that determines the long-term future. Saxman believes that this election is the end of the Baby Boomer reign of power and that 2024 will mark the beginning of the next generation coming into the legislative and executive branches, warning that business leaders need to get involved immediately to have a sway going forward. “Ideologically there’s been a battle of the boomers and it’s coming to an end. Both parties in 2024 will be vetting candidates to be their leader and they are going to want to go in a different direction. This 2020 election does not plant the flag for the next generation, it marks the ending of the baby boomer generation,” said Saxman.
Saxman believes that the polls are pointing to a Biden win, and that the business community needs to prepare for a progressive agenda that could impact policies such as right-to-work. He believes if Trump is re-elected business will continue as usual with the exception of COVID recovery. “The attacks on business are what concerns me most with the Democratic party right now. But with Trump winning we are still a fiscal mess and he has never owned up to that, and eventually, that will catch up to us. However, a shrinking economy won’t fix our fiscal situation,” said Saxman.
When asked about his thoughts on early voting and the effects it will have on this election, Saxman responded, “I think we’ll see early voting become normalized, or a secure digitization on our voting, but that might be far off”.
Bryan K. Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber, asked Saxman what the Hampton Roads Chamber can do to urge involvement in politics from the business community. Saxman replied, “Show up. Every time. Be visible. You have to reach out, even if they are in a different party from you. They want to hear from you. That’s politics – who shows up. It’ll take a major threat to the business community to get people to wake up to what’s going on. Get in the game early and invite your friends to come too”.
Saxman also stated that we can expect the election results to take a while to be determined. He joked that there is no need to rush home to the TV on election night to check the results, as it will likely take days or a week for the final result to come in.
Part two of this series will be conducted on Monday, November 9th, and will cover the outcome of the election and how the business community can move forward.
Thank you so much to the Hampton Roads Chamber Leadership Series Sponsors, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and Inside Business for sponsoring this event.