A Manassas area Air Force veteran and former Trump Administration appointee is challenging Democratic Del. Danica Roem in November’s election.
Christopher Stone, 40, is running as a Republican for the 13th District seat in the House of Delegates.
The district covers Manassas Park and nearby parts of Prince William County, including Gainesville and Haymarket.
Stone, who grew up in Springfield, Mo., moved to the area in 2009. He has a bachelors in history from the University of Missouri and masters degrees in theology from Baptist Bible Theological Seminary, defense and strategic studies from Missouri State University, operational art and science from the Air Command and Staff College and philosophy in military strategy from the Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Stone teaches in the defense and strategic studies department at Missouri State’s Washington, D.C., campus.
He worked on the staff of former Republican U.S. Sens. Jim Talent and Kit Bond and was appointed by the Trump Administration as special assistant to the deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy. Stone was active duty in the Air Force for two years before entering the reserves. He has served in the National Guard since 2008 and is a lieutenant colonel space operations officer.
Stone said he was inspired to run after “government overreach” during the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest over the past year. He expressed concern about the integrity of elections and said any questions about the way the 2020 election was handled have been tossed aside.
“If the citizens are concerned about a topic, their elected representatives are there to help them look into these things and not make them feel stupid or that they're conspiracy people,” he said. “And if they find there’s nothing wrong, then great. At least they did their due diligence.”
Stone said his campaign will focus on making Virginia a state “again that is safe, prosperous and free.”
He said law enforcement needs to be fully equipped and “empowered,” rather than restrained by recently enacted legislation. Legislatures across the country have been advancing criminal justice reforms after the deaths of Black people at the hands of police officers. Stone said he wants to see a more balanced approach to reform “instead of allowing violent criminals to get misdemeanors instead of felonies” and removing mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
On the economy, Stone railed against energy plans that don’t focus on natural gas. He said windmills off the Virginia coast will also kill birds.
“If these people were really green, think about it. You’re going to deforest land which is less green space and you’re going to create lots of bird deaths,” he said. “If you really are about the environment and you want to have green, why not use clean natural gas.”
Stone said he wants to combat the “assault on our constitutional liberties.” He cited recent legislation allowing localities to ban firearms on government property and said restrictions on religious services during the pandemic have been overreaching.
“There are safety measures that are understandable, but what goes on inside the church is not the business of the governor,” he said.
Roem was first elected in 2017, unseating longtime incumbent Robert Marshall. She won re-election in 2019 with 55.9% of the vote.