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Tim Cox

A Woodbridge man wants to help Republicans retake one of the Northern Virginia seats in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Tim Cox, 34, is seeking the Republican nomination for the 51st District seat, which covers central and southwestern Prince William County.

The seat is held by Del. Hala Ayala, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor and said she will not run for re-election to a two-year term in the House. Ayala has endorsed Democrat Briana Sewell, chief of staff to Prince William County Board Chair Ann Wheeler.

Cox was born in Dallas and grew up in Brazil. He moved to the Woodbridge area in May 2016 and lives there with his wife and two children. Cox, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a commanding officer in the U.S. Navy reserve and works as a third-party contractor. 

Cox graduated with an undergraduate degree in global economics and international business from Cedarville University and a graduate degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Cox said he’s long wanted to serve in public office and is working on a “foundation of faith, family and freedom.” He said he can “take punches with a smile in the political arena.”

Cox highlighted public safety, schools, taxes and transportation as key parts of his campaign. He has recently been a frequent speaker before the Prince William County Board of Supervisors opposing a potential increase in real estate tax bills. 

“We believe in paying taxes, public services are important,” he said. “But they don’t need to keep increasing year after year.”

On transportation, Cox said constant congestion on Interstates 66 and 95 is routinely caused by large construction footprints closing off lanes and slowing traffic. He wants to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to safely minimize those construction areas and focus work in off-peak hours.

Cox also railed against “predatory towing” in which companies tow cars and charge “exorbitant fees” for their return. He said the state should safeguard residents against the practice.

“You have towing companies that can be bullies,” he said.

Cox said the state seems to be unequally enforcing regulations to combat the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the difference in measures for religious institutions and grocery stores. 

Cox supports sending students back into schools with safety measures to avoid long-term social effects on children from not interacting with their peers or being taught in person.

Republicans held the 51st District seat from 2008 to 2018 when Ayala unseated former Del. Richard Lee Anderson. She defeated Anderson in the 2017 and 2019 elections.

Ayala last won the district with about 55% of the vote and Cox said he sees it as a “winnable district.”

Cox said he is focusing on a “purple theme” of bipartisanship and highlighted the contributions immigrants can make to the community. 

Cox, whose wife is an immigrant, said the country needs to remove barriers for highly-skilled immigrants to secure jobs, particularly in the medical field, if they were certified and practiced in other countries.

“If we’re not working together with the talented individuals who love this country, then we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.

Cox has filed paperwork to run in the Republican primary. Jeff Dove, an Iraq War veteran, has announced intentions to also seek the party’s nomination. Sewell is the only candidate to declare on the Democratic side.

The deadline to file for a party primary is March 25. Independent and third-party candidates have until June 8 to submit ballot signatures and paperwork to the state for the November election.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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