ROANOKE, Va. – Rep. Ben Cline wants two more years to represent Roanoke, Lynchburg, and the rest of Virginia’s 6th district in Congress.
“I can campaign on results," Cline said. "That’s what I promised the voters when I went to Washington that I was going to be able to do.”
Cline is finishing up his first term in Congress after replacing Bob Goodlatte who had represented the district for more than 25 years before his retirement.
Cline even served as a member of Goodlatte’s legislative staff in 1994 and ultimately serving as the congressman’s chief of staff.
Later, from 2002 to 2018, he served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 24th District.
Cline said his experience in Virginia’s House showed him how powerful bipartisanship can be.
“In politics, we can get 98 percent of what we want if we maybe give a little bit on the 2 percent, cut a deal, and get things done,” Cline said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do while preserving my principles: lower taxes, personal liberty and constitutional values.”
Watch more from our interview with Cline:
He said he has reached across the aisle numerous times in his first term, with some of his efforts resulting in new laws.
"I was the first freshman Republican to get a bill signed into law to help small businesses. I’ve passed legislation into law to help our veterans,” Cline said. “I try to cross over and get to know my Democratic colleagues, just doing that draws looks and glances from my colleagues on both sides.”
Cline defeated his Democratic opponent by nearly 20 percentage points in the 2018 election. This year, Cline is facing off against political newcomer Nicholas Betts.
Cline’s main goal, if elected, is to focus on COVID-19 relief.
“It’s making sure we can get a vaccine, making sure we save lives, and getting the economy moving again,” Cline said.
He also hopes to get federal funding for the improvement of Interstate 81, which runs through the majority of the 6th district.
“We have a six-year highway bill that we need to get done, but because of politics, it gets bogged down,” Cline said.
Cline said those politics have disillusioned some of the voters in the district he talked with, but he hopes to set a bipartisan example with a second term.
“They’re very frustrated that government is not working," Cline said. "Government is broken, and that’s in part because we don’t work together.”
The 6th District extends up Interstate 81 from Roanoke to Front Royal and also includes Lynchburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and Harrisonburg.