Rhett graduated from James Madison University with a degree in social work. Her passion for social work transitioned into a career in field politics in Virginia. Rhett currently resides in Henry County on her family’s farm, Home Creek Farms. When she’s not helping gather hay, or herding cows, she is running a union print shop with her business partner.
Rhett decided to run in the 14th district after experiencing first hand the consequences that the Covid-19 pandemic had on her younger brother’s schooling. At the age of eight, her brother struggled with virtual school due to the absence of affordable, functioning internet. Access to the internet has become an integral part of learning in recent years, and that has become especially apparent over the last year as our schools and jobs have been increasingly moved online. The importance of addressing equity issues both within the city as well as the counties is crucial for the further development of the district.
More than anything, it is crucial that we have a candidate in office that represents us, the constituents. These are problems that are not new to the district, and they’re not new to Southwest Virginia. We need someone in office who will stand up and speak out about the need for change. Rhett is running against a twenty year incumbent who has voted to cut funding for rural broadband, access to healthcare, and cut funding for schools and increased class sizes. Twenty years in office is a significant amount of time, and things have not changed in the district. It’s time for our representation to represent the interests of the people.
Access to reliable high-speed broadband internet is crucial to building and maintaining economic and educational opportunities. This is especially important in rural areas where alternative access to the internet may not be feasible either because of current costs or availability. As our education and economy moves increasingly towards being fully or partially online, the internet must become equally accessible to all residents.
Education must be a top priority for Virginia. All Virginians deserve access to quality schools. We must fully fund the public school system and high school vocational training programs to ensure a pathway to good paying jobs and careers. We must start addressing the areas of inequity that have been highlighted by the Covid-19 Pandemic and strengthen the Commonwealth for all Virginians.
Marijuana Legalization and Equity
The district needs to be a frontrunner in social, economic and equitable marijuana legalization. Communities that have been impacted the most by criminalization and enforcement should be given the first opportunity to benefit from legalization. Legalization should also address sealing or expunging records of past marijuana-related convictions. Legalization requires reinvestment in communities across the commonwealth including the southwest for the economic benefits to be fairly and equitably distributed across the state.
Sustainable Clean Energy
Virginia needs to pivot to new clean energy by way of solar and wind power in order to meet the sustainable and independent energy needs of the future. By investing in clean energy we can create thousands of jobs around the commonwealth. The 14th District has the ability to create a robust workforce through this development and the creation of training programs in the area.
Creating clean energy locally will lower the cost of utilities for users in the district.
Ending Cash Bail
Cash bail is an archaic practice that has been used to systematically punish persons charged with crimes based on economic status. By eliminating cash bail, we as a commonwealth will reduce incarcerations as a whole. This will then put prosecutors in charge of putting forth reasonable cause for incarceration.
Responsible Gun Background Checks
The HB2128 bill that was introduced into legislation intends to extend background check turnaround time from three business days to five business days. As written, the law currently states that if a background check is not completed in three business days, the firearm is released to the applicant without a completed background check. By increasing the turnaround from three to five business days it would better ensure that applicants are given a proper background check before being able to purchase a firearm.