Congressional candidate Cockburn visits Danville
In a tour through the fifth district, Democratic candidate for the Fifth District Congressional seat and Rappahannock, native Leslie Cockburn attended the Danville River District Festival Fish Fry on Friday and paid for a table. After an extensive 35-year career in journalism, Cockburn recently announced her candidacy with the intention of focusing on issues such as student loans and healthcare.
“You can’t be in the Fifth District without coming to Danville,” Cockburn said. “The fish fry is an important day in the year.”
Cockburn said that she is brand new to politics, and just recently declared that she would be running. She made two launches, one in the northern part of the district and one in the southern part.
“I’m applying all of my skills from a lifetime of covering government and major issues and trying to focus on the major issues that I can see here,” Cockburn said. “A lot of skills from what I’ve always done can be translated into politics here.”
Cockburn has won awards with her investigative journalism throughout her career. During that time she exposed various problems in Washington and on Wall Street and she covered six different wars including the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
One of the things that she exposed during that time was when soldiers in Baghdad had to ride around in Humvees with no armor. She said exposing that through her journalism helped.
“There’s so much happening that there’s too much for a reporter to cover,” Cockburn said. “I’m stumbling across things all the time. Now, not only can I expose it, which is what you do as a reporter, but I can do something about it in Congress. So why not make the next step and do that?”
In addition to putting healthcare back on sound footing and making sure women can be treated as full citizens with the right to control what happens to their own bodies, other issues Cockburn plans to tackle include making senior citizens a top priority, changing the rules so students and their families won’t be in debt because of loans by making community college more affordable and giving them the broadband they need to work in the new economy and bringing in new energy jobs and raise minimum wage. Another issue Cockburn hopes to be able to stop is the farm bill having $29 billion taken away from crop insurance.
Cockburn has spent over a month traveling the district between counties, and has logged a large amount of miles on her car. She has had a chance to meet numerous people and she planned her visit to Danville to make it to the fish fry. She paid for a table, which was open for anyone who couldn’t otherwise afford the event.
“As a former journalist, I can see that every county has some unique issues,” Cockburn said. “There are some things that bind the whole place though, and one of them is healthcare. So I’m thinking a lot about healthcare and talking to people about what happens if you lose Medicaid or have special needs kids who can’t get funding.”