Ryan C. Benton

Ryan Collin Benton

Summary

Current Position: Realtor
Affiliation: None
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

Overview: N/A

About

Source: Campaign page

Ryan, 34, is a fourth generation Portsmouth native. As an adult, he chose to buy in Portsmouth and keep our city as his home.

Ryan has deep family roots here. He comes from a long family legacy of Portsmouth public school educators, including his mother and grandmother, which had a great deal of influence in his upbringing.

Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from George Mason University. He went on to serve as a contractor in Operation Iraqi Freedom working with the U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command. In 2011, in furthering his post graduate education, he received a Certificate in Business Essentials from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since then, he has served as a top-producing local Realtor helping families find quality homes in our city and region.

Ryan has been very active in our community. He is a 2006 graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, a 2012 graduate of the Vann H. Lefcoe Leadership Program, and a 2017 graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. In 2018, he was named by Inside Business’ Top 40 Under 40 List. He has been a member of the Swimming Point Civic League for twelve years and currently serves as its Vice President. Ryan has also been active in the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Virginia, serving as the Co-Chairman of the Portsmouth Unit Board that oversees three local Portsmouth chapters.

As a Portsmouth native, local Realtor, and homeowner, Ryan knows all too well the challenges Portsmouth faces in tolls on our tunnels, taxes, crime, and our public education system. Portsmouth is struggling and that is why at this critical time we need new independent leadership for Portsmouth. We need to unify our community and work together to secure our future. On Tuesday, November 5th, Portsmouth will have the opportunity to elect a new Delegate, Ryan C. Benton, to serve as our strong voice in Richmond.

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter

Issues

Source: Campaign page

Issues Facing Portsmouth
There are many issues facing the city of Portsmouth. Many problems like high real estate tax rates and the issues with the Portsmouth Pavilion are the responsibility of local governments (City Council). Although the State Government might have some role occasionally in regulations, the primary responsibility of some of the major hot-button issues like abortion, foreign policy, and immigration rest with the federal government (President, Supreme Court, and Congress). The State Government, especially the General Assembly, deals with issues such as transportation, administration of Medicaid, public education funding (in conjunction with the localities), certain firearm restrictions, environmental regulations, and criminal justice issues.

Below are just a few of the state government related issues facing Portsmouth, our region, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Tolls
The tolls on the downtown and midtown tunnels were part of the worst transportation deal in the history of the Commonwealth. We must work collectively with other elected representatives in our regional to mitigate the effect of these tolls and ultimately to end them completely. This it the number one thing hurting our economic development and is a unfair tax on the citizens of Portsmouth!
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Education
Ryan comes from a multi-generational family legacy of public school educators in Portsmouth, including both his mother and grandmother. Ryan understands the work needed to support our teachers and strengthen our public education system in Portsmouth. As a local Realtor, Ryan knows that a strong public school is system is often the number one concern of those purchasing homes in our area.

We also have a number of private schools and home-schooled children whose parents pay taxes here. We must ensure that they are able to participate in scholarship and recreational opportunities as well. The more we keep our community coming together, the better off we will all be.

Bring Our Community Together
As a proud son of the Portsmouth Community, Ryan understands true leadership lies in the genuine commitment to work for everyone. Portsmouth deserves leadership in the General Assembly that truly represents ALL of us–not one side against another, not one community against another, and not one special interest against another. To face the challenges that Portsmouth has, we need a delegate who has the experience, the commitment, and the integrity to be the face of this community in the General Assembly. As a truly independent voice, Ryan will work to bring unity, equity, and fairness to every corner of our diverse community.
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An Independent Voice for Portsmouth
What we need in Richmond are solutions, not more politics. We all know that neither party has all the answers. As an Independent, Ryan will work with both sides of the aisle to take the very best ideas from both sides and bring them home to Portsmouth. Ryan looks forward to continuing the vital work of retiring Delegate Matthew James, and to working with members from both sides of the aisle, including Delegate Steve Heretick, Senators John Cosgrove, Louise Lucas, and Mamie Locke in Richmond, and Mayor John Rowe and the city council here in Portsmouth, to address the challenges that we face every day.    

Casino Gambling in Portsmouth
 There are many mixed feelings in the community about a possible casino. Some think it will create more jobs while others think it will be offset by increasing crime. As your Delegate, Ryan will fight against any plan that does not allow the citizens of Portsmouth to vote on the issue. We have a right to decide for ourselves whether we want a casino in our community or not- it shouldn’t be forced on us from Richmond without the PEOPLE having the final say in the matter.

Marijuana
The prohibition against adult use of marijuana needs to be repealed both for medical purposes and for private personal use. We should not be wasting law enforcement resources and jail facilities to incarcerate marijuana users.  Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol to ensure safety, reduce the black market, restrict access to underage persons, and divert much needed revenue from drug dealers to important needs like education, healthcare, and transportation.
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The Second Amendment
 

We must support the second amendment and its right of self-defense. Citizens should be able to carry if they have not lost that right due to convictions. They should continue to be able to rely upon a statewide system of gun laws that is fair and consistent for all communities. If we allowed each locality to enact their own gun laws it would lead to confusion and discriminatory enforcement practices. All citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia should be governed under the same laws and we should not enact laws that disproportionately hurt minority communities.

Crime and Gun Violence
 There are commonsense reforms which would help reduce crime and gun violence.  We need to seriously look at increased penalties for those who are caught possessing firearms after being convicted of a violent felony, for those who use firearms to commit crimes, and for those who steal firearms, or possess or traffic stolen firearms. If we cracked down on the stolen firearm and illegal firearm industry, we would reduce substantially the number of firearms used by criminals to terrorize our communities. 

We must support our law enforcement agencies, promote transparency and accountability within law enforcement, and continue to support community policing efforts. Ultimately, we must make sure all our police, firefighters, EMS, and other first responders have the full support of our community and that we give them the resources they need to be successful.

When we look at crime, we must look at more broad issues as well. The best way to reduce crime is to promote economic development, vocational education, and support programs that keep our youth on a positive track instead of getting sucked up into a life of crime.

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