July 25, 2000: Headlines: Politics: Winchester Star: Katzen Hopes 2nd Time Is the Charm

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Katzen Hopes 2nd Time Is the Charm

Katzen Hopes 2nd Time Is the Charm

Katzen Hopes 2nd Time Is the Charm

Katzen Hopes 2nd Time Is the Charm

After Aborted Bid in 1997, Warrenton Delegate Again Seeks Lt. Governor’s Seat

By Bridgette Blair
The Winchester Star

Part of Del. Jay Katzen’s bid for the state’s lieutenant governor seat in 2001 includes asking constituents their input on policy.
Del. Jay Katzen (center) speaks with reporters Monday about his campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
(Photo by Rick Foster)

“I turn to the people and always have,” he said.

On Monday, Katzen, R-Warrenton, wanted to continue his input-gathering, chatting up Dudley H. Rinker, general manager at Rinker Orchards Inc. near Stephens City.

The two men stood in the dripping rain while they discussed the economy of agriculture.

After Katzen asked if there were anything the state
could do to help farmers, Rinker suggested that the state allocate matching funds to Virginia Agriculture Council research projects.

Katzen said he would pursue the suggestion.

A member of the governor-appointed Agriculture Council, Rinker said the group distributes about $250,000 to $300,000 a year for research.

Funds are collected from assessments on animal feed, fertilizers, gas used for agriculture, and turf seed.

Although they talked about farming, what actually brought Katzen to the orchard was the ceremony to mark the shaking of his 250,000th constituent hand — which happened to be Rinker’s.

How does he know for sure he shook 250,000 hands?

“We keep records,” he said, although he said some numbers may have been rounded.

On Katzen’s Web site, a section is devoted to the hand-shaking goal (although it hadn’t been updated to the full 250,000 as of Monday afternoon).

The election isn’t until November 2001, and Katzen said he’s going to continue to grasp as many palms as possible.

Katzen’s handshaking, political journey has taken him all over Virginia, he said, and he averages about 6,000 miles a month in travel.

With regard to other agriculture issues, Rinker talked about the challenges agriculture has faced — with some individuals making more money to work at such places as Rubbermaid.

Those involved with agriculture also have a number of federal and state restrictions, Rinker said.

Katzen noted that he had raised sheep for wool for eight years, ending in 1992.

After meeting Katzen, Rinker said Katzen was the type of individual who didn’t talk down to him and wanted to know what was on residents’ minds.

“He just seemed like a good ol’, down-home fellow,” Rinker said.

Other issues Katzen said are important are education and transportation, as well as the economy and public safety.

As a 31st District delegate, Katzen has served Rappahannock County and parts of Fauquier and Warren counties since 1994.

He had sought the lieutenant governor’s seat in 1997, he said, but he dropped out early in the race in April 1997.

And he’s applying what he learned during his last campaign to his current bid.

“Getting into the campaign earlier is one lesson that I learned,” he said.

Katzen acknowledged that others within Virginia’s Republican Party have expressed interest in the lieutenant governor’s seat.

Responding to a question about state Sen. Emily Couric, who announced last Thursday she would not seek the lieutenant governor’s position because of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Katzen said, “there’s nothing I wish more” than to have her well and back in the campaign.

Couric is a Democrat from Charlottesville.

On the Net:

Del. Jay Katzen’s Web site: www.jaykatzen.com.

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Story Source: Winchester Star

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