Justin Malkin’s platform for the 45th District seat in the House of Delegates is a simple one, one that he even says is a little corny.
“I honestly believe in my message and that it will resound with voters, and that’s social tolerance and fiscal responsibility,” he said.
The Libertarian candidate is on Tuesday’s special election ballot, where he will face Democrat and Republican .
How does his Libertarian Party philosophy mesh with a constituency that largely depends on the government for jobs and livelihood? Malkin says it’s an uphill battle, but he also believes the 45th District is not an outright void when it comes to libertarian thinking.
“I think there are a lot people out there who will take a government job but will not necessarily vote for more government,” Malkin said. “…A lot of people working for the government know how inefficient the government is, so maybe it’s not a bad market [for libertarianism].”
Earlier this month, Malkin received the endorsement of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. president.
Malkin would like to reduce budgets and services and introduce competition in the state, from education to prison systems.
“I’m an advocate for cutting budgets across the board,” he said. “Obviously that’s a hot-button thing to say you’re going to cut the school budget. But that would be an ultimate goal, to freeze budgets and introduce competition.”
But he says he’s practical and will focus on the “low-hanging fruit” to trim budgets if he reaches Richmond.
The Old Town resident moved to Alexandria four years ago and recently became a father. He’s a University of California-Berkeley grad and earned his MBA from the University of Rochester. He used to work on Wall Street and now works as a credit analyst in an office on Prince Street.
Malkin has spent most of his life in New York City, and it was living in Brooklyn Heights where he says he developed interest in promoting gay rights. When attending the Libertarian Party’s National Convention this year, the lone breakout session he participated in was focused on LGBT issues. He was invited to a pool party hosted by the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association a few weeks ago.
“I’m a huge advocate for gay rights in our government institutions,” he said. “LGBT and the Libertarian Party are a natural fit. I’d say the Democratic Party has a poor record. They’re good talkers but they have a poor record of achieving equality.”
He says he’s hoping to land the support of voters who placed ballots in the Democratic caucus for .
He would like to keep guns legal in Virginia and believes the government spends too much money on drug enforcement.
“It’s a huge cost to try and control those products,” he said. “Obviously the government hasn’t been able to control them. They’re both ubiquitous. You have to consider that when you’re trying to pass stricter laws.”
When it comes to abortion, Malkin says it’s the one complex issue people face. He says he respects differing opinions on the subject, but believes a woman has a right to choose up to a gestation period of up to 13 weeks, after which time the fetus should be considered a person with a right to life.
“I am the type of person that can bridge the partisan divide in Richmond,” Malkin said. “I can side with the Democrats on social issues and Republicans on fiscal issues.”
, the first day of school for many in the 45th District that includes parts of Alexandria and parts of Fairfax and Arlington counties.
The election became necessary after , which went into effect on Friday.