By Taylor Boyd
In his bid for Virginia’s 9th District seat in the House of Representatives, Wren Williams said the biggest issue facing the district and the state is the curriculum in school divisions.
He said he believes “It’s the indoctrination of our students and the progressive left’s attempt to force Critical Race Theory (CRT) throughout the state,”
Williams said he would like to see CRT banned so teachers can focus on teaching economics, English, and other subjects that will help students in the future.
“There’s only a limited amount of time, and our teachers only have a limited amount of resources, and to be teaching them this superfluous stuff instead of the critical basic needs that they need, we’re wasting time with un-American indoctrination of Marxism curriculum,” he said.
Williams, 32, became the Republican candidate after defeating incumbent Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill, earlier this year in the GOP primary. He is being challenged for the seat by Bridgette Craighead, a Democrat.
He has previously stated that if he wins the November contest, one of the first bills he is interested in introducing and passing is a bill to ban CRT from being taught in schools. He believes that also would save money, because some school divisions are hiring consultants to train teachers how to teach the theory in the classrooms.
“Eliminating that field completely from our public education system is only going to provide savings and provide more opportunities for more vital and more important career and education opportunities for our students,” he said.
Williams sees the state’s economic development and business prosperity as a double-edged sword. He said years ago, the Commonwealth was one of the number one states for businesses, employers, and economic development.
“We have that same opportunity, we have not lost that opportunity because we still have the same resources, we’re still in the same location, we still have the same workforce that is talented. So, we have the opportunity,” he said.
However, Williams said he believes the state is currently hurting its businesses with policies like the discussion of eliminating the right to work.
“That is causing employers who are looking at Virginia to think about going to other states, and we’re losing them to other states who are not interested in eliminating right to work,” he said.
The push for an increased minimum wage of $15 an hour is another issue that is hurting the state’s economic capabilities.
“That’s not being taken in a regional approach, so it is crushing our small businesses that are outside of Virginia’s golden crescent,” he said of the area stretches from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads.
Williams said these factors are causing the state to become less palpable and advantageous for businesses. He believes that if a change is not made, Virginia will become a state that is not favorable for business and could lose its large corporations and manufactures to other states with policies that support businesses and economic development.
Williams believes the 9th District excels at quality of life, community, and neighborly engagement.
“We have excellent tourism, we have excellent people here and a very good quality of life,” he said, and added the downside is that the district lacks infrastructure, particularly a healthcare option for Patrick County.
“If you’re seeking economic development, and a company is looking at your community versus another, and they know their employees can’t even get to an emergency room, they’re going to choose a locality with an emergency room to save on their insurance costs,” he said.
The district also needs to continue investing in broadband and focus on growing the housing market, he said.
“Right now, there’s a lack of housing, and the only way for more people to move here is if there are places to live,” he said, adding “the only way for this area to grow is for the population to grow.”
Williams believes his extensive experience in local and state government and policies will gain the support of the voters. He has completed numerous organizational trainings related to policy and effective leadership.
He also grew up as a leader in his community. Williams is an Eagle Scout; he has served as chairman of the Patrick County Republican Unit and is a member of the Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) Board.
“All these things have given me ample experience to be able to properly represent and zealously advocate for my district as I do every day in the courtroom as a lawyer for my constituents. They will be my clients when I go to Richmond. I want to be ferociously negotiating for them at the table when I get there,” he said.
Williams plans to be open and transparent. All his contact information is available online, and appointments may be made at his law office on Main Street in Stuart.
“I anticipate being readily available and open to going to meetings and community association gatherings and things like that. You will see me out and about,” he said.
Williams also plans to hold office hours and town halls throughout the district to hear from constituents directly about information and issues they believe need to be brought to Richmond.
Another goal is to make state government and the General Assembly more accessible to the public.
“Even as a private citizen who is heavily engaged in politics, party politics, and campaigns, in that General Assembly time, it’s sort of hard to see and understand what’s going on in Richmond,” he said.
Williams is committed to sharing what is happening in Richmond and his thoughts on the issues. He also plans to continue to use his website and Facebook page to deliver information.
A native of Patrick County, Williams is the president of Schneider & Williams, P.C. in Stuart, and works there as an attorney. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton-Sydney College and received his JD and MBA from Stanford University.
He and his wife, Britt Schneider Williams, have been married since 2015. In his spare time, Williams enjoys working on his farm, and playing with his cows, horses, and dogs, but his true interests are in politics and trying to make his community better through political strategy.