LeGrow For Congress
This was the official website for the 2010 bid by Dr. LeGrow to represent Virginia's Fourth District in Congress. The content below is from the site's 2010 archived pages.
Dr. Wynne LeGrow has a fascinating story of how he became the Democratic nominee for the 2010 campaign in Virginia. He has even written a book,Last Leper in the Colony, about his experiences. Recently I read the book while staying in a lovely Maui waterfront condo rental on the western coast of this tropical Hawaiian island. Since I grew up in Virginia, I keep aware of the political intrigues. I was given LeGrow's book by my parents as a vacation read during this Maui trip. After a day enjoying a morning of snorkeling and an afternoon of golf or hiking I would relax on the condo's lanai, watch the sun set with some sensational tropical drink my boyfriend would concoct and read Last Leper in the Colony.
It is the fascinating story of how LeGrow transformed himself from a small-town physician who shunned politics (except to vote), into a Democratic candidate for Congress. In 2010, without primary opposition, he secured the nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives, a role that brought with it many ups and downs as he tried to figure out how a political neophyte should conduct a campaign. In many ways, this book is a guide on how to run for public office—as an atheist. It offers an insightful assessment of what worked and what didn’t, illustrated by the surprising political education LeGrow got along the way.
Dr. Wynne LeGrow did lose the 2010 election. However he did garner 37.5 percent of the vote, more than any Virginia Democrat running against any incumbent Republican that year. Given the odds he was facing, we see him as our hero, like Batman, going up against overwhelming opposition but still doing the right thing. We are showing our appreciation by sending him a Batman t shirt from MoonAtMidnight.com. I'm certain he will appreciate this gift for what it represents. I am impressed by the way he conducted his campaign, and proud of the honest, perceptive book he’s written about it.
Learn why Dr. Wynne LeGrow is the best choice to represent Virginia's Fourth District
Fifth Debate Question for the Candidates
Moderator: The fifth question is for Dr. LeGrow. Dr. LeGrow, you have been accused by your opponent of attacking him because of his faith. You have stated publicly that you are a “non-believer.” How will that affect your decision-making in office?
Dr. LeGrow: Well, let me set the record straight. I never have and never will attack Mr. Forbes for his faith. I was raised in the church, my father was a Protestant minister, and my wife is Christian. I respect the values and moral teachings of Christianity. What I have a problem with is Mr. Forbes’ attempts to push his faith into our government. Introducing legislation to have the Congress of the United States declare that the Bible is the “holy word of God” is improper.
I believe that our government should remain separate from our faith traditions in this country, not just to protect the government from particular religious interests, but to protect our religious traditions and minorities. We have serious problems in this country including a crushing national debt, a serious economic crisis, and our young men are abroad fighting in two wars. I would focus on those issues in office, not religious questions.
Fourth Debate Question for the Candidates
Moderator: The fourth question is for Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes, you have stated that you would support drilling for oil off of Virginia’s coast. Could you describe your energy policy and describe your vision for the future of America’s energy supply?
Mr. Forbes: [no answer given]
Third Debate Question for the Candidates
Moderator: The third question is for Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes, you have repeatedly denounced the recent health care reform, and called for its repeal. How then, would you address the problem of sharply rising health care costs?
Mr. Forbes: [no answer given]
Wynne LeGrow is a husband, father, doctor, veteran and the Democratic nominee in Virginia's 4th Congressional District.
For almost three decades, Wynne LeGrow dedicated his life to providing the residents of rural southern Virginia with quality, affordable health care. As a physician, Wynne always used his acquired knowledge along with a common sense approach in diagnosing and treating his patients. He knows that we need a common sense approach to making our government more effective and efficient. He is running for Congress to ensure that the new health care legislation works for all Americans, that our financial system is properly regulated to allow for the greatest growth and consumer protection and that our environment is protected and preserved for future generations.
As the son of a minister and a schoolteacher, Wynne was raised in Vermont and moved to Ohio at age nine. From an early age, he saw the importance of honesty, integrity and service to others. He graduated from The Ohio State University and its College of Medicine. While at the university, he joined ROTC and received a commission in the U.S. Army. He graduated from medical school in 1972, and then completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Missouri. He served as a physician in the Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama from 1975 to 1977 and was promoted to the rank of major. Following his discharge from the Army, Wynne studied nephrology (kidney disease) at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Wynne moved to Emporia, VA in 1979 where he started his medical practice. For most of his career he practiced primary care in internal medicine as well as caring for hundreds of dialysis patients. His practice grew significantly, and in 1990, he opened his own dialysis center.
After nearly thirty years of practicing medicine in Emporia, Wynne retired in September 2008. In June 2009, he went to Honduras with wife Marilyn and her daughter Victoria to provide humanitarian medical care for the poor. The experience makes one more appreciative of the things that we take for granted at home.
Wynne has been married to his wife Marilyn since June of 2001. Marilyn, a nurse, is originally from Emporia. His son, Vincent, owns a video editing business in Los Angeles. Marilyn has one daughter, Victoria, who will start medical school this fall. He has two stepsons, Drew and Eric Willison, from a previous marriage.
The new healthcare law prevents denial of insurance to people who have pre-existing conditions. It also prevents cancellation of insurance for certain health problems and placement of limitations on lifetime insurance coverage. This is a good start, but it still does not cover all our citizens. I would support measures that would encourage competition. These include initiation of a public option, introduction of a plan to buy in to Medicare, and modification of the antitrust exemptions enjoyed by some insurance companies. This competition would lower costs and improve quality of care for all Americans.
Our economy must be viewed from both the short-term and long-term perspective. We are now coming out of the most severe recession since the Great Depression. It is clear that this recession could have been prevented. Regulations put in place following the Great Depression were removed in the 1980s and 1990s by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. This resulted in a situation which allowed subprime loans to be given to many individuals who clearly could not be expected to continue to make payments. The mortgage brokers who were selling these mortgages were making their money up front and did not suffer when foreclosures resulted. The mortgages were packaged as derivatives and Wall Street made additional profits by betting that these would fail. I support tighter regulation to prevent similar problems in the future.
The bank bailouts and stimulus package were needed to prevent this Great Recession from turning into the second Great Depression. Once the economy has stabilized, it will be necessary to make long-term plans to eliminate the deficit and start paying off the national debt. I supported the legislation which would have forced an up or down vote by Congress on the recommendations of an independent commission. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives, but unfortunately it was defeated in the Senate. The commission which has since been appointed by the president can only make recommendations which may or may not be implemented by Congress. If elected, I will seriously consider any recommendations the commission might make to start the country toward deficit reduction. I will also work with the Obama administration and any willing Democrats or Republicans to reduce our national debt. It is critical to the future economic health of this country.
- Energy Independence/Environment/Global Climate Change
The United States produces less than 5% of the world’s oil supply but consumes about 20%. This will continue to result in a significant trade deficit and keep us dependent on foreign oil. No amount of drilling will make us independent. Drilling offshore is obviously fraught with serious problems and would increase the total supply of oil only minimally. In order to become energy independent we must change our focus to clean, renewable sources of energy.
Starting by developing a more energy efficient economy, we must quickly implement wind, solar, geothermal and biomass as clean, domestic power sources. The burning of fossil fuels continues to contribute to the increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The existence of global climate change and its relationship to the burning of fossil fuels is widely accepted in the scientific community. Those who deny this are generally not from the scientific community or are protecting the interests of the fossil fuel industries.
Our dependence on oil from countries that do not have our best interests in mind threaten our economy, our environment, and our national security. Unless steps are taken soon to promote energy effeciency and develop renewable energy, future generations will condemn us for our lack of insight into the problem. I favor tax breaks to businesses which invest in the many forms of clean renewable energy.
The state of public education has deteriorated over the last few decades. Too much emphasis is being placed on standardized tests that are too broad in their scope and encourage teachers to build their curricula around the tests rather than creating well-rounded lesson plans. The unrealistic methods for evaluating teachers and schools that were handed down from No Child Left Behind must be repealed.
There are many excellent dedicated teachers in our schools, but low teacher salaries prevent us from attracting and retaining the highest quality candidates. The recent decreases in the state budget have resulted in dramatic cuts to school systems around the state.
The stimulus package has allowed us to save some but not all teacher salaries. Further cuts are coming which will result in larger class sizes and further deterioration in public education. Education must become a much higher priority or our public schools will continue to spiral downward. We must find alternative means of funding our public education system other than placing the burden on the backs of property taxpayers.
There will always be a need for highly educated people in areas such as healthcare, clean energy, engineering, and information technologies. In order to ensure that all students are highly educated in a broad range of fields, we will need to have a first-class public education system. Tax incentives for small businesses are essential to help spur job growth. Because we live in a highly competitive global economy, well-paying jobs will depend on a well-educated population.