Letter: Harrisonburg voter backs Emmett Hanger for State Senate

Emmett HangerFor the past 23 years, the Harrisonburg and Rockingham community is fortunate to be represented in the Virginia Senate by a man of conscience and integrity—Emmett Hanger. Born in Staunton and raised to appreciate the value of hard work, Mr. Hanger embodies Valley values and has applied them to the many policy issues that have come before him in Richmond.

He has a reputation for his thoughtful even-handed approach to legislating and his ability to work with legislators collaboratively-even those “across the aisle”. He is also known for his compassion for those in our state who are overlooked or ignored. All of these positive qualities and his values coalesced last year when he helped forge a coalition of Republicans and Democrats from both the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia to expand Medicaid health insurance coverage for Virginias.

As the former executive director of the Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic, I can tell you this bill was a good thing. Maintaining good health and managing chronic diseases enables people to continue working and taking responsibility for the care of their families.

It troubles me that Senator Hanger’s support for this needed policy change is now being used against him in what has become a heated contest for the Republican nomination for his Senate seat. Perhaps some of us don’t realize that before this change occurred, many of our friends and neighbors here in Virginia lived without health insurance.

Now, thanks to Senator Hanger and other Republican legislators, many local residents who need medical treatment, mental health services, or help with intellectual or developmental  disabilities, or substance abuse services are able to finally obtain them.

Emmett Hanger is a caring individual who has represented us well over the years. He is also a skilled legislator, who has risen to become Co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

All who value his approach and accomplishments should take the time to vote for him in the Republican primary June 11.

Letter from Keith A Gnagey/Harrisonburg

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