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Merle Rutledge: Fighting for Virginian Exceptionalism

A dedicated community leader advocating for low-income communities and civil rights, with a proven track record of service and leadership in Virginia.

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Merle Rutledge: Fighting for Virginian Exceptionalism

A dedicated community leader advocating for low-income communities and civil rights, with a proven track record of service and leadership in Virginia.


Meet Merle

A Tireless Advocate for the People of Virginia

Meet Merle Travis Rutledge Jr., a dedicated community leader with a passion for advocating for low-income communities and championing public policy and civil rights issues. A proud graduate of Dan River...

I envision a Virginia where every man, woman, and child can not only survive but truly thrive - Merle Rutledge

Merle Rutledge Issues

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Merle's Vision for a more prosperous and safe Virginia

Economic Opportunity

Merle is dedicated to pushing for a prosperous future for all Virginians by improving economic opportunity, combating rising inflation, and fighting against bureaucratic red tape. He understands that advocating for fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints is vital in fostering a thriving Commonwealth. Merle is committed to supporting small businesses, which contribute significantly to the economic health and growth of our communities, and to opposing new taxes in order to alleviate the burden on hardworking families and businesses. By championing these causes, Merle aims to create an environment where innovation and progress can flourish, paving the way for a prosperous and sustainable Virginia.

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Public Safety

Merle is deeply committed to public safety and understands the critical role that first responders, including our police, play in protecting our communities. Instead of defunding the police, Merle advocates for adequately funding law enforcement agencies to ensure they have the necessary resources to serve and protect. By investing in improved training and support for our officers, we can create a safer environment for all. As many states grapple with lawlessness, Merle believes that Virginia has a duty to safeguard its citizens and uphold the right of every Virginian to feel safe in their own home. Merle is determined to champion policies that prioritize public safety and promote the well-being of the residents of the Commonwealth.

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Merle understands the transformative power of education, drawing from his own experiences growing up in an impoverished background. He is committed to upholding Virginia as an educational powerhouse by investing in STEM programs and promoting school choice, ensuring that every child has access to the education that best suits their needs. Recognizing that not every fish can climb a tree, Merle believes in the importance of investing in trade schools to provide diverse opportunities for students to excel in their chosen fields. 

Merle is also dedicated to combating divisive topics like Critical Race Theory in schools, advocating for its ban and emphasizing the need for unity and understanding. He is a strong proponent of enhancing parental rights and promoting transparency in the educational process, empowering parents to be active participants in their children’s learning journey. Through these combined efforts, Merle aims to create a brighter future for all Virginians by fostering a high-quality, and well-rounded education system.

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Fentanyl Crisis

Merle recognizes the urgent need to combat the fentanyl crisis, which has tragically become the number one killer for Americans aged 18-45. With the devastating impact of this deadly drug, it is imperative to implement comprehensive strategies to address the issue effectively. Merle believes that tackling the crisis requires a two-pronged approach: punishing the sellers and raising awareness among our youth.

By holding drug dealers accountable and ensuring they face severe consequences for their actions, we can work towards dismantling the supply chain and preventing the further spread of fentanyl in our communities. Additionally, Merle emphasizes the importance of educating our young people about the dangers of fentanyl and other illicit substances. By promoting awareness and fostering open conversations, we can empower the next generation to make informed decisions and protect themselves from the devastating consequences of substance abuse.

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Transparency and Accountability

Merle is a staunch advocate for fighting corruption and enhancing transparency in government, recognizing that it should be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. He believes that elected officials must work tirelessly to serve the best interests of the taxpayers who have entrusted them with the responsibility of leadership.

To achieve this, Merle is committed to reining in bloated bureaucracy and championing reforms that promote greater accountability and efficiency. One such reform he supports is the implementation of term limits, ensuring that fresh ideas and perspectives continually enter the political landscape, while preventing the entrenchment of career politicians. By pushing for these transformative policies, Merle aims to create a government that truly represents and serves the people of Virginia, fostering a more transparent, accountable, and effective system for all.

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While it is widely believed that enforcing immigration laws falls under the purview of the Federal Government, state governments can play a vital role in fighting illegal immigration. Merle believes that Virginia can take proactive measures to address this issue, including expanding the e-verify process and cracking down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

In addition, Merle supports combating sanctuary cities and requiring law enforcement agencies to participate in the 287(g) program, which allows state and local officers to collaborate with federal immigration authorities. These measures go hand-in-hand with enforcing public safety, combating the aforementioned fentanyl crisis, and fighting against illegal sex trafficking. By taking a comprehensive approach to immigration enforcement, Merle is committed to ensuring that Virginia upholds the rule of law and promotes a safe, secure, and thriving environment for all residents.

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Virginians are feeling the pinch as they pay too much at the pump and face high energy bills. The Virginia Green New Deal,  also known as The Clean Economy Act, has not effectively addressed these concerns. Merle believes that a balanced and comprehensive energy policy is necessary to support both our economy and the environment.

He advocates for continuing to tap into the bountiful resources of Virginia, such as our coal reserves, while simultaneously taking advantage of renewable energy sources like wind farms off our coast. This approach ensures that we maintain a stable and diverse energy supply, which is essential for keeping prices affordable for Virginians.

Furthermore, Merle recognizes the potential of nuclear energy as a clean, reliable, and abundant power source. By investing in advances in nuclear technology, we can secure a sustainable energy future for Virginia, ultimately benefiting both our economy and our environment. Through these measures, Merle is committed to promoting a comprehensive and conservative energy policy that serves the best interests of all Virginians.

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Merle Rutledge: Fighting for Virginian Exceptionalism

A dedicated community leader advocating for low-income communities and civil rights, with a proven track record of service and leadership in Virginia.

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