Loudon Proud: The proposed Silver Line extension has a culture war brewing in the District's Virginia exurbs.
Loudon Proud: The proposed Silver Line extension has a culture war brewing in the District's Virginia exurbs. Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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The man who spent the summer of 2012 lugging around a giant Tax Pig around on a flatbed truck to protest the construction of Metro’s Silver Line is Loudoun County’s newest state representative.

Republican Dave LaRock, who decisively beat his opponent last week with 53.6 percent of the vote, first made it into Washington City Paper‘s pages in 2012 in the days leading up to Loudoun County’s deadline to decide whether to opt out of its $270 million contribution to help build the $6 billion line to Dulles International Airport. The council ultimately voted to fork up the cash, but if it hadn’t, the whole Silver Line could have effectively been killed.

LaRock was one of the leaders of the opt-out camp, traveling from protest to protest with the aforementioned giant pig. He argued the Silver Line was a frivolous project that would hit taxpayers deep in the pockets. (The other side said the project would spur commercial growth in the area and allow for an easy commute to D.C.)

The new state rep talked to City Desk after he was elected. While he may have lost the Silver Line battle, he’s still in the war to end superfluous transportation spending.

“We are paying lots of money in Northern Virginia, and we still have some of the worst traffic, and I think that’s because the money goes to projects like the Silver Line,” he says.

In Richmond, he hopes to push legislation to amend Virginia’s massive transportation funding legislation to take a hard line against funding projects that wouldn’t effectively reduce traffic congestion. In its current form, the legislation has a provision that suggests that traffic reduction be a considered criteria.

(LaRock says he also hopes to use his new position to help fight the persistence of Lyme Disease in the county.)

“People are tired of dysfunctional government, they are tired of taxes, and  any spending the state does [should be] performance driven,” he says. “That would apply to transportation, education and budgeting in general.”

So that’s Virginia for you—validating both Terry McAuliffe and tax pigs, all in one election.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery