Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


The Suffolk native encourages voters to think independently and vote independently

by Candance Moore

Supporters of Craig Warren say it's hard to imagine anyone who better understands Virginia House of Delegates District 76. It's a broad, diverse community with its own unique culture, and as a native, Craig thinks he is uniquely poised to represent its people and interests. He was born, raised, and educated in Suffolk, growing up in the heart of downtown before moving to the northern part of the city as a teenager. Having established himself as a valued part of the community, he is now seeking to represent his neighbors as their State Delegate in Richmond.

Craig is not a career politician nor a political ideologue. When speaking on the issues, he doesn't talk of teams, sides, parties, or platforms. His razor-sharp analysis cuts through the fog, true to form as a business thinker,  finding the bottom line. He has no campaign machine providing slick marketing, no money from Washington paying him to run just an earnest voice of reason humbly offering his services.

"Objective logic drives my view of an issue," he explains. "That's where real solutions are found."

One minute he's offering impressive solutions to the challenges caused by rapid development in North Suffolk and Western Branch. A moment later, he's sharing concerns from a peanut farmer in the Southern part of the city. Without skipping a beat, he's next brainstorming workable policies for timber growers near the Dismal Swamp. Also top of mind are children who need a good education. He's equally compassionate for the struggles of all, with a sincere desire to help each person succeed.

As Craig points out, his own personal residence in the district motivates him to seek others' success. Some politicians may often pursue ambitions after a term or two, not forced to live with the policies they implemented. Not so for Craig: as a local business owner who employs dozens of workers, there is no packing up for greener grass elsewhere. What's best for Suffolk is best for Craig-a fact of which he's keenly aware.

It was this reality that inspired him to run for public office. Through the years as an informed but apolitical citizen, Craig had watched from the sidelines, learning to interpret political maneuvers. Feeling that his district had good governance, Craig set about building a life for himself.

After graduating from John Yeates High School, Craig married, bought a home, and started a contracting business with his wife, Kimberly.  He'd enjoyed civics in school, so he made a hobby of following local government. He read books on economics. He refereed heated debates on social issues. Keeping objective civics as his compass, he developed a moderate, analytical political style which his friends on all sides began to appreciate.

"Objective logic drives
my view of an issue.
That's where real solutions are found."
                                              -Craig Warren

This led to an opportunity to visit Richmond as a citizen speaker. Craig's peers saw in him an ability to articulate their concerns in a savvy yet nonpolitical way. After addressing the state legislature in support of a transportation bill, Craig was anxious to know its fate. This led to questions on why delegates and state senators cast certain votes. Who had their ear? Who had their loyalty? And, most importantly of all, who paid their bills?

As outside money and "team sport" politics became increasingly pervasive at the local level, Craig saw Suffolk's best interests slip away. His analysis could track a straight line between financial allies and votes on the floor. One day while discussing this with his wife, Craig realized he needed to act. With their adult son now self-sufficient, and their contractor team enjoying stable operations, there was nothing stopping him from seeking public office. Craig Warren for Delegate was launched soon after. His peers enthusiastically signed a petition to get him on the ballot.

Craig doesn't need to beat the streets learning about his constituents; living most of his life here, he has identified the needs and experienced the changes with them. His campaign is already advanced enough to propose solutions designed around the community, and his long history studying Richmond makes him a knowledgeable candidate. His proposals may seem modest compared to lofty rhetoric, but they are realistic proposals with chances of actually becoming law.

His campaign strategy reflects his personality: no expensive social media blitz, no biting attacks masked as jokes, and no promises of the impossible. On his website, Craig shares videos that allow him to speak directly to citizens-just him in an office with no special effects, offering a free education on Richmond governance. His profound depth of knowledge is the star of the show.

Viewers are invited to ask questions, which Craig incorporates into each episode. His weekly vlog is a fireside chat with a dash of a town hall meeting, and he plans to continue the series during his term to ensure maximum transparency and citizen dialog. The vlog analyzes happenings in Richmond, including the issues that Craig is personally working on. Craig's objective with the vlog is to cultivate an informed electorate that understands the reasoning behind his proposals.

"For example, let's look at where taxpayer money goes," he says. "Funding for a program is only half the story. Even when more money is secured for a program, there's a tendency to put it on the wrong side of the equation so that we financially reward more failure. At first, spending money in a particular area may seem good, but it isn't always logically sound in the long run. A few years later, when the consequences materialize, our families may be worse off."

As Craig notes, voters who can't see the big-picture analysis are voting in the dark. He's passionate about empowering every citizen to make their vote count by ensuring they are informed and have a vision for the future when they go to the polls. He welcomes any question from any constituent across the political spectrum, eager to prove that he is fighting for them too.

"If you're interested in doing what's best for every person in this district, you'll appreciate my campaign," he says. "All I ask for is a chance. See what I'm offering. I'm confident we'll find some common ground."

Craig Warren for Delegate

116 Settler's Landing Road
Suffolk, VA 23435