By Christopher Hopkins, The Saint Consulting Group
People pay attention to local development issues when voting, the Saint Index has shown, and development has become an issue in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, where  Democratic challenger John Douglass has attacked Republican incumbent Robert Hurt for Hurt’s family ties to a  uranium mine.
Douglass appears to be hoping to tap into the importance that voters place on a candidate’s views on development when casting their vote.
The Saint Index has found that 84% of voters consider a candidate’s view on development when casting their vote.  When candidates for office are faced with only opponents to a local development project, they can be pushed to oppose that project in order to take away the political risk. Once they have publicly opposed the project during election time, it becomes that much more politically dangerous for them to support the development  project after the election.
Demonstrating local support for your project, especially during election season, is crucial to securing your future success.
Christopher Hopkins is senior vice president for aggregates and mining for The Saint Consulting Group, email hopkins@tscg.biz.
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