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Profile: James Leslie, Candidate for 38th District State Delegate

Leslie is running for 38th District state delegate against incumbent Kaye Kory

At A Glance

Born: Seneca Reservation, Salamanca, N.Y.
Education: BS degree
Family: Married, five children, six grandchildren
Occupation: Real estate broker
Public Office: None

James “Jim” Leslie leans a bit more Independent than he does Green.

Leslie is running for 38th District state delegate on the Independent Green ticket. However, he identifies more with Republicans and the Tea Party movement, although he has been known to vote for a Democrat or two. He chose to run as an Independent Green to allow him to avoid any party’s political platform.

“I think there’s a lot of people, both nationally and locally in Fairfax County, that are tired of the leanings of the Republicans and Democrats,” Leslie said. “And as an Independent, it gives me freedom not to be tied with a political party but gives me freedom to vote what I think is right for my neighborhood, Annandale, and in Virginia.”

Born on Seneca Reservation in New York, Leslie moved to Pittsburg, where his father got a job in a coal mine, in the third grade. He attended Slippery Rock College on an athletic scholarship and graduated 1965 with a bachelors of science. Following college graduation, Leslie spent almost 30 years in the Marine Corps. He served in Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Kuwait and Iraq and achieved the rank of colonel. While serving in Vietnam he was wounded.

Following retirement from the Marines, he spent became a real estate broker in Northern Virginia. In overlapping careers, he also worked as a stockbroker and financial planner for 10 years. He continues to work as a real estate broker with NBI Realty LLC in Annandale, where he has lived since 1987.

Leslie aligns himself with Republicans on major issues but considers himself an independent voter. The most important issues facing the 38th District, and the nation, he said, are unemployment and a sour economy. He wants to bring new businesses into the state and reduce regulations that he believes are hampering small businesses.

“These people all need funds with which to work,” he said. “… There are so many regulations that they just can’t expand.”

Leslie said he would also like to see banks offer more loans and reduce foreclosure rates. Another issue facing the 38th District is illegal immigration and out-of-work immigrants who were previously employed in construction, he said.

“We’ve got an overabundance of immigrant workers, and they’ve got to feed their families, and if they can’t get it by working, they’re getting it by breaking into houses,” he said.  “… I don’t have a problem with immigrants that are coming in and learning the system. I do have a problem with those who are coming in and breaking into cars and houses and littering the highways.”

Leslie also supports reducing traffic problems through investments in rail infrastructure, including the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

In 2009, Leslie ran for 39th District state delegate. He lost to Democrat Vivian Watts, receiving only 170 votes, or less than 1 percent.

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