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Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th
The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Virginia Smith is a teacher and children’s book author. Smith graduated from Virginia Union University and University of Virginia before working in Richmond Public Schools. Smith now resides in Prince William County and is a volunteer middle school mentor.
As a former teacher, Smith supports raising teacher pay. She also supports the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding access to affordable healthcare. She wants to ensure that we all have the opportunity to exercise our right to vote and wants to push for fair treatment of Black Virginians within the criminal justice system. Her platform includes support for paid family and medical leave as well as investments in clean, renewable energy sources.
Her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Frank Ruff has voted against immigrant communities at every opportunity and has an anti-choice record. He also opposes commonsense gun violence prevention measures. He voted against raising the minimum wage. He vocally opposed Medicaid expansion in Virginia and drew vocal condemnation for racist remarks about the proposal in 2014.
Virginia Smith is the progressive choice.
Incumbent Republican Senator William Stanley voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage in Virginia. He has consistently opposed access to reproductive healthcare, including voting to cut off abortion access for low income individuals and to defund Planned Parenthood. Senator Stanley voted against legislation to prohibit discrimination on the job based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
There is not much information on the policy positions of his opponent, Independent candidate Sherman Witcher, who failed to obtain the Democratic nomination. Witcher supports better funding for schools and pay for teachers. In 2007, he ran for Senate as an independent against Republican Robert Hurt. He received 24% of the vote. In 2009, he ran again against Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Franklin, and received 21% of the vote.
Based on the limited information available, Witcher is likely the more progressive choice but you always have the option to write in a candidate.
Democratic candidate Eric Stamps is a passionate community advocate who has experience navigating the healthcare system. He lives in Danville with his wife and their two children. Stamps supports increasing the minimum wage, raising teacher pay, and increasing funding for our schools. He also promises to vote for voting rights reforms like same-day voter registration and early voting, and affordable health care for everyone. He founded Indivisible Southside to focus on voter registration and engagement.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Danny Marshall is anti-choice. He has a record of voting to defund Planned Parenthood, making it more difficult for low-income people to access abortion. He has also voted to prohibit sanctuary cities in Virginia, putting members of the immigrant community at risk. Delegate Marshall opposes raising the minimum wage, having voted for a bill that would prohibit localities from raising the minimum wage. In 2016, he co-sponsored a bill to prohibit the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces.
Eric Stamps is the more progressive choice in this race.
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