By Progress Virginia
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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 Flo Ketner is originally from Floyd County, Virginia. Ketner graduated from Radford University with an undergraduate degree in English and currently lives in Christiansburg. She serves as the Treasurer on the board of the Cayambis Institute Of Latin American Studies in Music.
Ketner’s priorities include healthcare access, gun safety, and the environment. She supports expanding health care access and ensuring rural Virginians have access to life saving care and facilities. She is also concerned about protecting our natural environment and preserving our resources. She supports state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator David Suetterlein opposes both commonsense gun violence prevention measures and access to reproductive health care. Suetterlein voted against raising the state minimum wage and against expanding Medicaid to cover 400,000 low-income working Virginians.
Ketner is the more progressive choice in this race.
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.
A member of the House of Delegate since 2012, Republican Israel O’Quinn now serves as the House Deputy Majority Whip. He sits on the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Privileges and Elections Committee, and the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee. He is staunchly anti-clean energy. Additionally, O’Quinn is anti-choice and supported requiring mandatory ultrasounds before someone can access an abortion.
Delegate O’Quinn is running unopposed. There is no progressive choice on the ballot. However, we still encourage you to show up to vote and write in a name for this race and cast your vote in the other races in your area.
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