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.
Incumbent Senator Lionell Spruill is a lifelong Virginian and Democrat. He was born in Norfolk and received an Honorary Doctorate from Norfolk University. Senator Spruill was a member of several civic leagues in the state, which led to his appointment as Chairman of the Chesapeake City Council in 1988. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1994 and the state Senate in 2016.
Senator Spruill is pro-choice and has voted against personhood bills and mandatory ultrasounds before abortion. He supports legislation like the Virginia Energy Plan that would have put a 15 year pause on offshore oil drilling and encouraged clean energy options. Senator Spruill voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and supports raising wages for Virginia families. He passed legislation to close Jim Crow loopholes in Virginia law that exempted some professions from the state minimum wage.
His opponent, Jeff Staples, is running as an independent. Staples supports ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding healthcare access. He does not have a clear stance on immigration, reproductive health, economic opportunity, or other progressive issues.
Senator Spruill is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Senator Lynwood Lewis’s family has lived in Virginia for three generations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hamden-Sydney College and a law degree from the University of Richmond. He now lives and practices law in Accomack County.
Senator Lewis was elected to the House of Delegates in 2003 and the state Senate in 2014. Senator Lewis has supported raising the minimum wage and voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia. He has co-sponsored bills that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He has supported reproductive rights while in office. Senator Lewis has voted for common sense gun violence prevention measures. He has also supported family friendly policies like expanding access to paid sick days and paid family and medical leave.
His opponent, Republican Elizabeth Lankford, is a small business owner who lives on the Eastern Shore. Little information is publicly available about her policy positions or campaign platform.
Senator Lewis is the more progressive choice in this race.
Delegate Cheryl Turpin is a high school science teacher in Virginia Beach. She received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University before earning a graduate degree from the University of Richmond. Turpin was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017 and is now running for the state Senate seat vacated by Republican Senator Frank Wagner.
During her time in the House, Turpin voted to expand Medicaid and raise wages for teachers across Virginia. She opposed legislation designed to scapegoat immigrant communities. She supports expanding clean energy options and ensuring all students have access to quality education. She has sponsored legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to Virginia’s hate crimes statute.
Her opponent, Republican Jen Kiggans, is a Navy veteran and nurse practitioner. She is anti-choice and has been vocal in her stance against abortion. She opposes gun violence prevention measures.
Cheryl Turpin is the progressive choice in this race.
Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro Choice Virginia
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Incumbent Delegate Steve Heretick (D) attended the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Psychology. Heretick was accepted into a dual doctoral (J.D./Ph.D.) program sponsored jointly by Hahnemann University Medical School and Villanova University Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1988.
Delegate Heretick is a state leader in supporting independent nonpartisan redistricting reform and critical criminal justice reforms. He is fighting to bring economic development and jobs to Virginia by investing funds into the Port of Virginia. He has also sponsored legislation that fosters criminal justice reform in Virginia.
Heretick is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Don Scott is a former United States Naval Officer. Scott graduated from Texas A&M University and obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University. He serves on several boards and commissions, including as the 1st Vice President of the Southeastern Employment and Training Association, as a Commissioner for the Portsmouth Economic Development Association, and a member of Future of Hampton Roads. He previously served as the chair of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, on the board for the California Workforce Association, and as a member and board member of 200+ Men Hampton Roads.
Scott’s campaign prioritizes economic equality, education, and criminal justice reform. He promises to defend the environment in Virginia and to protect the air, water, and open spaces. He has also voiced his support of fair redistricting in Virginia so that everyone can have an equal voice in the democratic process.
Both Republican Jim Evans and Independent Ryan Collin Benton lack a thorough campaign proposal that focuses on the critical issues impacting the Commonwealth. Evans wants to make Virginia more business friendly and supports change in Virginia’s transportation system. Benton would like to decriminalize marijuana and believes the best way to reduce crime is to promote economic development, vocational education, and support programs that keep our youth on a positive track.
Don Scott is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Nancy Guy graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Government and earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Guy successfully battled breast cancer in 2012 and 2013, and since then, she has dedicated herself to her community. She served two terms on the School Board, the Board of WHRO public radio station, and the Board of the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Program. She also served for 12 years on the Virginia Education Foundation Board and two terms as President of the PTSA at Virginia Beach’s largest high school.
Guy’s platform includes fighting for more education funding by raising teacher pay and funding the Literacy Fund. She also wants to pass common sense gun violence prevention.Guy is pro-choice and believes that a person’s medical decisions should be between them and their doctor.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Christopher Stolle was elected into office in 2009. Stolle refuses to support sensible gun laws and has voted against bills that provide funding for Virginians to access abortion.
Nancy Guy is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Jerrauld “Jay” Jones is a lifelong resident of the 89th House District. Delegate Jones is also the youngest Black delegate in Virginia. Jones’s father represented the 89th District 20 years ago and his grandfather, Hilary H. Jones, Jr. was a pioneer in the civil rights movement. Delegate Jones completed his undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, where he was a double major in Government and History, and obtained his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Delegate Jones’s campaign priorities are increased education, transportation improvements, the environment, job creation, and criminal justice reform. He sponsored legislation creating driver privilege cards for undocumented Virginians, removed restrictions on abortion access, and fought for tighter legislation around body cameras for law enforcement.
Even though he is running unopposed, Delegate Jones is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Joe Lindsey is a personal injury, family law, criminal defense, and business attorney. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, was an honor graduate of Hampton Institute, and earned his law degree from Washington College of Law, American University, in Washington, DC.
Delegate Lindsey supported legislation to end unlawful discriminatory housing practices. He also supported numerous gun violence prevention bills including one which made it mandatory to notify law enforcement about lost or stolen guns. Delegate Lindsey is an avid supporter of reproductive rights and voted to expand Medicaid access to 400,000 low income Virginians.
Even though he is running unopposed, Delegate Lindsey is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Phil Hernandez, an attorney, was raised in Hampton Roads by a single mom. He went to public schools and then to the College of William and Mary, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.
He has spent the years since fighting for the rights of working people around the country. Hernandez vows to ease the burden of student loan debt and protect borrowers from abusive lending practices. He plans to champion policies that reduce harmful pollution in our air and water, improve coastal resilience, and create new jobs and industries in clean energy technology. He has pledged support for the Equal Rights Amendment and policies that build a more inclusive future, including the areas of housing, employment, and voting rights.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Robert Bloxom fought for increased car inspections fees. He has opposed reproductive rights. Even though he sponsored legislation to give driver's licenses to immigrants, he voted to prohibit sanctuary cities (cities with municipal laws designed to protect immigrants) in Virginia. He also voted to restrict access to safe and legal abortions.
Hernandez is the progressive choice in this race.
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