Brought to you by Progress Virginia
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.
Virginia M. SmithDemocrat
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.
L. Louise LucasDemocrat
Originally from Portsmouth, incumbent Senator Louise Lucas received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Norfolk State University. She is a Deaconess at the New Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Lucas was elected to the state Senate in 1991.
Lucas has co-sponsored legislation to prohitbit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. She has supported Medicaid expansion and voted to raise the minimum wage in Virginia. Lucas is a champion for voting rights and has introduced constitutional amendments to guarantee the right to vote in Virginia and reform the Commonwealth’s redistricting process. She is reliably pro-choice and has introduced legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases in Virignia.
She is running unopposed and is the progressive choice for this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Roslyn “Roz” Tyler was born in Greensville County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in Education from Virginia State University. She works as the Clinical Coordinator of Physical Therapy at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.
Delegate Tyler serves on the Militia, Police and Public Safety, Education, and Appropriations Committees. She supported the Governor’s amendment that reinstated driving privileges for over 627,000 Virginians on July 1, 2019, who had their licenses suspended due to non-payment of court costs, fines, forfeitures, restitution, or penalties. She also supports ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and voted for Medicaid expansion.
Her opponent is H. Otto Wachsmann Jr., a pharmacist from Stony Creek. Wachsmann has not put forth a concrete platform on any issues, but we do know that he is running as a Republican.
Delegate Tyler is the more progressive choice in this race.
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