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.
Democrat Amy Laufer is a former middle school teacher. She taught in Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer before teaching at Louisa Middle School and Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville. Laufer has served on the Charlottesville City School Board and is the founder of Virginia’s List, an organization that supports Democratic women running for office.
Laufer’s platform prioritizes education, including raising teacher pay and investing in pre-k classes. She also supports criminal justice reform and tackling the problem of mass incarceration. Laufer supports Medicaid expansion, would vote to repeal the punitive work requirements, and will continue to fight to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. She also supports the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
Incumbent Republican Senator Bryce Reeves voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage in Virginia. He is anti-choice and opposes commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Senator Reeves also voted against legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and public employment.
Laufer is the progressive choice in this race.
Democrat Annette Hyde is a yoga teacher who lives in Madison County, Virginia. Hyde was inspired to run after the 2016 election and the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. She strongly believes that our Commonwealth should be open and welcoming to all. She is passionate about bringing broadband to rural areas and raising the minimum wage. She also supports the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Her opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Emmett Hanger. While Senator Hanger long championed Medicaid expansion, he was also eager to support punitive work requirements that can limit access to healthcare for many individuals. Senator Hanger received an endorsement and an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association because of his record of supporting legislation that repealed Virginia's one-gun-a-month law. Hanger is anti-choice and has been stagnant on various progressive priorities impacting Virginia.
Annette Hyde is the more progressive choice because of her commitment to bringing internet to rural areas, increasing the minimum wage, and equality.
Democrat Ronnie Ross III is a teacher, coach, and school administrator who lives in western Loudoun County. Ross’s top priorities include taking on Dominion and other powerful corporate interests. He vows to aggressively invest in green energy and examine our water reclamation and land use policies.
Ross is passionate about improving the lives of our LGBTQ community. He promises to fight to end discrimination in public employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
His opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Jill Vogel. Senator Vogel is an attorney whose practice focuses on partisan campaign committees and Super PACS. She has served as the Virginia state Senate since 2008. Senator Vogel sponsored a controversial bill in 2012 to require women to have a mandatory, transvaginal ultrasound before accessing an abortion. Senator Vogel also voted against allowing sanctuary cities in Virginia, which would put thousands of undocumented families at risk of being seperated and force localties to use local resources to do the job of the federal government. In 2019, she voted against raising the minimum wage in Virginia.
Ronnie Ross III is the more progressive choice because of his commitment to the environment and the LGBTQ community.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Laura Galante is a cyber intelligence analyst, wife, and mother, who is running against Republican Delegate Michael Webert. As Delegate, Galante will push for affordable healthcare with transparent medical costs for those living in rural communities. Galante wants to improve Virginia’s education system by raising teacher salaries and reforming standardized testing. She will also expand access to broadband in rural areas and advocate for investments in renewable energy.
Incumbent Delegate Michael J. Webert was elected to the House of Delegates in 2011. As Delegate, he has voted to prohibit sanctuary cities, defund Planned Parenthood, and prevent localities from increasing the minimum wage. He is staunchly anti-choice and believes life begins at conception. Delegate Webert is also a lifetime member of the NRA and has opposed action to prevent gun violence.
Based on her positions on affordable health care and raising teacher pay, Laura Galante is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Ann Ridgeway graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in psychology. Ridgeway and her husband have been married since 1978 and have three children together. In 1997, they lost their six-year-old son in a car accident. After spending time with her family to help them recover and heal, she started a charity named after her son that provides financial support for recreational activities and esteem-building programs for children in Orange County. She now serves on the Orange County Youth Commission and the Orange County Youth Council.
Ridgeway believes health care access is a human right and supports Medicaid expansion. She wants to revitalize rural areas by expanding broadband access and increasing job opportunities. Ridgeway supports combating climate change and making investments in renewable energy. She is also a gun owner who supports common sense legislation to prevent gun violence.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Nick Freitas did not submit his paperwork to the state Board of Elections and therefore failed to qualify for the ballot. He has pledged to run a write in campaign. Delegate Freitas is strongly anti-choice and supports targeted restrictions on abortion providers, which are medically unnecessary restrictions designed to shut down clinics. He also opposes gun violence prevention legislation. Delegate Freitas supports school vouchers that take funding away from public schools.
Ann Ridgeway is the more progressive choice in this race.
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