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.
Incumbent Senator John Edwards was elected to the state Senate in 1995. Edwards hails from Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 cum laude and the University of Virginia School of Law in 1970. Senator Edwards served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Captain from 1971 through 1973.
Senator Edwards has supported numerous progressive issues including legislation to deny gun purchases to persons determined to be a danger to themselves or others. He is a strong ally in the fight for environmental protection, conservation, and preservation. He successfully sponsored Virginia’s first power purchase agreement (PPA) legislation in 2013. He also passed a bill to make it easier for localities to obtain solar energy services from third parties in 2017. Senator Edwards also sponsored a bill that would have reversed a law that allows natural gas pipeline companies to survey on private property without permission.
His opponent is Independent Steven Nelson. Unfortunately, there is little public information about Nelson’s campaign platform. In 2015, he ran as an Independent in the 19th Senate district. In that race, he voiced strong support for continued reliance on polluting fossil fuels. He also criticized the Affordable Care Act and the AARP for their support for access to affordable health care. He describes himself as an “independent conservative.”
Delegate Edwards is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Chris Hurst was elected in 2017. He has made gun violence prevention a center of his campaign after his girlfriend, Alison Parker, was murdered on-air during a newscast in 2015. In his time as Delegate, he voted to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians. He supports increasing education funding, and has advocated for raising teacher salaries, making college more affordable, and reforming standardized testing. Delegate Hurst wants to combat the opioid crisis, invest in clean energy options, and create opportunities for small business owners. He is pro-choice.
Republican Forrest Hite is running against Delegate Hurst. Hite is a data resource administrator with no previous political experience. While he doesn’t publicly take a stand on many issues on his website, he is running as a traditional conservative Republican.
Because of Delegate Hurst’s support of health care access, gun violence prevention, and college affordability, he is the more progressive choice in this race.
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