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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 Jennifer McClellan is a Democrat who grew up in Petersburg. She serves on the board for both the YWCA of Richmond and the Richmond NAACP. She is also on the board of the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood.
Senator McClellan was elected in 2017 and is the only Senator that has been pregnant while in office. Prior to her election, she served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years. She has proven herself to a pro-choice champion, sponsoring multiple bills to protect and expand reproductive rights. She has voted to raise the minimum wage and to increase teacher salaries. Senator McClellan also voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and fought to put protections for breast feeding into state law.
Her opponent, Libertarian Mark Lewis, advocates for eliminating the minimum wage and expanding access to guns. He would repeal Medicaid expansion and supports school voucher schemes.
Senator Jennifer McClellan is the progressive choice in this race.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Lindsey Dougherty has committed her life to public service. Dougherty has worked extensively with at-risk youth in the juvenile justice system, partnering with community organizations that help incarcerated youth build both life and job skills. She has worked with state and local governments to increase access to better health through recreation and art. Currently, Dougherty works in the Budget and Management Department as an analyst in Chesterfield County.
Dougherty believes that communities do better when everyone is safe, healthy, and engaged with their neighbors. As Delegate, she would support offering free community college and trade school programs to all in-state students and universal pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds. She also supports increasing the minimum wage and increasing teacher pay.
She is running against Republican candidate Carrie Coyner. Coyner is a lawyer who was formerly on the Chesterfield County School Board. Coyner was replaced as the Chesterfield School Board’s representative on the school system’s gifted education advisory committee after making comments critical of Matoaca Middle School’s administration and teachers in the school’s center-based gifted program. Coyner’s campaign focuses on education issues but fails to mention other issues related to healthcare, the economy, and reproductive rights.
Dougherty is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Delores McQuinn was born in eastern Henrico County, Virginia, where she grew up and attended public schools. She graduated from Highland Springs High School in 1973.Delegate McQuin has lived most of her adult life in Richmond’s Church Hill district where she currently resides. She studied at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University.
Delegate McQuinn organized town meetings on gun violence prevention and proposed bills that sought to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. She also introduced bills to combat the substance abuse mental health crisis plaguing Virginia.
Delegate McQuinn is running uncontested and is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Lamont Bagby is a former member of the Henrico County School Board. He received his bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University and his master’s from Virginia Commonwealth University.
During his time in office, Bagby proposed a bill to ensure additional affordable housing in Richmond. He also co-sponsored sensible gun laws including one which mandated that authorities must be notified if a gun is lost or stolen. Additionally, he supported adding funding to the Housing Trust Fund, increasing the number of school counselors, and addressing healthcare billing, while also providing additional tax relief for Virginia. Bagby also played an important role in ensuring that Virginians no longer have their driver’s licenses suspended for failure to pay court fines and fees.
Delegate Bagby is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
Democratic incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor is running for a third term in office to serve Henrico County. Taylor graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989. She then attended the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1995.
Taylor has implemented and advocates for a number of criminal justice reforms including treating opioid addiction as a health issue, rights restoration for former felons, banning screening questions regarding criminal history on employment applications, and eliminating cash bail. She will continue to prioritize getting illegal firearms off Henrico streets and advocating for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Taylor supports federal and state legislation such as universal background checks for all firearm purchases and allowing judges to temporarily restrict access to firearms for those who are deemed at risk of harming themselves or others, known as an extreme risk protection order.
Owen Conway, a criminal defense attorney, is running against Taylor as the Republican candidate. Conway believes in reducing the population of incarcerated people in the county’s jail system, but has not addressed any other criminal justice reforms that align with our values.
Due to her advocacy for former felons’ rights, gun violence prevention, and concern for opioid addiction, incumbent Shannon Taylor is the more progressive choice for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Henrico.
Alisa Gregory has been in law enforcement for over 20 years, currently serving as Chief Deputy for Henrico County. If elected, she will be the first female Sheriff to serve Henrico County. As Sheriff, Gregory vows to address the opioid and mental health crisis in Henrico County. She is interested in pursuing alternative sentences for non-violent offenders and plans on addressing the needs of women in prison by establishing an advisory panel that plays special attention to their unique needs.
Bob Matson is the Republican candidate for Henrico Sheriff. Matson served in the United States Army and National Guard. He vows to address the opioid addiction crisis by being “smart on crime” but also “tough on crime”. Additionally, Matson plans on recruiting more officers to the Sheriff’s department.
J.T. Wadkins III is an independent candidate who supports inmate labor sharing between counties. Wadkins is originally from Chesterfield County and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He oversaw the finance and computerization aspects of the Richmond City Jail in the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office for ten years. He is also a member of the National Gun Rifle Association.
Alisa Gregory is the progressive candidate because of her consideration of alternative sentencing for offenders and her focus on the needs of women impacted by the prison system.
Supervisor Tyrone Nelson is a native of Richmond, VA. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Reverend Nelson currently serves as the seventh pastor of the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. He serves on the board of the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and numerous other community organizations.
Nelson was first elected to the Henrico Board of Supervisors in 2011. As Supervisor for Varina, he has helped the county invest millions of dollars in the district, including capital school projects, community revitalization projects, library improvements, police, public works, and parks and recreation investments.
Nelson is being challenged by independent candidate Angela Rowe, a native Richmonder and former vice-president of Sonobank. Rowe has served on the board of directors of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Foundation.
Because of his experience serving his constituents in Varina, Nelson is the progressive choice for the Varina District.
Alicia Atkins is running to represent Varina District on the School Board. A graduate of Highland Springs High School, she studied health administration at California Coast University. A mother of three children, Atkins is a longtime PTA volunteer who wants to create stronger ties between families and key stakeholders in the community. Preserving and improving the quality of health care and school systems are important to her. Atkins is running her campaign under the slogan “Let’s FACE the Future Together” where FACE is an acronym for Facts, take Action, inspire Change, and Educate.
Joyce Davis is an assistant professor at Virginia Union University. She does not have a campaign website or Facebook page at this time.
Another candidate vying for the Varina School Board seat is Kandise Lucas, an educator and child advocate. She is a vocal critic of the county’s special education program and policies and has initiated a lawsuit to change it.
Michelle Roots Henderson is a Henrico County school teacher. She does not have a campaign website or Facebook page at this time.