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 Herbert Jones Jr. came to Virginia through an assignment in the Army. After leaving active duty to join the reserves, he was elected County Supervisor of New Kent County in 1999, beginning his journey in elected office. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of the military, Governor Northam appointed him to the commonwealth’s Military Advisory Council.
Jones Jr. is pro-choice and has openly stated his support of reproductive healthcare facilities like Planned Parenthood. He supports clean, renewable energy and is in favor of common sense solutions to prevent gun violence. Jones supports raising teacher pay, increasing funding for pre-k, and apprenticeships for students. Unlike his opponent, he supports Medicaid expansion and would work to completely close the healthcare gap in Virginia.
His opponent, incumbent Senator Tommy Norment, is the Senate Majority Leader. He has consistently and vocally opposed progressive priorities. He has voted for bills that target immigrant communities and opposed bills that would increase the quality of life of those who have immigrated to the US. He has consistently opposed reproductive rights, including voting to mandate medically unnecessary ultrasounds and prohibit the use of state funds for abortion. Norment has repeatedly voted against raising the minimum wage. Because Sen. Norment is the Senate Majority Leader, the power that he holds often leads to the defeat of our bills.
Jones is the more progressive choice in this race.
There is minimal information available about Democratic candidate Rebecca Raveson. She has no website, Twitter account, or campaign Facebook page.
Incumbent Republican John Cosgrove has been consistently anti-choice. He voted against funding for reproductive healthcare and to require unnecessary ultrasounds before abortion. He is against our immigrant communities, having voted against the formation of sanctuary cities, and supports discrimination on the basis of religion. He opposed the ratification of the ERA and is staunchly against gun violence prevention.
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.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Michele Joyce is a longtime resident of Smithfield where she and her husband have raised their two daughters. Joyce has a background in physics and has worked at Jefferson Lab in Newport News for 20 years. For the last decade, Michele has been a volunteer community leader and advocate, helping hundreds of residents in the rural areas of the district to find access to affordable health care. After witnessing a neighborhood family fall victim to a flawed health care system, she decided it was time to play an active role in helping folks in her community. She vows to improve lives in our rural communities by eliminating food and internet deserts and by protecting the family farm.
Her opponent is incumbent Republican Delegate Emily Brewer. Delegate Brewer was first elected in 2017. She is endorsed by the NRA and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, proving that she is against commonsense gun violence prevention measures. She is also against abortion access and doesn’t believe people should be able to make choices about their own bodies.
Michele Joyce is the more progressive choice in this race because of her strong commitment to affordable health care.
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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