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.
Democratic Delegate John Bell served in the U.S. Air Force for almost 26 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and now leads a financial team in the private sector. Bell was previously a volunteer tennis coach for Freedom High School and now resides in Loudon County. Delegate Bell was elected to the House of Delegates in 2015.
Delegate Bell voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and to increase teacher salaries. He is pro-choice and supports commonsense measures to prevent gun violence. He has sponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals on the job and to make solar panels more affordable to Virginia families. He has also supported redistricting reform.
Bell’s opponent, Geary Higgins, is the Republican candidate. Higgins currently serves on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. He is a self-proclaimed conservative and opposes reproductive rights. He also opposes gun violence prevention measures, seeing them as a threat to Second Amendment rights.
John Bell is the progressive choice in this race.
Environment: Virginia LCV
Democrat Qasim Rashid is a best-selling and critically acclaimed author, practicing attorney, visiting fellow at Harvard University's Prince Al Waleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies, and national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. Rashid vows to work to protect the rights of immigrants while ensuring a documented legal path to citizenship. Rashid believes in ensuring gender pay equity and supports paid family and medical leave. Additionally, Rashid believes in repealing right to work policies that are designed to eliminate labor unions and benefit big corporations.
His opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Richard Stuart. Senator Stuart is anti-choice and has opposed Medicaid expansion and raising the minimum wage. Stuart supported a bill that would prohibit the establishment of sanctuary cities, forcing localities to use local resources to do the job of the federal government.
Qasim Rashid is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Senator Jeremy McPike lives in Dale City. Senator McPike received his Bachelor's and Master's of Public Administration degrees from George Mason University. He also led the design and construction of an innovative, environmentally conscious, and award-winning volunteer fire station.
Senator McPike has supported numerous progressive bills during his time in the Senate. He sponsored a bill to ensure foster children can keep their healthcare while transitioning into adulthood after turning 18. He is also committed to advancing common-sense gun safety measures, like universal background checks and blocking domestic abusers’ access to firearms. He considers redistricting reform one of his fundamental policy goals. Senator McPike voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and to raise Virginia’s minimum wage.
Senator McPike is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
Senator Scott A. Surovell has represented parts of Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford Counties since 2015. Prior to his time in the Senate, Surovell served six years in the House of Delegates. Surovell lives in Mt. Vernon with his wife and four children. He practices law and has dedicated his legislative career to fighting for Northern Virginia’s fair share, protecting consumers, and preserving our environment for future generations.
He supported legislation that would require background checks for all firearms transfers, prohibit the sale and ownership of assault weapons, reinstate Virginia’s “one-gun-a-month” law and prohibit concealed carry in restaurants, while consuming or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Senator Surovell also sponsored a bill that would establish a paid family and medical leave program. He voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia to 400,000 individuals and to raise the commonwealth’s minimum wage.
Senator Surovell is running unopposed and is the progressive choice.
Incumbent Democratic Senator George Barker was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 2007. He moved to Northern Virginia 35 years ago and has been active in a number of civic and community organizations ever since. He is married with two grown children and has multiple grandchildren.
Senator Barker has two degrees from Harvard University, including a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Public Health and a master's degree in Health Policy and Management. For three decades he worked for the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia. He currently consults on health care issues.
Barker was rated 100% by Virginia ACL-CIO due to his suport of legislation that supports unions and workers and 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia because of his strong support of reproductive rights. He has also supported commonsense gun laws, including one that would penalize anyone who left guns unattended around minors. He also voted for Medicaid expansion and to raise Virginia’s minimum wage.
S. W. Hillenburg is the Republican candidate and a disabled veteran. Hillenburg is anti-choice and opposes commonsense gun laws. He has prioritized transportation improvements in his campaign.
Senator George Barker 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.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017. She fought to pass Medicaid expansion to 400,000 Virignians. She also voted for a pay raise for Virginia teachers. Delegate Carroll Foy co-patroned a bill to increase the grand larceny threshold from $200 to $500. She supports legislation to increase abortion access, affordable public transportation, and criminal justice reform. Delegate Carroll Foy has proven to be a true progressive champion in her short time in the House of Delegates.
Carroll Foy’s opponent is Republican Heather Mitchell. Mitchell is centering her campaign on lowering taxes and transportation solutions, but she is silent on issues including raising the minimum wage, ensuring abortion is affordable and accessible, and redistricting reform.
Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Danica Roem was elected in 2017 and is the first openly transgender woman elected to the Virginia legislature. She supports marginalized communities, and she has talked about her support for the DREAM Act and voting rights. She is pro-choice, supports raising the minimum wage, and advocates for affordable healthcare. Roem has also voted to raise teacher salaries and expand Medicaid.
Kelly McGinn, Roem’s Republican opponent, opposes ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and is anti-choice. She is also against marriage equality and has worked to prevent LGBTQ families from being able to adopt children.
Because of her support for affordable health care and advocacy for equality for all, Delegate Roem is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Elizabeth Guzman was elected in 2017 as the first Hispanic female immigrant to join the 400-year-old General Assembly. She and her husband, Carlos, have four children. When not serving in her capacity as Delegate, Delegate Guzman works as a public administrator and social worker. She is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and involved in the PTO at Penn Elementary School.
Delegate Guzman works to improve our public school system and supports increasing teacher pay and better student to counselor ratios in schools. She is a strong supporter of affordable healthcare access and voted for Medicaid expansion. As an immigrant herself, Delegate Guzman is a strong supporter of immigrant rights. She supports allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver’s licenses so that they can get to work, school, and place of worship safely. She supports gun violence prevention measures and wants to ensure that our veterans are taken care of.
DJ Jordan, the Republican nominee for the 31st District, is anti-choice. He does not support Medicaid expansion, which expanded access to affordable healthcare to 400,000 people in Virginia. Jordan also supports school vouchers, which take funding away from public schools.
Delegate Guzman is the more progressive choice for this race.
Democratic candidate Dan Helmer is running against incumbent Republican Delegate Tim Hugo. Helmer is a combat veteran. His wife, Karen, is a public school teacher in Fairfax County. They live in Fairfax with their children.
Helmer is in favor of increasing teacher pay and investing in public schools. He supports Medicaid expansion and other solutions to increase access to affordable health care. He also supports abortion access and believes abortion is health care. As a progressive, Helmer also supports increasing the minimum wage, gun violence prevention, clean energy, and fair redistricting reform.
Delegate Tim Hugo was elected to the House of Delegates in 2003. He voted against Medicaid expansion. In 2012, he voted in favor of legislation that required people seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory, medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound. He also has a record of making it harder to be an immigrant in Virginia by voting to prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition at Virginia colleges and universities.
Dan Helmer is the more progressive choice in this race because of his support of increasing the minimum wage and health care access.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Lee Carter was elected in 2017 as the first Delegate to identify himself as Democratic Socialist. In his first term as a Delegate, Delegate Carter has proven to be a strong supporter of reproductive rights. He opposes discrimination against the LGBTQ community and immigrants. Delegate Carter believes in criminal justice reform and wants more funding for public education, transportation, and expanded access to affordable healthcare. He supports workers’ rights and unions. Delegate Carter also advocates for clean energy.
Ian Lovejoy is Delegate Carter’s Republican opponent. Lovejoy supports market solutions to the health care crisis, and it is not clear that he would protect Medicaid expansion. His website lacks clear positions on key issues like reproductive health care access, increasing the minimum wage, and voting rights.
Delegate Carter is the more progressive choice in this race because of his support of Medicaid expansion, equality, and abortion access.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Hala Ayala was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017. She is a graduate of the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project. As Delegate, she co-sponsored a bill that seeks to keep guns away from people posing a substantial risk of harming themselves or others. She’s a strong advocate for progressive priorities that help working families like paid family leave, paid sick leave, and increasing the minimum wage. She also voted for Medicaid expansion, allowing an additional 300,000 Virginians to access health care when they need it.
Her opponent is former Republican Delegate Richard Anderson. As Delegate, Anderson voted for bills that shame and stigmatize women who seek an abortion and voted against a program that would have allowed low-income women to access birth control. He also had an A rating from the National Rifle Association and voted against a commonsense bill that would have required background checks before guns can be purchased.
Delegate Ayala is the more progressive choice in this race because of her support for Medicaid expansion, paid family leave, and increasing the minimum wage.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Luke Torian was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009. He currently serves as the Pastor of First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries. He and his wife live in Woodbridge and have one daughter.Delegate Torian has played a major role in several organizations including Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), an organization designed to alleviate hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence in the community. He is one of the founders of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), an organization dedicated to making change on social justice issues
Torian has supported bills that ensure affordable housing and in-state tuition for all Virginians. Delegate Torian also voted against two bills that would have made it more difficult for people to access abortion in Virginia. He supports increasing the minimum wage and voted against a bill that would have prevented localities from raising the minimum wage.
Little is known about Delegate Torian’s Republican opponent, Maria Martin. Martin has been an American citizen since 1997, but she doesn’t have a clear stance on immigration rights. She does not support a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. She believes in lowering taxes and limiting government spending.
Due to his stance on affordable housing, in-state tuition for immigrants, and support for other progressive priorities, Delegate Torian is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Suhas Subramanyam served on Capitol Hill as a health care and veteran’s policy aide. In that role, he worked to draft legislation to increase job opportunities and funding for veterans. He later earned his law degree with honors at Northwestern University School of Law, volunteering at the Center for Wrongful Convictions. Subramanyam also clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped re-introduce the DREAM Act and worked on criminal justice reforms.
Subramanyam’s platform includes increased healthcare access, increased education funding, and common sense gun reform. He also wants to pass equality legislation such as anti-housing discrimination, anti-hate crime, and equal rights laws.
His Republican opponent, Bill Drennan, is an Air Force combat veteran and former presidential military aide to President Ronald Reagan. Drennan is campaigning on his desire to limit reproductive rights in Virginia. He also opposes common sense gun violence prevention legislation and raising the minimum wage.
Subramanyam is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Ann Wheeler moved to Haymarket in 2001. She has served on several boards, including the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. She is also the former Chair of the Prince William Board of Social Services.
As Chairwoman At-Large of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, Wheeler wants to make the county a more welcoming place for immigrants and doesn’t believe local tax dollars should go toward federal immigration enforcement. She supports providing more public transportation options in the county, including expanding the Washington Metro service to the county. She wants to increase funding for public schools and attract more technology companies and other industries to the county to diversify Prince William’s tax base and make it less reliant on property taxes. She also believes the county should have a greater say in regional and state decisions, such as ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
Wheeler is running against Republican John Gray, a candidate who supports Prince William’s 287(g) agreement, which allows the sheriff’s department to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal immigration officials. There are also three independent candidates: Muneer Baig, an immigrant rights advocate, Don Scoggins, a former board member of the county’s Republican Party, and Jesse Maggitt, a veteran and corporate executive.
Because of her prioritization of PWC schools, Wheeler is the progressive candidate for the At-Large Chair of the Prince William Board of Supervisors.
A former county prosecutor, Democratic candidate Amy Ashworth received her Juris Doctorate degree from George Mason University in 1995. She worked as a prosecutor in the Special Victim’s Unit. She lives in Nokesville with her husband and two sons.
If elected, Ashworth wants to reform the Commonwealth Attorney’s office with a new mission statement, new organizational structure, and focus on crimes that do harm, not crimes that put the most people in jail. Recognizing that discrimination in the justice system disproportionately affects people of color, Ashworth is pledging to hire attorneys in the office who represent the diversity of the community and establish a non-discrimination policy for people who work in the office. She is promising to limit the use of cash bail in the county justice system and opposes the death penalty. Ashworth supports the restoration of rights for returning citizens and pledges fair treatment for juvenile offenders.
She also understands that many people with addiction issues and mental health issues are incarcerated and wants to train county police officers to better handle cases involving individuals dealing with mental health and addictions. Ashworth will support efforts to fight payroll fraud, wage theft, and mistreatment of workers. She wants to build better relationships with the county’s immigrant community and supports the decriminalization of marijuana in Virginia. Finally, she wants to end mass incarceration by keeping people out of jails and helping them get an education, rehabilitation, or psychological care.
Ashworth’s opponent, Republican Mike May, is a former County Supervisor for the Occoquan District. He’s a private attorney with his own firm. May is running his platform on keeping neighborhoods safe, modernizing the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to make it more transparent, and engaging the community more with outreach efforts to encourage community involvement.
Because of her plan to overhaul the office, Ashworth is the progressive choice for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney.
Democratic candidate Joshua King is an Iraq War veteran and Fairfax County Sheriff Deputy. A Dumfries resident, he’s a parent with three children in the Prince William County School System.
As Sheriff of Prince William County, King promises to end the county’s 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which uses local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration law. He wants to focus on school safety where his sheriff deputies will be trained to intervene during school shootings. King plans to reduce the school to prison pipeline in the county by training his deputies to assist and protect children with special needs. He also wants to improve services for veterans by ensuring that all veterans, law enforcement officers, and inmates receive the services that they deserve.
King is challenging incumbent Republican Sheriff Glen Hill, who started Prince William’s participation in the 287(g) program.
Candidate Rhonda Dickson is the first woman to run for the sheriff’s office in Prince William. She wants to increase enrollment in the Child ID program and to increase the Sheriff office’s presence in Prince William schools.
Joshua King is endorsed by our partners SEIU Virginia512 and CASA In Action and is the progressive choice for Sheriff in Prince William County.
Dr. Babur Lateef is originally from Youngstown, Ohio. Dr. Lateef received his Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and his MD from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine. Currently, he serves on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and SPARK Foundation Board and is an active member of his children's Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs). Dr. Lateef was elected School Board Chair in a 2018 special election.
His platform consists of a plan to close the achievement gap, increase test scores, and increase teacher pay for Prince William teachers. He also wants to repair school infrastructure, secure campuses, increase mental health specialists, and provide cultural sensitivity training.
His opponents are Alyson Satterwhite and Stanley Bender, both of whom challenged Dr. LaTeef in the November 2018 special election. During that election, Satterwhite was endorsed by the Prince William County GOP. She is a mother of four who resides in the Gainesville District. She has served as the Gainesville School Board representative since 2015. Satterwhite wants to reduce classroom sizes, improve school safety, and to increase fiscal responsibility and transparency on the school board.
Stanley Bender is a retired Woodbridge resident. Despite the controversy surrounding the 2018 special election over whether Stanley Bender was being supported by local Republicans or not, Mr. Bender is not endorsed by any local committee. Because he does not have a website or social media, we cannot know what he intends to do if elected.
Because of Dr. Lateef’s plan to close the achievement gap, increase test scores, and to increase teacher pay for Prince William teachers, he is the more progressive choice for this race.
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