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 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endorsement and an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association because of his record of supporting legislation that repealed Virginia's one-gun-a-month law.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 April Moore moved with her family to the Shenandoah Valley 25 years ago. She has worked for nonprofits focused on consumer rights and protections, national security, and clean air and water. She also spent several years teaching elementary school. Moore’s top priorities are ensuring that we have a livable climate, affordable healthcare, and ensuring that Virginia public schools are innovative. She plans on using green energy to bring well-paying jobs to Virginia while improving the quality of our air and water.
Her opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Mark Obenshain. Senator Obenshain has been in office since 2004. He is a strong advocate for mandatory minimums which leads to the over-policing of Black and Brown communities, saddling us with an outdated and unfair criminal justice system that drains resources and disrupts communities. He opposed Medicaid expansion and voted against raising the minimum wage.
April Moore is the more progressive choice because of her commitment to Medicaid expansion and environmental preservation.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Beverly Harrison is running against Republican Incumbent Delegate Todd Gilbert. Harrison lives in Woodstock with her two children. She believes that affordable healthcare coverage is a right. She promises to fight to expand access to life-saving mental health resources and provide much-needed support for families struggling with the consequences of addiction. Harrison supports the Equal Right Amendment, lifts up local businesses, and advocates for affordable housing. She also wants to bring broadband access to rural communities.
Delegate Gilbert serves as the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Delegates. During his 12 years in office, Delegate Gilbert has been a staunch conservative. He supports so-called “right-to-work” laws that benefit corporations at the expense of workers. Gilbert is anti-union and opposes raising the minimum wage. He is anti-choice and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, making it more difficult for low-income people to access abortion. Gilbert also strongly opposed Medicaid expansion.
Beverly Harrison is the more progressive choice in this race because of her support of health care access and affordable housing.
Democratic candidate Jennifer Kitchen was born and raised in Augusta County and lives there with her husband and two school-age children. She has been very involved in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and has served as the Shenandoah Valley’s ticket chair for many years.
Kitchen believes in increasing access to education by increasing teacher salaries and school funding. She supports renewable energy and opposes plans for natural gas pipeline construction through Virginia. Kitchen also supports ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and believes that everyone should have access to broadband and job opportunities.
The 25th District is an open seat and Kitchen has two opponents. Republican Chris Runion is a small business owner from Rockingham. Runion is openly anti-choice and opposes gun violence prevention.
The other candidate is Independent Janice Allen, whose platform when she ran for Congress back in 2008 showed that she is anti-choice, opposes gun violence prevention legislation and clean energy initiatives. She also voiced anti-immigrant opinions by sharing that she supports closing the U.S./ Mexico border. Allen also opposed the Affordable Care Act.
Because of her support for renewable energy, equal rights, and broadband access, Jennifer Kitchen is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Brent Finnegan lives in Harrisonburg and currently serves on the planning commission. He volunteers by teaching literacy classes at Skyline Literacy and has helped raise money for Our Community Place. Finnegan currently works at the Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services at James Madison University.
Finnegan supports raising the minimum wage and establishing paid family leave for Virginia workers. He also supports increasing teacher pay and free community college and trade schools. He wants to raise the minimum wage in Virginia and repeal the so-called “Right to Work” law. Finnegan wants to end voter disenfranchisement, cash bail, pre-trial detention, and the privatization of prisons. He believes in affordable, accessible health care and he wants to protect Medicaid expansion and lower prescription drug costs.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Tony Wilt, Finnegan’s opponent, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2009. Delegate Wilt is a member of the NRA who opposes common sense gun violence prevention measures. He is vehemently anti-choice and has supported legislation that makes it more difficult for people to access abortion. Additionally, Wilt sponsored legislation designed to shame and stigmatize people who receive government assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
Brent Finnegan is the more progressive choice in this race because of his support for increasing the minimum wage, equality, and criminal justice reform.
Democratic candidate Dr. Elizabeth Alcorn has been a dentist, small business owner, healthcare provider, and volunteer in the Commonwealth for over 30 years. Dr. Alcorn is committed to ensuring everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. She aims to increase state funding for public schools and increase teacher pay. She would also vote to bring fast, quality, affordable internet to all areas of Virginia.
Her opponent is incumbent Republican Delegate Rob Bell. Bell was elected in 2001. Delegate Bell is staunchly anti-choice, and he even voted in favor of a bill requiring all women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound prior to having an abortion in 2012. He is also against increasing the minimum wage and did not support Medicaid expansion.
Dr. Alcorn is the more progressive choice in this race.
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