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 candidate Stan Scott is a military veteran who moved to Virginia after retiring from the Army in 2002. He went to George Washington University, pursuing doctoral work in international relations and public policy. Scott now resides in Mechanicsville and has been a member of the Hanover Democratic Committee for over ten years.
Scott believes in healthcare accessibility and supports Medicaid Expansion. In his campaign, he has prioritized completely closing the healthcare gap that still remains. Scott urges investment in universal pre-kindergarten and equal funding for all schools. He wants to increase teacher pay, make college tuition more affordable, and better fund community colleges. He supports commonsense gun violence prevention measures, including closing the gun show loophole. Scott also supports clean energy and wants to force polluting utility monopolies to pay for the damage they do.
Incumbent Republican Senator Ryan McDougle voted against expanding Medicaid to 400,000 Virignians. He opposes gun violence prevention measures and has voted to expand gun rights in Virginia. Senator McDougle is anti-choice. He voted for legislation that scapegoats immigrants and opposed state ratification of the ERA. He voted against legislation that would prohibit discrimination in housing based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Scott is the progressive choice in this race.
Democrat Amy Laufer is a former middle school teacher. She taught in Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer before teaching at Louisa Middle School and Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville. Laufer has served on the Charlottesville City School Board and is the founder of Virginia’s List, an organization that supports Democratic women running for office.
Laufer’s platform prioritizes education, including raising teacher pay and investing in pre-k classes. She also supports criminal justice reform and tackling the problem of mass incarceration. Laufer supports Medicaid expansion, would vote to repeal the punitive work requirements, and will continue to fight to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. She also supports the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
Incumbent Republican Senator Bryce Reeves voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage in Virginia. He is anti-choice and opposes commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Senator Reeves also voted against legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and public employment.
Laufer is the progressive choice in this race.
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.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Neri Canahui-Ortiz is the President of Local 1665 Carpenters Union. Canahui-Ortiz may be new to politics but he is not new to serving his community. He has been an advocate for policies that impact all Virginians, including our immigrant community. He is also outspoken on the atrocities occurring at the border and vows to fight for sensible gun laws.
His opponent is Delegate Robert Orrock Sr., a far-right conservative who was elected to the House of Delegates in 1990. He voted to notify ICE when undocumented Virginians are in police custody, even for low-level and non-violent offenses. He was also a staunch opponent of Medicaid expansion in Virginia. Orrock is also anti-choice and believes politicians should insert themselves between people and their doctors when making medical decisions.
Canahui-Ortiz is the progressive choice in this race due to his support of unions, the immigrant community, and gun violence prevention.
Democratic candidate Morgan Goodman has a master's degree in environmental and natural resource policy. Her professional experience includes working in the state and federal government and working for nonprofits. She serves on the PTA and as a co-leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop.
Goodman is centering her campaign on environmental protection, and she supports protecting and restoring Virginia’s waterways. She has vowed to protect the civil liberties all Virginians by prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and making it easier for Virginians to exercise their right to vote. She also supports public schools and raising teacher pay.
Goodman is running against incumbent Republican Delegate Buddy Fowler Jr., who opposed expanding Medicaid for Virginia families. He is also against increasing the minimum wage.
Morgan Goodman is the more progressive choice in this race.
As a former Louisa County teacher and professor at the College of William and Mary, Democratic candidate Juanita Jo Matkins believes all Virginians deserve a fair chance. Matkins has lived in the 56th District for much of her life, educating its young people and serving her community through her church and various volunteer organizations. Her top priorities are increased education funding, healthcare access for all, and access to high-speed internet. She supports a number of progressive priorities including raising teacher pay, expanding affordable access to health care, criminal justice reform, and expanding voting rights.
She is running against incumbent Republican Delegate John McGuire. Delegate McGuire voted to notify ICE when undocumented Virginians are in police custody. He is also anti-choice. His position on other progressive priorities is unclear.
Juanita Jo Matkins is the more progressive choice in this race.
Democratic candidate Jessica Foster is a mom, small business owner, and attorney. She represents undocumented immigrant children in need of special immigrant status who have been abandoned or are victims of child abuse and neglect. Her platform includes increased education funding, protecting the healthcare rights of the poor, criminal and juvenile justice reform, gun violence prevention, and protecting the environment.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Mark Cole has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2002. He sponsored House Bill 663, a bathroom bill restricting public restroom use according to a person's "anatomical sex", defined as "the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person's anatomy," with violators liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $50. Delegate Cole also supports anti-immigrant bills. As chair of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, Cole has led the charge for restrictive voting bills that make it more difficult for Virginians to access the ballot.
Jessica Foster is the more progressive choice in this race.
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