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 Ronnie Ross III is a teacher, coach, and school administrator who lives in western Loudoun County. Ross’s top priorities include taking on Dominion and other powerful corporate interests. He vows to aggressively invest in green energy and examine our water reclamation and land use policies.
Ross is passionate about improving the lives of our LGBTQ community. He promises to fight to end discrimination in public employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
His opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Jill Vogel. Senator Vogel is an attorney whose practice focuses on partisan campaign committees and Super PACS. She has served as the Virginia state Senate since 2008. Senator Vogel sponsored a controversial bill in 2012 to require women to have a mandatory, transvaginal ultrasound before accessing an abortion. Senator Vogel also voted against allowing sanctuary cities in Virginia, which would put thousands of undocumented families at risk of being seperated and force localties to use local resources to do the job of the federal government. In 2019, she voted against raising the minimum wage in Virginia.
Ronnie Ross III is the more progressive choice because of his commitment to the environment and the LGBTQ community.
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.
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.
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.
Democratic candidate Joshua Cole has been involved in Virginia politics since he was in middle school when he participated in the House Page program in 2005. In 2016, Cole returned to the Capitol to serve as a staff assistant to the Clerk of the Virginia State Senate. Cole currently serves on the Stafford County Public Schools Equity Committee, the Diversity and Opportunity Committee, and the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council.
Cole advocates for criminal justice reform and wants to improve the relationship between the police and community by mandating body and dash cams for police officers. Education is a priority for Cole as well. He wants to take steps to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, fund universal pre-K, and evenly distribute school funding. He supports the Equal Rights Amendment, raising the minimum wage, and protecting reproductive freedom. He worked with Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler on a fair housing bill and plans to continue this work if he is elected. He wants to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, supports Medicaid expansion, and supports green energy.
The 28th District is an open seat and Cole's opponent, Republican Paul Milde, is anti-choice. He said he would vote to reverse Medicaid expansion, which has allowed more than 300,000 additional Virginians to access affordable health insurance. Milde also opposes commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.
Joshua Cole is the more progressive choice for this race because of his support of criminal justice reform, universal pre-K, and raising the minimum wage.
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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