Darlene W. Lewis
Darlene W. Lewis photo

Democratic candidate Darlene Lewis is a minister and small business owner who has lived in Roanoke County for 20 years. She co-founded The Hope Center, a small Roanoke nonprofit that provides after-school programs, a food pantry, and a resume-writing service for those seeking employment. As Delegate, she will advocate for criminal justice reform, affordable health care, and increased investments in our schools.

Her opponent, incumbent Republican Delegate Joe McNamara was elected in a special election in 2018. During his time in office, he voted for a bill that would require law enforcement to notify ICE when undocumented immigrants are released from incarceration, putting them in danger of deportation. Because McNamara was elected so recently, he doesn’t have a long voting record and his website doesn’t include information about his policy positions. But his vote for collaboration with ICE makes clear that he does not share our values.

Darlene Lewis is the more progressive candidate in this race because of her support for criminal justice reform and increased funding for our schools.

Senate District 008

State Senator

Missy Cotter Smasal
Missy Cotter Smasal photo

Democrat Missy Cotter Smasal, a Navy veteran, lives in Virginia Beach with her family. She earned her graduate degree from Old Dominion University while on active duty. Cotter Smasal coaches youth sports and serves on the executive board of her local Parent Teacher Association.

Cotter Smasal supports redistricting reform and ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. She also supports expanding affordable, accessible healthcare to all Virginians.

Her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Bill DeSteph, voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage. He has repeatedly voted for legislation that restricts voting rights. He is anti-choice and voted for legislation to end state funding for abortions. He is supportive of discrimination on the basis of religion, and has voted for bills that scapegoat immigrant communities.

Missy Cotter Smasal in the more progressive choice.

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