Jennifer L. Lewis
Democrat
Jennifer L. Lewis photo

Democratic candidate Jennifer Lewis is running against Republican John Avoli for the open seat in District 20. Lewis spent the early part of her professional career working in the Virginia public school system, providing mental health services to at-risk youth. She currently lives in Waynesboro and works with adults who need mental health services.

Lewis is a strong advocate for the environment. She opposes both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. She wants to create clean energy jobs and move towards 100% renewable energy. She is pro-choice and supports paid family and medical leave. Lewis wants to bring broadband to rural communities and opposes raising tolls on state highways.

John Avoli is a former high school principal who describes himself as a “champion of the unborn” and is staunchly anti-choice. He is an NRA member who will not take action to prevent gun violence. He supports school vouchers and taking funding away from public schools to send some children to private schools.

Jennifer Lewis is the more progressive choice in this race.

Senate District 020

State Senator

No Good Choices

Incumbent Republican Senator William Stanley voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage in Virginia. He has consistently opposed access to reproductive healthcare, including voting to cut off abortion access for low income individuals and to defund Planned Parenthood. Senator Stanley voted against legislation to prohibit discrimination on the job based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

There is not much information on the policy positions of his opponent, Independent candidate Sherman Witcher, who failed to obtain the Democratic nomination. Witcher supports better funding for schools and pay for teachers. In 2007, he ran for Senate as an independent against Republican Robert Hurt. He received 24% of the vote. In 2009, he ran again against Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Franklin, and received 21% of the vote.

Based on the limited information available, Witcher is likely the more progressive choice but you always have the option to write in a candidate.

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