Sleepy Hole Borough

Sleepy Hole Borough

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You are viewing content from a previous election (November 3rd, 2020). You can view information for the current election here.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd

The Virginia Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. All research in this guide was conducted in August of 2020. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

3rd Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This election shares a ballot with the US Presidential election held on November 3, 2020. Incumbent Virginia politician and longtime incumbent, Congressman Bobby Scott (D), is running for re-election against John Collick (R), a retired Marine Sergeant and small business owner.

    About the District

    Virginia’s 3rd congressional district stretches across parts of Hampton Roads and encompasses all of the cities of Franklin, Newport News, and Portsmouth, as well as all of Isle of Wight county. It also contains parts of the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Suffolk. In 2012, the 3rd district was found to have been unconstitutionally gerrymandered based on race. It was redrawn for the 2016 elections to exclude parts of Richmond which had previously been included in the district. The district is reliably Democratic, even since redistricting. Bobby Scott ran unopposed for re-election in 2018, and Senator Tim Kaine won the district with 70% of the vote.

    Recommendation

    A lifelong statesman, Democratic Representative Bobby Scott has represented Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District since 1993. Before his election to federal office, Rep. Scott was a member of the Virginia Senate from 1983 to 1993 and the House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983. When he was first elected, Scott was the first African-American to represent Virginia in Congress since Reconstruction. He grew up in Newport News, but moved to Massachusetts for his education after Virginia schools closed instead of integrating after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. There, he attended Harvard College and Boston College Law School.

    Rep. Scott is the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and also serves on the House Judiciary Committee. During his tenure, Scott has consistently advocated for labor rights.

    In 2020, he sponsored the “Protecting to the Right to Organize Act,” which was passed by the House. The PRO Act strengthens workers’ rights to strike, collectively bargain, form unions, and have better working conditions. Scott sponsored legislation to protect all workers from COVID-19 and to help laid-off and furloughed workers keep their job-based insurance during the pandemic. In 2019, he championed the “Raise the Wage Act” to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

    Scott co-chairs the Voting Rights Caucus. He has called on the federal government to protect the integrity of the elections during the pandemic and to end voter suppression. He also supports restoring the Voting Rights Act.

    Although a supporter of a single-payer healthcare system, Scott worked with members of Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. He co-sponsored legislation in 2020 to protect the ACA from the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle Obamacare. His bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, sought to expand Medicaid coverage so more Americans are insured during the coronavirus pandemic, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and reduce health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

    As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Scott has regularly introduced legislation aimed at criminal justice reform. He co-sponsored the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” in response to the police murder of George Floyd. His legislation bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, sets national standards to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, prohibits racial profiling, and establishes a national data collection system on police conduct. Before his 2020 efforts to reform the criminal justice system, Scott co-sponsored the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act in 2015 and 2017. The SAFE Justice Act was a comprehensive reform aimed at reducing the country’s prison population by cutting mandatory sentence minimums, reducing recidivism, stopping overcriminalization, and using evidence-based crime prevention strategies.

    Representing an area that is experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand with rising sea levels, Rep. Scott supports the Green New Deal. He has co-sponsored bills that increase federal investments in renewable energy spending and opposes offshore oil and gas exploration in Virginia and throughout the nation’s coasts. Congressman Scott also voted to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

    Rep. Scott is facing a challenge from Republican John Collick. A Marine veteran, Collick is a conservative who opposes abortion access. Collick is convinced that the government will confiscate guns from citizens and opposes an assault weapons ban. He believes that America should do more to control immigration into the country by placing biometric controls on people entering the U.S. He also supports using public money to pay for private education.

    Due to his record serving the people in his district and fighting for their rights, Rep. Bobby Scott is the most progressive candidate for Virginia’s 3rd District.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

4th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This election occurs on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the US presidential election. Incumbent congressman, attorney Don McEachin (D), is running against Leon Benjamin (R), a Richmond pastor and Gulf War veteran who is the current GOP chair of the Richmond Republican Party.

    About the District

    The 4th congressional district of Virginia contains most of the area between Richmond and Hampton Roads, including all or parts of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Henrico, Prince George, Southampton, Surry, and Sussex, and all or part of the independent cities of Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond, and Suffolk. In 2012, the neighboring 3rd district was deemed unconstitutional. It was redrawn, with parts of it being put into the 4th district, since then the district has been reliably Democratic, with Don McEachin earning over 62% of the vote in 2018.

    Recommendation

    Democratic Representative Donald McEachin is seeking his third term serving the 4th Congressional District. He was first elected to the position in 2016. Before serving in Congress, McEachin was a member of Virginia’s House of Delegates from 1996 to 2002 and 2006 to 2008. He was then elected to the state Senate from 2008 to 2017. He’s a 1986 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and holds a Master of Divinity from Virginia Union University. He’s married to Collette McEachin, Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Richmond. The couple has three children together.

    As a member of Congress, Rep. McEachin serves on the Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees and Select Committee on Climate Crisis. He has introduced legislation to make solar energy more affordable for low-income families and the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act. McEachin also wants the U.S. to recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement.

    McEachin believes it is the responsibility of Congress to protect citizens’ right to vote. He supports the John Lews Voting Rights Advancement Act.

    In 2020, McEachin voted with other Democratic members of Congress to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle healthcare reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act seeks to expand Medicaid coverage to insure more Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and reduce health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. McEachin also introduced legislation this year aimed at addressing the country’s Black maternal health crisis.

    McEachin believes that Virginians deserve better pay and voted for the Raise the Wage Act this year to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. He voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to close the gender wage gap. McEachin supports immigrant rights and voted for the American Dream and Promise Act in 2019. He also voted to send $4.5 billion to the border that same year to address the humanitarian crisis suffered by migrants attempting to enter the U.S.

    NARAL Pro-Choice America gave McEachin a score of 100% for his voting record on reproductive freedom. He believes everyone should have access to safe and legal abortion and decide for themselves whether, how, and when to have children. McEachin supports federal funding of Planned Parenthood and believes that health insurance companies should cover birth control. McEachin also voted to impeach Trump in 2019.

    Rep. McEachin is facing a challenge from Pastor Leon Benjamin, an evangelical leader and Chairman of the Republican Party in Richmond. Benjamin works to garner African-American support for President Trump. He attended Trump’s inauguration and stated that Trump was “not a racist.” In 2010, Benjamin urged the U.S. Congress not to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, which banned openly gay people from serving in the military. He also opposes a person’s right to abortion access.

    Due to his extensive service to constituents in his district and commitment to progressive values, Rep. Donald McEachin is the most progressive candidate for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

City of Suffolk

Suffolk Mayor

  • Independent
  • Brian Bass has served as a Town Councilman for the Nansemond Indian Nation and has held leadership positions at Holy Neck Christian Church. He is running on a platform of transparency, economic growth, and equality. He views his heritage as an unbreakable bond with the city of Suffolk and has established a non-profit, Brain Bass for Suffolk Inc., which has coordinated volunteers for food banks in the wake of COVID-19.

    He is committed to raising teacher pay in Suffolk, which has some of the lowest teacher salaries in the Commonwealth. He also wants the city council to support local small businesses in the wake of COVID-19’s economic impact.

    He wants first responders to be represented at City Council meetings to provide input on moving forward as a city.

    Bass intends to implement a 30-50 year growth plan for the city based on GIS data to help manage sprawl.

    Given Bass’s progressive policy proposals and Mayor Linda Johnson’s long-term commitment to improving Suffolk residents’ daily lives, either is a progressive choice for the city.

    Brian Bass

    Brian Bass has served as a Town Councilman for the Nansemond Indian Nation and has held leadership positions at Holy Neck Christian Church. He is running on a platform of transparency, economic growth, and equality.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10
  • Mayor Linda Johnson became Suffolk’s first female mayor in 2006 and became Suffolk’s first directly elected mayor in 2008 when election rules for the city changed. A resident of Suffolk since her teenage years, Johnson currently works for Berkshire Town Realty. She currently serves on the Hampton Roads Transportation Committee and is chair of the Hampton Roads Accountability Commission. Johnson also served on Gov. McAuliffe’s Transition Council on Local Government.

    Johnson is credited with much of the city’s growth that has taken place during her time as mayor. Johnson is a consensus builder and a citizen’s advocate who works to improve Suffolk’s daily life.

    Since the onset of COVID-19, Mayor Johnson has been at the forefront of Suffolk’s pandemic response, spreading awareness of testing drives and other response measures through social media pages and the city’s web page.

    On issues of racial justice, Johnson and other city council members have expressed support for the George Floyd protests.

    Given Bass’s progressive policy proposals and Mayor Linda Johnson’s long-term commitment to improving Suffolk residents’ daily lives, either is a progressive choice for the city.

    Linda Johnson

    Mayor Linda Johnson became Suffolk’s first female mayor in 2006 and became Suffolk’s first directly elected mayor in 2008 when election rules for the city changed. A resident of Suffolk since her teenage years, Johnson currently works for Berkshire Town Realty.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10
Other Candidates

Their opponent, Councilmember Mike Duman, has made social media posts indicating a lack of support for or skepticism over the George Floyd protests. Duman has also made several pro-police statements but otherwise has not put forth any real platform. On May 2, his personal Facebook promised that a website would be coming within a few weeks. Duman also voted with the rest of Suffolk’s City Council to turn Suffolk into a Second Amendment Sanctuary city.

Another opponent, Vanessa Harris, is listed as a candidate by the Suffolk Board of Elections but has no public information posted online about her platform.

Suffolk City Council Races

Suffolk City Council, Sleepy Hole Borough

No Recommendation

About the Race

The election for Sleepy Hole Borough’s Suffolk City Council representative occurs on November 3, 2020, at the same time as the presidential election. Incumbent Roger Fawcett is running unopposed. However, he supported turning Suffolk into a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and opposed any tax revenue increases.

About the District

Suffolk is an independent city located in Hampton Roads. Much of the city is located on either the James or Nansemond Rivers and the city has a population of roughly 100,000. The Sleepy Hole Borough consists of the Belleharbour, Driver, and Bennett’s Creek precincts. Sleepy Hole tends to vote Republican, with Donald Trump earning 54% of the vote in 2016.

Recommendation

Incumbent Roger Fawcett is running unopposed. He opposes any revenue increases, going so far as to refuse to consider raising taxes, even if it came at the price of losing city services. While he does support education funding, he is also a strong supporter of gun rights and voted to give the City of Suffolk Second Amendment sanctuary status.

Given Fawcett’s history of supporting gun rights and his hardline stance against necessary tax increases, we do not have a recommendation in this race. You have the option to write in a candidate of your choosing.


Suffolk School Board

Suffolk City School Board, Sleepy Hole Borough

No Recommendation

About the Race

The election for Sleepy Hole Borough’s Suffolk City School Board representative occurs on November 3, 2020, at the same time as the presidential election. Incumbent David Mitnick is running unopposed in this race.

About the District

Suffolk is an independent city located in Hampton Roads. Much of the city is located on either the James or Nansemond Rivers and the city has a population of roughly 100,000. The Sleepy Hole Borough consists of the Belleharbour, Driver, and Bennett’s Creek precincts. Sleepy Hole tends to vote Republican, with Donald Trump earning 54% of the vote in 2016.

Recommendation

Incumbent David Mitnick is running unopposed in this race, however, the Suffolk City School Board faces internal lawsuits and disciplinary actions over matters of conduct and transparency. The school board’s website has only posted minutes from two meetings this year and none from previous years.

Given the lack of transparency and internal issues with the Suffolk City School Board, we do not have a recommendation in this race. You have the option to write in a candidate of your choosing.


Constitutional Amendments

Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO on this Flawed Amendment
  • We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want. They’ve done this by rigging district maps to dilute the power of communities of color and prevent people from making their voices heard. This November, there will be a constitutional amendment on the ballot that enshrines in our state constitution the power of politicians to pick their voters instead of allowing voters to choose their representatives. We need to vote no on this political bait and switch and ensure that the power stays with the people, not power-hungry politicians.

    About the Amendment
    This amendment gives the power to draw political maps to a commission made up of politicians and people hand-picked by politicians. They will draw the maps, and then members of the General Assembly will vote to accept or reject them. This amendment does not remove politicians from the process. The amendment also fails to adequately protect people of color in the constitution, instead relying on separate legislation that could be repealed, jeopardizing civil rights protections.

    We deserve a truly independent commission to ensure fair and equitable redistricting. Vote no on this amendment to put the power back in the hands of the people and keep politicians from choosing their voters instead of the other way around.

    About the Decision
    We can’t get clean elections with dirty maps drawn by politicians more interested in protecting their power than ensuring our voices are heard in our democracy.  We need to give the power back to the people and remove politicians from the process of drawing political boundaries completely. We can create a commission of concerned voters and nonpartisan experts who can draw fair, compact districts that ensure communities of color are protected, and everyone can make their voice heard equally.

    Amending the constitution is a big deal, and if we’re going to do it, we need to make sure we are getting it right. We don’t have to accept a flawed amendment or nothing at all. We can go back to the drawing board and ensure that what we are enshrining permanently in our constitution is fair, just, equitable, and gets us the results we want. Leaders in our community such as Congressman Donald McEachin and Congressman Bobby Scott know that this amendment is the wrong move. 


    The most progressive approach to redistricting is to vote NO on this flawed amendment and demand better to simultaneously protect historically underrepresented communities and draw fair district lines by including strong, specific, and clear rules to protect communities of color.

    Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

    We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want.

    Last updated: 2020-10-26

Exemption for Disabled Veterans Constitutional Amendment

  • No Position
    No Position: Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
  • This tax exemption will exclusively benefit veterans residing in Virginia who have a disability 100% connected to their service.

    This amendment was proposed by Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and was approved unanimously in the Senate and near-unanimously in the House. It will grant a property tax exemption for a single vehicle to disabled veterans whose disability is 100% connected with their service. There have been calls to limit the maximum value of cars that may be included in this exemption or limit the exemption based on the veteran’s income, which would be addressed later through legislation in the General Assembly.

    Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League (VML) both objected to this exemption because they believed that property tax exemptions should remain under local jurisdiction and not be mandated by the General Assembly. The VML argues that because localities do not decide to declare and send soldiers to war, the financial responsibility for caring for them should fall not on localities but on the federal government.
     

    Last updated: 2020-10-07