About the Race
This congressional election is held on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the U.S. presidential election. Nicholas Betts (D), a legal clerk and businessman faces incumbent congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner.
About the District
The 6th congressional district of Virginia covers the west-central portion of the state. It contains all of Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties, as well as parts of Bedford and Roanoke counties. It also includes the independent cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Staunton, and Waynesboro. The 6th congressional is one of Virginia’s most reliably Republican districts and has voted Republican for over twenty years. Incumbent Ben Cline won his seat in 2018 with almost 60% of the vote.
Democrat Nicholas Betts moved to the state to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He later earned a law degree from Washington and Lee School of Law. He works as a law clerk for a firm in Roanoke and is married to his college sweetheart, Lindsey Betts. They have no children.
Betts believes in providing a public option for health insurance but doesn’t want to get rid of private health plans. He wants to increase federal funding for education to raise teacher pay, hire more teachers, and expand early education programs. Betts believes that the federal government could mitigate the student loan debt crisis by offering 0% interest loans to students, fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and adjusting federal bankruptcy law to benefit student loan borrowers. Betts supports expanding access to voting in the Commonwealth.
One thing he wants to do to address the climate crisis is offer tax credits for the development of solar and wind energy projects. Betts wants to expand internet access to every American, decriminalize marijuana, and pass federal laws to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Betts believes the country should have universal background checks on gun purchases and a tax on ammunition. Betts is calling for the development of a federal training program for police officers to keep our communities safe.
Betts is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Ben Cline who was first elected to office in 2018. An ally of President Trump, Cline served in Virginia’s legislature as a Delegate from 2002 to 2018. During his tenure, Cline opposed abortion rights, advocated to expand gun rights, refused to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income Virginians, and attacked immigrant families.
Due to Rep. Cline’s staunchly conservative background, Nicholas Betts is the progressive choice for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.