Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms. McAuliffe attended The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University Law Center. A lifelong businessman and entrepreneur, McAuliffe has lived in Fairfax County for more than 20 years with his wife, Dorothy. The couple has raised five children together.
McAuliffe is centering his campaign on building a strong Virginia economy that works for everyone. He plans to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, two years ahead of the current schedule. He wants to require employers to provide paid sick days along with paid family and medical leave to all workers. Because Virginia is the 10th most expensive state for childcare in the country, McAuliffe wants to assist families burdened with childcare costs by providing subsidies, funneling federal money to families, and making it easier for people to qualify for assistance.
McAuliffe plans to invest $2 billion in Virginia’s education system every year so that teachers are paid above the national average, children have access to universal pre-K, and every student can get online. To make college more affordable to students, McAuliffe will offer more financial aid and expand on current Governor Ralph Northam’s program that makes community college free to low- and middle-income students studying in certain fields. McAuliffe also wants to boost enrollment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities by providing free tuition to students who promise to teach for five years in the state’s high-need areas.
While serving as Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe took action to reduce carbon emissions in the state and received a $120.5 million federal grant to combat the rising sea level on Virginia’s coast. He wants Virginia to reach 100% clean energy by 2035 and make access to clean energy and transportation infrastructure more affordable by providing subsidies for solar usage and public transit construction. McAuliffe also plans to address the racial impacts of climate change by providing funding to communities hit by extreme heat and rising sea levels.
McAuliffe pushed for Medicaid expansion during his first term and wants to increase access to affordable healthcare by supporting Virginia’s plan to create a state-run health insurance marketplace. He backs lowering prescription drug costs, reducing health insurance premiums, and creating a Medicaid buy-in option for people who make too much to qualify for the program but still can’t afford out-of-pocket costs on the marketplace. When he was governor, McAuliffe vetoed Republican legislation that would have limited abortion access. If reelected, McAuliffe plans to incorporate Roe v. Wade into Virginia’s constitution to guarantee that abortion access is protected.
McAuliffe is running against multimillionaire Republican Glenn Youngkin, the former president of Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Youngkin wants to channel the state’s money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund private schools. Youngkin has admitted that he opposes abortion access and will work to dismantle protections for reproductive freedom in the Commonwealth. Youngkin is also against making health coverage more affordable in Virginia.
McAuliffe is also facing a challenge from activist and educator Princess Blanding, an Independent candidate. Blanding is the sister of Marcus David-Peters, a young Black man who was killed by police in 2018. Blanding wants to hold police accountable by ending qualified immunity and shifting funding away from police departments to invest in community services. She also wants to make health coverage more affordable by creating a public healthcare system.
Due to his record in providing leadership for the Commonwealth and his support of Virginia working families, the environment, affordable health coverage, and reproductive rights, Terry McAuliffe is the most progressive choice in this race.Last updated: 2021-09-15
Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms.
Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms.
The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017. She worked for over 20 years as a cybersecurity specialist and is the single mother of two grown children. If chosen by voters to be the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Ayala will be the first woman and Afro-Latina to do so.
Affordable access to healthcare is a central focus for Ayala. As a first-time mother, Ayala depended on Medicaid to give her son life-saving care. In 2018, Ayala voted to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians. In 2020, she co-patroned legislation to cap the cost of insulin in the state. In 2021, she voted to make the cost of prescription drugs transparent and to boost Virginia’s capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. She also wants to reduce Black maternal mortality and create a universal paid family and medical leave program in the Commonwealth.
As a graduate of Prince William County schools, Ayala believes that a well-funded education system is critical to a thriving Commonwealth. In 2021, she voted to increase teachers’ salaries by 5%. She also supported the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program, which provides free community college to low- and middle-income students who are studying in certain fields. As lieutenant governor, Ayala will prioritize expanding access to pre-K, reducing overcrowding in classrooms, and dedicate more funding to improve school infrastructure.
Recognizing the climate crisis as a national security threat, Ayala believes the state needs to play a bigger role in addressing the impacts of climate change. She co-patroned the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, which will eliminate carbon emissions in the Commonwealth by 2050. She also wants to dedicate more funding to communities dealing firsthand with the effects of climate change, believing that solutions to the crisis must be created with racial equity in mind.
Ayala personally understands how hard it is for families to make ends meet. Her family struggled financially when she was a child, and she worked and raised children while obtaining her degree. In 2020, Ayala voted to raise the state’s minimum wage. She supports making paid family and medical leave available to all Virginia working families. In 2021, she voted to strengthen the rights of tenants and protect them from eviction during the pandemic. She also sponsored legislation to protect workers during the pandemic by requiring employers to provide them with personal protective equipment and hazard pay.
Ayala is running against former delegate Winsome Sears, a Republican who represented Norfolk in the House of Delegates from 2002 to 2003. Sears owns a plumbing and appliance repair store in Winchester. Sears opposes legislation that would make our communities safer from gun violence. She also supports using public money to fund private schools and wants to create deliberate barriers to voting access that make it more difficult for people to participate in our democracy.
Due to her support of affordable health coverage, the environment, public education, and Virginia working families, Delegate Hala Ayala is the most progressive choice for lieutenant governor in Virginia.Last updated: 2021-09-15The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017.The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017.
Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013. Raised by a single mother in Loudoun County, Herring obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia before earning his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. He and his wife of 30 years, Laura, raised two children together.
Herring has stood up for access to affordable healthcare by fighting off efforts by the Trump administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2021, Herring defended the ACA by joining a coalition of 21 attorneys general to argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court against a lawsuit from the Trump administration that would have dismantled the ACA, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and Medicaid expansion.
Herring is a champion of reproductive rights and abortion access, and has used his office to support a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent. He has signed onto several lawsuits that challenge different states’ restrictive abortion laws. He issued an opinion in 2015 to strike down medically unnecessary Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that shuttered women’s health centers in the Commonwealth. In 2019, he successfully filed an injunction against the Trump administration’s efforts to halt contraceptive coverage in health insurance.
Herring has worked to keep our communities safe from gun violence by standing up to the gun lobby. In 2020, he defended two common-sense laws passed by the General Assembly aimed at preventing gun violence, the one-handgun-a-month law, and extended background checks. The same year, he also successfully defended a challenge to Virginia’s extreme risk protection law, which keeps guns out of the hands of people who pose a risk to themselves or others.
During his time in office, Herring has fought to keep the promise of democracy real by protecting access to the ballot box. This year, he applauded the passage of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia and joined other attorneys general in urging Congress to pass safeguards that guarantee people’s rights to participate in our democracy by voting. In 2020, he ensured that voters did not face intimidation while casting their ballots in our fair and free elections. In 2016, he defended a decision from former Governor Terry McAuliffe to restore the rights of returning citizens in the Commonwealth.
Herring is facing a challenge from Delegate Jason Miyares, a conservative Republican who wants to create deliberate barriers to voting access, undermine workers’ rights by keeping Virginia a right-to-work state, and oppose efforts to shift funding away from police budgets to community services. As a delegate, Miyares voted against raising the state’s minimum wage, expanding access to affordable healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Virginians, abolishing the death penalty, and legalizing marijuana. He also opposes abortion access.
Due to his support of access to affordable healthcare, abortion access, gun violence prevention, and voting rights, Attorney General Mark Herring is the most progressive choice for this race.Last updated: 2021-09-15Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
The 21st District encompasses the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Voting trends for the district show that the area is very competitive in general elections. However, Fowler is the first Democratic to hold the seat since the Republican takeover in 2009. She won her 2019 election with 54% of the vote.Delegate Kelly Covirs-Fowler is of Filipino-Mexican heritage and moved to Virginia Beach when her father, who was in the Navy, was stationed there. An engaged member of the community, she used to be an elementary school teacher and now owns a small local real estate company that specializes in military family relocation and advocacy. She and her husband reside in Virginia Beach with their three daughters. Fowler was first elected to represent the 21st District in 2017.
Del. Fowler was motivated to run for office after attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January 2017. As a delegate, Fowler advocates for women’s issues by voting for the Equal Rights Amendment. In 2020, she voted to repeal medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers. She supports a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and voted to make abortion coverage available on the health insurance exchange.
As a delegate, Fowler voted to give teachers a 5% raise, believing higher teacher pay will reduce high turnover and make it easier for schools to recruit and retain the best teachers. She also voted to increase school funding in the Commonwealth, including money to help schools reopen safely during the pandemic. She also voted to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students in 2020 and make them eligible for financial aid the following year.
As a Virginia Beach native, Fowler recognizes the real threat of climate change. She hopes to create long-term solutions to preserving the green spaces in the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake areas. Fowler has patroned legislation aimed at tackling the flooding issues of the 21st District. Additionally, Fowler is in support of clean energy and green jobs and voted for the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, which aims to make Virginia 100% clean energy by 2050.
Fowler believes in making the promise of democracy real for us all by supporting our fair and free elections. In 2021, she voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls. She also voted to keep voters safe during the pandemic by removing the signature requirement on absentee ballots during an emergency and establishing drop boxes for voters to leave their ballots. In 2020, she voted to extend early voter registration and to make it easier to vote absentee in Virginia.
Delegate Fowler is facing a challenge from Republican candidate Tanya Gould. She is an advocate for sex trafficking awareness and directs a non-profit. Gould is against holding police accountable for the violence they inflict on communities. Gould also opposes government efforts to keep our communities and schools safe during the pandemic.
Due to her support of abortion access, public education, voting rights, and the environment, Delegate Fowler is the most progressive choice in this election.Delegate Kelly Covirs-Fowler is of Filipino-Mexican heritage and moved to Virginia Beach when her father, who was in the Navy, was stationed there.
Virginia’s 84th District includes part of the city of Virginia Beach. Voting trends show that the district is competitive. Delegate Davis won the 2019 election with over 51% of the vote.
Kim Melnyk was raised in Virginia Beach and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Longwood University. She taught at several Virginia Beach schools for more than a decade and currently serves as vice-chair of the Virginia Beach School Board. She is a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Melnyk and her husband reside in Christopher Farms of Virginia Beach, where they own a manufacturing company. The couple has three children, all of whom have attended local schools.
Educational equity is a top priority for Kim Melnyk, and she hopes to translate her successes as a school board member to the General Assembly. She will push for fully-funded public education in the Commonwealth, including special education and full-day kindergarten. Melnyk wants to ensure that students are provided with the mental and behavioral health services they need. She also supports raising teacher pay up to the national average to attract the best talent and prevent high turnover.
As a resident of a coastal area, Melnyk understands the urgency of the climate crisis and will use legislative action to tackle the issue. Melnyk will advocate for better infrastructure to address rising sea levels and flooding in the district. She also wants to direct resources to local farmers who are impacted by flooding and prepare them for the future. She supports efforts to educate young people on protecting the environment, becoming better stewards of Virginia’s natural resources, and envisioning a sustainable future.
Melnyk has been directly impacted by gun violence and supports keeping communities safe by passing common-sense gun violence prevention measures like universal background checks, waiting periods for gun purchases, and closing existing loopholes that make it easy to obtain guns. She also wants to ban the sale of ghost guns and keep guns out of the wrong hands of people deemed to be a risk for themselves or others.
Melnyk wants to make access to quality, affordable healthcare a reality for all households in the district. She will work to protect people with pre-existing conditions and lower prescription drugs costs. She will fight to protect access to reproductive healthcare and abortion. Melnyk believes ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia was a great step toward ensuring equality for women and wants to ensure women can remain in the workforce by implementing paid family and medical leave.
Melnyk is challenging Republican incumbent Delegate Glen Davis who has represented the district since 2014. In 2020, Davis opposed raising the minimum wage and the Virginia Clean Economy Act. This year the delegate voted against marijuana legalization, the abolition of the death penalty, and the Voting Rights Act of Virginia.
Due to her support of public education, the environment, access to affordable healthcare, reproductive rights, and gun violence prevention, Melnyk is the most progressive choice in this race.
Kim Melnyk was raised in Virginia Beach and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Longwood University. She taught at several Virginia Beach schools for more than a decade and currently serves as vice-chair of the Virginia Beach School Board.
Virginia Beach is the Commonwealth’s most populous city, with 449,974 residents. While historically the city has leaned Republican, recent elections show a shift with President Joe Biden winning 52% of the vote in 2020. Habr previously lost to Henderson in the 2019 election.Laura Wood Habr is a native of Virginia Beach and is the owner of a local restaurant. She is the founding member of the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast. She previously ran in 2019 for the treasurer position. Wood is a community activist and local leader in the small business community. She is credited as the co-founder of the ViBe Creative District and Old Beach Farmers Market. Habr was an influential piece of having the 2009 smoking ban signed into law.
Habr is a supporter of green energy. She previously served on Virginia Beach’s Green Ribbon Committee, and formerly chaired the G.R.E.E.N subcommittee of the Resort Advisory Commission. Habr has fought to prohibit offshore drilling, and favors sustainable tourism practices. She has been named as an honoree for the 26th Annual Human Rights Award.
She would work to push for better collaboration between the treasurer’s office and the office of the commissioner of the revenue. She will also prioritize improving the quality of customer service provided by the treasurer’s office. She continues to lead efforts to address recovery concerns for small businesses as the pandemic continues.
Laura Habr is challenging Republican incumbent Leigh Henderson. Henderson has served as Virginia Beach Treasurer since 2019, making her the first woman elected to the position. She holds degrees from Old Dominion University. Under her leadership, funding cuts were made to various programs and services. Henderson supported tax cuts for the rich and wealthy implemented by the Trump Administration.
Due to Habr’s history of green business practices and dedication to her community, she is the progressive choice in this race.Laura Wood Habr is a native of Virginia Beach and is the owner of a local restaurant. She is the founding member of the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast. She previously ran in 2019 for the treasurer position.
Virginia Beach is the Commonwealth’s most populous city, with 449,974 residents. While historically the city has leaned Republican, recent elections show a shift with President Joe Biden winning 52% of the vote in 2020. Habr previously lost to Henderson in the 2019 election.Dr. Antonio Passaro Jr. was born and raised in Virginia Beach. He holds an associate's degree from Tidewater Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from Norfolk State University. He recently earned his doctorate in higher education leadership from Old Dominion University. Dr. Passaro has over 15 years of first-hand law enforcement experience as a Virginia state trooper and special agent. He currently serves as professor and department chair of criminal justice at Tidewater Community College.
Passaro centers his campaign around bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community while reexamining public safety measures. Among Passaro’s top priorities are community transparency and engagement. Additionally, he wants to remove politics from the decision-making process in the sheriff’s office, putting more focus on evidence and community input. He considers it a public safety issue that community members are hesitant to call the police for help.
Passaro places great importance on addressing the mental health crisis. He advocates for increasing mental health resources in the jail system, along with rehabilitation programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates. During his time as a special agent, Passaro was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his experiences on the job. Because of this first-hand experience, he is an advocate for offering mental health resources to law enforcement.
Building on stronger community outreach, Passaro plans to restructure law enforcement training. Under his leadership, officers will be retrained and reeducated with the incorporation of citizen input. He is a proponent of community policing. He places importance on engaging underserved, as well as underrepresented neighborhoods.
Antonio Passaro Jr. is challenging Republican incumbent Kenneth Stolle. Stolle has served as Sheriff of Virginia Beach since 2010 and previously served as Virginia state senator to the 8th district. As a state senator, he advocated for legislation that abolished parole and created stricter penalties for gang activity. He boasts of running one of the “toughest” jails in the Commonwealth.
Due to his support of mental health awareness and updated, community-influenced police training, Dr. Antonio Passaro Jr. is the progressive choice in this election.Dr. Antonio Passaro Jr. was born and raised in Virginia Beach. He holds an associate's degree from Tidewater Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from Norfolk State University.
Virginia Beach is the Commonwealth’s most populous city, with 449,974 residents. While historically the city has leaned Republican, recent elections show a shift with President Joe Biden winning 52% of the vote in 2020. Habr previously lost to Henderson in the 2019 election.
Incumbent Colin Stolle has served as Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney since 2014. He was first hired as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in 1996. He is currently president of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys. During his time as commonwealth’s attorney, an autistic black man, who suffered brain injuries as a child, was sentenced to 50 years in jail for a non-fatal car accident.
Colin Stolle is running unopposed. There is no progressive choice on the ballot. However, we still encourage you to show up to vote by writing in a name for this race and casting your vote in the other races on your ballot.
Phillip Kellam has served as Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue since 1998. Kellam is a graduate of Elon College and comes from an active political family in the community. He is the father of two adult sons.
As commissioner of the revenue, he has increased productivity and streamlined government by getting rid of the city sticker, bringing in more computers, and creating DMV’s first satellite office.
However, a lack of other online information about him means we cannot guarantee he will make progressive choices.
Republican candidate Ben Loyola is challenging Philip Kellam. Loyola has been a resident of Virginia Beach since 1985 and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the founder and President of Loyola Enterprises Inc, an engineering services contracting firm. Loyola seeks to eliminate the personal property tax for business owners, leaving personal property tax revenue to individual taxpayers.
We do not have a recommendation in this race. However, we still encourage you to show up to vote by writing in a name for this race and casting your vote in the other races on your ballot.