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.
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.
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.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
The 7th District encompasses Montgomery, Pulaski, and Floyd counties. The district is reliably Republican. Del. Rush was elected with 67% of the vote in 2019, and has held the seat since 2012.
Derek Kitts is a veteran, small business owner, and native of Southwest Virginia. Kitts was born in Roanoke, raised in Lynchburg, and currently lives in Christiansburg with his family. He owns Virginia Blue Star Printing & Consulting, a union print shop, and serves as a middle school athletics coach. He is retired from the Army after serving for 24 years, including three combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, receiving two Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart.
Kitts is an advocate for educational equity. He wants to better fund Virginia’s rural schools and he hopes to restore a dedicated source of funding for rural education. As delegate, he would prioritize increasing teacher pay and providing incentives for teachers to work in rural areas. He supports programs like tuition forgiveness to recruit and retrain quality educators in the district. He also supports policies enacted to support transgender students, which ensure that schools use transgender students’ chosen names, allow them to participate in sports, and let students use restrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identities.
Kitts supports improvements to Southwest Virginia’s infrastructure, including expanding access to broadband service, which will improve the district’s educational and economic opportunities. He also supports the creation of local co-ops to provide Internet access in areas where it is most needed. Additionally, he would prioritize transportation infrastructure. He hopes to create funding for rural transportation safety in order to decrease the frequency of accidents on roads in rural VA and supports increasing revenue for roadway expansion.
As a small business owner, Kitts supports policies to make the 7th District a destination for businesses. He supports the expansion of rural small business incubators and wants to ensure loans and grants are easily accessible for local businesses. Kitts also recognizes the critical role of workers and is a strong supporter of labor rights. The print shop he owns is unionized and he is a proud member of the UMWA Local 2274. He believes the state should repeal its right-to-work laws.
Kitts supports policies that increase access to healthcare like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs. While he backs the Second Amendment rights, Kitts advocates for common sense measures aimed at preventing gun violence like background checks. Kitts also wants to prioritize helping Virginia families live in dignity by supporting paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and increased funding for childcare and elder care.
Kitts is running against Republican Marie March, a small business owner from Floyd and Trump supporter. She opposes abortion access and supports increasing police funding. She wants to deny people’s right to participate in elections by creating deliberate barriers to restrict people’s access to the ballot. She does not believe rich and wealthy corporations should have to pay their fair share in taxes.
Due to his progressive policies on education, workers’ rights, infrastructure, and healthcare, Derek Kitts is the most progressive choice for the 7th District in Virginia.Derek Kitts is a veteran, small business owner, and native of Southwest Virginia. Kitts was born in Roanoke, raised in Lynchburg, and currently lives in Christiansburg with his family.
Virginia’s 8th District includes Roanoke, Montgomery, and Craig counties, as well as the city of Salem. The district is reliably Republican. Del. McNamara was elected with 67% of the vote in 2019.Dustin Wimbish is an Army Veteran and native of Henry County. Currently a stay-at-home dad, Wimbish and his wife have 8 children and have fostered more than 20 children. He joined the Army in 2003, serving two combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2009. He earned a Bachelor of Political Science and a master’s degree in management from American Military University before working in banking and property management. He lives in Salem with his family.
Wimbish is an advocate for policies that will support Virginia’s families including paid family and medical leave, universal childcare, and affordable and safe eldercare. He supports increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. He supports common sense gun violence prevention laws. Wimbish hopes to increase teacher pay and ensure education funding reaches students and schools. He also wants to increase access to civic education in high schools.
Recognizing broadband access as a driver of the economy and education, Wimbush wants to expand access to broadband to support both schools and businesses in the district. He supports placing regulations on Internet providers that would prevent them from putting profits over people. He also supports enacting more environmental protections and regulations on polluters. He has pledged not to take contributions from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, or PACs.
Wimbish supports legislation that makes the government more transparent and ethical. He has pledged to support anti-corruption legislation which would reduce the impact of money and special interests on the legislature, and reform campaign finance so corporations have less power. He wants to make the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding voting access like making it easier to vote absentee and by mail. He also supports same-day and automatic voter registration.
Wimbish wants to make affordable healthcare more accessible in the district, as well as increase the quality of healthcare. As a legislator, he would prioritize legislation that funds more staffing in hospitals in order to improve patient care, decrease employee turnover, improve their wages, and create jobs. Wimbish also supports abolishing the death penalty, legalizing marijuana, and expanding the Virginia Human Rights Act to include protections for people with disabilities.
Wimbish is running against incumbent Delegate Joe McNamara (R). McNamara is a small business owner and was elected to the House of Delegates in 2018. He is opposed to common sense measures aimed at preventing gun violence and voted against increasing the minimum wage, making voting accessible, and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. He opposes abortion access, abolishing the death penalty, and marijuana legalization.
Due to his support for policies that will support all Virginians, including gun violence prevention, childcare subsidies, affordable healthcare, and an increased minimum wage, Wimbish is the most progressive choice for the 8th District.Dustin Wimbish is an Army Veteran and native of Henry County. Currently a stay-at-home dad, Wimbish and his wife have 8 children and have fostered more than 20 children. He joined the Army in 2003, serving two combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2009.
The 12th District encompasses Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski counties, and the city of Radford. The district is competitive but leans Democratic. Del. Hurst flipped the seat in 2017 with 54% of the vote.Incumbent Delegate Chris Hurst is a former journalist and has represented the 12th District since 2018. A Pennsylvania native, he graduated from Emerson College in 2009 and moved to Roanoke to begin his career as a journalist for WDBJ, becoming an anchor at the age of 22. In 2017, however, he left his career in journalism and chose to run for office on a gun violence prevention platform after his fiancée was shot and killed on-air.
As a delegate, Hurst is a critical advocate for gun violence prevention laws. Since his election, the General Assembly has passed more than ten new common-sense gun safety laws. Del. Hurst helped implement universal background checks and limiting handgun purchases to one handgun a month. He helped establish a red flag law, which helps authorities remove guns from those deemed a danger to themselves or others. Additionally, he voted for a requirement to report lost or stolen guns.
He is also an advocate for quality, well-funded schools and increased teacher pay. During his time in the General Assembly, he voted to provide K-12 schools with over $500 million dollars of increased funding. He voted for a 5% pay increase for teachers. He increased funding to help with the return to school during the pandemic, including funding for new nurses and counselors. Del. Hurst plans to continue to invest in ensuring every child has access to quality education.
Del. Hurst has voted for policies that support Virginia’s working families. He voted to expand Medicaid in 2018 and raise the minimum wage. He hopes to use the next legislative session to address the rising cost of housing in his district and Virginia. He is dedicated to finding strategies that will address the housing shortage and keep housing affordable. He also received the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy’s Seal of Approval for his commitment to paid family and medical leave and affordable childcare.
He has also worked to protect the environment and opposed construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. He fought to protect the 12th District’s natural resources and recruit businesses that produce clean energy. He voted for the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which will get Virginia to 100% clean energy by 2050. He is dedicated to making the 12th District safe for environmentally-friendly forms of transportation, including passing a bill requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bikes.
Hurst is facing a challenge from Republican Jason Ballard, a trial lawyer and veteran who specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice. Ballard is a strong opponent of common sense gun violence prevention regulations and accountability on businesses to protect the environment. He supports using taxpayer money to fund private education, like school voucher programs.
Due to his advocacy for gun violence prevention, Virginia working families, increased funding for public education, and support for the environment, Del. Hurst is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 12th District.Incumbent Delegate Chris Hurst is a former journalist and has represented the 12th District since 2018. A Pennsylvania native, he graduated from Emerson College in 2009 and moved to Roanoke to begin his career as a journalist for WDBJ, becoming an anchor at the age of 22.