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 15th district encompasses Shenandoah, Page, Warren, and Rockingham counties. Voting trends for the district show that the area is strongly Republican, with Republican candidates winning their races by large margins. GIlbert was able to win his 2019 seat with over 74% of the vote.Democratic candidate Emily Scott is running for the 15th District House of Delegates seat. A native of Woodstock, Scott attended Central High School and graduated from Randolph Macon University. A former reporter and municipal employee for Shenandoah County, she is now employed by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen in Front Royal. Scott serves on the boards of several community organizations, including the Woodstock Museum. She is a member of the finance committee at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Scott wants to address the congestion, pollution, and lack of safety issues along I-81, Virginia’s longest interstate at 325 miles. She believes that a lot of the back-ups and crashes that occur on the highway can be resolved by targeted improvements with lane extensions and better response systems in place to clear accidents. Scott sees the region’s water and sewer infrastructure as outdated and wants to increase funding from Richmond to help the area to expand its water treatment and sewer capacity.
Scott sees broadband access as critical to the district’s ability to compete economically and for students to be successful in school. She supports boosting funding for broadband in the area while increasing funding for public schools. She also endorses federal efforts to reduce childhood poverty with increased government spending. Scott believes in keeping our communities safe from gun violence by passing legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Scott believes that Virginia working families should be able to raise their families with dignity by raising the minimum wage. She wants to help working people in the Commonwealth have more power to form unions by repealing the state’s right-to-work law. She supports the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which supports the right of workers to freely and fairly form labor unions. Scott also wants to bring jobs to the district by investing in the area’s tourism industry.
Scott wants everyone in her district to have access to affordable, quality healthcare. She believes that the health of her constituents is linked to the health of the environment and wants to protect the area’s natural resources like the Shenandoah River. She supports state government efforts to keep communities safe from the pandemic with vaccination clinics and mask mandates. Scott also believes in expanding voting access and fairly drawing new legislative district maps so voters can choose their representatives, not the other way around.
Scott is challenging incumbent Delegate Todd Gilbert, who serves as Republican Minority Leader in the House of Delegates. Gilbert opposes abortion access and expanding affordable health coverage to 400,000 Virginians in 2018. He opposed raising the minimum wage and allowing municipal workers the right to collectively bargain. Gilbert is against keeping our communities safe from gun violence and voted against abolishing the death penalty and legalizing marijuana in 2021.
Due to her support of fixing I-81, public education, broadband access, affordable healthcare, and working families, Scott is the most progressive choice in this race.Democratic candidate Emily Scott is running for the 15th District House of Delegates seat. A native of Woodstock, Scott attended Central High School and graduated from Randolph Macon University.
The 25th District includes parts of Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham counties. It is strongly Republican with Del. Runion receiving 58% of the vote in 2019.Jennifer Kitchen is an Augusta county native, mother, and community organizer. She was raised by working-class parents on farms in Augusta. She has spent her life fighting for progressive causes in Virginia, organizing for the For Our Future Fund and starting the Staunton Augusta Waynesboro (SAW) Citizen Action Group. She has also worked as a program mentor for the Arc of Augusta, which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, she is a cancer survivor and has two children.
As a survivor of both cancer and fibromyalgia, Kitchen understands the importance of access to affordable, quality healthcare. She advocated for Medicaid expansion in Virginia in 2018, which made healthcare affordable to 400,000 Virginians, and will work to make Medicaid available to more Virginians if elected. She also supports Medicare for All. She wants to ensure drug and insurance companies are charging fair prices and that healthcare is affordable to everyone in her district, no matter their income.
Kitchen wants to support Virginia working families by raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing workers’ right to form unions and strengthening labor laws. She will work to repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law. She supports marijuana legalization and sees it as a great economic opportunity for Virginia farmers. She will fight to ensure all Virginians have equal access to the economic benefits that the new market for legalized marijuana will provide and to ensure people with criminal records with marijuana-related charges are expunged.
Kitchen also recognizes that protecting the environment will provide opportunities for new jobs in rural Virginia. She fully endorses the Green New Deal Virginia, which aims to tackle climate change and ensure that the state will benefit from a renewable energy economy while guaranteeing access to clean air and water. She also hopes to adopt programs that will encourage farmers to move to more environmentally friendly farming practices. Additionally, she stood against the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines and will oppose any future fracked gas pipeline.
Kitchen wants to improve the district’s infrastructure by increasing spending on transportation and broadband projects. She would like to increase revenue for local public transportation and invest in improvements on Interstate 81. Acknowledging that investment in broadband is critical for rural Virginians to thrive in the 21st century, she is proposing a large-scale broadband infrastructure package similar to New Deal programs of the 1930s that supplied electricity to rural areas.
Kitchen’s opponent is incumbent Delegate Chris Runion (R), a business leader from the Shenandoah Valley who has represented the 25th District since 2020. While serving in the General Assembly, Runion voted against the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, marijuana legalization, the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and abolishing the death penalty. Additionally, he opposes a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and opposes gun violence prevention legislation.
Due to her support of the environment, access to affordable healthcare, and working families, Jennifer Kitchen is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 25th district.Jennifer Kitchen is an Augusta county native, mother, and community organizer. She was raised by working-class parents on farms in Augusta.
The 26th District includes the city of Harrisonburg and part of Rockingham County. The district is competitive, but leans Republican. Del. Wilt received 54% of the vote in 2019 and 2017.William Helsley is a lawyer and long-term Shenandoah Valley resident. He grew up in Elkton and attended the College of William and Mary on an athletic scholarship for track. He earned his law degree from the University of Richmond. For the past 36 years, he has practiced law in Harrisonburg and taught at James Madison University Law School. Outside of law, he spends much of his time around animals, owning a farm and rescuing many pets.
Helsley is running on a platform of access to affordable healthcare and investing in infrastructure. He believes no one should have to choose between seeing a doctor and putting food on the table and that diagnosis of an illness should not lead to financial ruin. He plans to introduce legislation that would guarantee people undergoing medical treatment would never have to worry about losing their homes due to unpaid medical bills.
Helsley plans to increase revenue for infrastructure projects like transportation and broadband. He sees infrastructure investment as a critical part of Virginia’s long-term plans for the future and will help attract community members and good jobs. He would particularly like to invest in improvements to Interstate 81. He supports the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and advocated in Richmond for budget allocation of ARPA funds to rural Virginia for projects like broadband access and school modernization.
Helsley has received the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy’s “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” for his support of critical policies to improve the lives of Virginia’s working families. These policies include paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and quality and affordable childcare and eldercare. Additionally, he will fight for living wages for all Virginians. His campaign received the “Gold Level Living Wage Certificate” from the Harrisonburg Living Wage Committee for his dedication to fair pay.
Helsley supports increased accessibility and transparency in government, believing that representatives in the General Assembly's top priority should be serving the interests of their constituents. He opposes career politicians and would add term limits for General Assembly members. In his legal career, as well, Helsley has prioritized representing people rather than business interests and worked to uplift his community, such as offering free legal services during the federal government shutdown in 2019.
Helsley’s opponent is incumbent Delegate Tony Wilt (R), owner of Superior Concrete Inc. and former president of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. Del. Wilt has served in the House of Delegates since 2010, where he has voted against increasing the minimum wage, abolishing the death penalty, marijuana legalization, and Medicaid expansion.
Due to his positions on affordable healthcare, investing in infrastructure, and boosting Virginia working families, Bill Helsley is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 26th District.William Helsley is a lawyer and long-term Shenandoah Valley resident. He grew up in Elkton and attended the College of William and Mary on an athletic scholarship for track. He earned his law degree from the University of Richmond.
Virginia’s 58th District includes parts of the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, and Rockingham. Voting trends show that this district is strongly Republican. Delegate Bell has represented the district since 2002. Bell has beat previous Democratic candidates by 60% to 67% margins.Sara Ratcliffe is running for the 58th District seat in the House of Delegates. She is originally from the Midwest but earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University. She used to be a staff member to former U.S. Senator J. James Exon and research assistant to political author and broadcaster Elizabeth Drew. In 2008, she worked on the Obama campaigns in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Sara and her husband reside in Greene County.
Ratcliffe grew up in a low-income household and understands what it’s like to choose between putting food on the table and seeing a doctor. She will fight to make access to affordable, quality healthcare available to every household in the district. She wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs and protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing health coverage. As a young person, she watched her mother struggle with mental health issues, and she wants to channel resources to community-based mental health support and substance abuse treatment while also ensuring insurance covers the cost of those treatment options.
Ratcliffe sees reliable, high-speed Internet access as crucial to the economic and educational success of the region and wants to prioritize expanding affordable broadband access to every home in the district. She believes that broadband and cell phone service should be affordable utilities for all. She will work to ensure that federal and state funding is funneled to the district to build up the telecommunication infrastructure for the district along with other projects like repairing roads and bridges.
Ratcliffe supports protecting the environment and understands the economic opportunities available in the transition to a clean energy economy. She believes that workers in the green economy should have the right to unionize and will fight to protect farmers in the district. Ratcliffe wants to boost working families by making paid family and medical leave guaranteed so people don’t have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of themselves or loved ones in the event of an illness. She also supports making child care affordable to working families.
Ratcliffe advocates for keeping communities safe by passing common-sense gun violence prevention measures. Fighting for reproductive freedom has been part of Sara’s career, and she supports abortion access. She wants to fully fund our public education system, raise teacher salaries, and fund early childhood education programs. She believes in holding police accountable for the violence they inflict on communities and wants to replace police as first responders with mental health professionals and social workers in certain situations.
Ratcliffe is challenging incumbent Delegate Rob Bell (R), who was elected to represent the district in 2001. In 2018, Bell voted against expanding access to affordable healthcare to 400,000 Virginians and supported the prohibition of sanctuary cities to protect undocumented immigrants in the Commonwealth. Bell opposed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, abolishing the death penalty, and marijuana legalization.
Due to her support of affordable broadband access, the environment, working families, abortion access, and public education, Ratcliffe is the most progressive choice in this election.Sara Ratcliffe is running for the 58th District seat in the House of Delegates. She is originally from the Midwest but earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University. She used to be a staff member to former U.S. Senator J.