• Democrat

    Kim Melnyk

  • 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.

    Last updated: 2021-09-16

    Kim Melnyk

    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.

    Kim Melnyk

    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.

  • 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

    Terry McAuliffe

    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.

    Terry McAuliffe

    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: 2021-09-15

    Hala Ayala

    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.

    Hala Ayala

    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: 2021-09-15

    Mark Herring

    Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.

    Mark Herring

    Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.

  • 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.

    Last updated: 2021-09-16

    Kim Melnyk

    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.

    Kim Melnyk

    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.

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

  • Chesapeake is an independent city located in Hampton Roads. It is surrounded by Norfolk and Portsmouth to the north, Suffolk to the west, and Virginia Beach to the east. It is the second most populous independent city in Virginia. The city has close to 175,000 registered voters. The city skews Republican, though it is considered a bellwether. 

    Larachelle "Shelly" Wood is a native of Chesapeake City and the daughter of a Filipino immigrant. She obtained her bachelor's degree in political science from Old Dominion University and her law degree from Regent University School of Law. Before starting her law firm, she worked as a public defender for the City of Norfolk. She now practices law as the managing partner of Parks Zeigler. Wood previously served as the president of the Chesapeake Bar Association and served as a substitute judge for the Chesapeake Circuit Court Judges. She and her husband live in Great Bridge with their three children.

    Wood is an advocate for criminal justice reform, noting her support of the red flag law, as well as recent legislation from the 2020 Virginia General Assembly which abolished the death penalty and decriminalized marijuana. Additionally, she supports drug treatment efforts as an alternative to jail sentencing for minor drug offenses and looks to medication management as preventative to a cycle of crime. She supports programs for re-entry and opposes cash bail for low-level offenses.

    Wood supports policies that center on mental health, advocating for treatment over prosecution for non-violent offenders. She supported the passing of a bill to establish an Amber Alert for all people with autism. She praises Chesapeake City’s behavioral health docket in the general district court and hopes to have the same docket in the circuit court, as well as the juvenile court. She has also voiced her support for increasing services to veterans in need of mental health care. She believes that by addressing issues of mental health, the city can reduce recidivism and crime.

    Another top priority for Wood is law enforcement accountability, maintaining her office would have a zero-tolerance policy for police misconduct. When it comes to accusations of police misconduct and brutality, Wood has expressed her desire for an outside investigation, independent of the commonwealth attorney’s office. She has also referenced body cameras on police as a tool for fairer trials. She looks to community outreach as a way to restore trust with the police.

    Wood also hopes to bring change to the city’s court system. She wants to address the imbalance of information between the prosecution and defense by streamlining the process for discovery requests. At the time of this publication she stated that while she hopes the city council would give more funding to better fund the commonwealth attorney’s office, she does not have specific plans for the issue. She also voiced concern regarding low wages for public defenders and court-appointed attorneys. She supports individualized attention to each case, in comparison to grouping cases together based on the offense.

    Wood is running Republican candidate Matthew Hamel. Hamel currently serves on Chesapeake City’s City Council and is a Navy JAG Reservist attorney, as well as a former Navy JAG prosecutor. He is the founder of a law firm that focuses on military service members and their spouses. Hamel and his wife have four children.

    Due to her support of mental health awareness and criminal justice reform, Wood is the progressive choice in this election.