• Democrat

    Sara Ratcliffe

  • 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.
    Last updated: 2021-09-15

    Sara Ratcliffe

    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.

    Sara Ratcliffe

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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

    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.

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

No Recommendation

Charlottesville is a city with a population of 47,266. It lies in central Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. All city of Charlottesville residents can vote in this election. Charlottesville is a strongly Democratic area; Mayor Walker is the only independent currently serving on the city council, alongside four Democrats. President Biden won in the city with 86% of the vote in 2020.

Incumbent Lisa D. Larson-Torres is the current chair of the Charlottesville School Board and is running for re-election to her position. She was first elected to the board in 2017. While on the board, Larson-Torres has prioritized equity, including serving on the division-wide equity committee and helping create a data dashboard. For her second term, she would prioritize the reconfiguration of the city’s middle schools. Additionally, she would like to see greater dedication to improving student’s literacy levels.

Incumbent Leah W. Puryear has served on the board since 2006 and is seeking re-election. Puryear would like to continue her work on establishing the district’s preschool program for three-year-olds. Additionally, she would like to continue redesigning the district’s gifted program. She highlights equity as a top priority and supports recent reforms, such as changing the district’s social studies curriculum to include more diverse perspectives. She also supports reconfiguration efforts to improve student experience.

Christa Venida Bennett is a parent and director of partnerships for Strive for College, which connects students with mentors and support while pursuing higher education. She was a strong advocate against weighing students at school and taking away recess as punishment. She led the effort to add a playground at Walker Upper Elementary. She believes addressing equity should be the school district’s top priority. She would also like to increase opportunities for parent input.

Dominique M. "Dom" Morse is an educator at Community Lab School. He supports the school board’s reconfiguration project and would like to see the school board planning even further long-term. He would like to incorporate more project-based learning in the school curriculum. As a GED-recipient himself, he believes his non-traditional route gives him perspective on how to support all students’ educational paths.

Emily L. Dooley is a realtor and formerly a teacher at Monticello High School and principal at Nathanael Greene Primary School. She supports pay and benefit increases for teachers and staff and would like to see the district recruit and retain a diverse workforce. She would like to reassess the district’s relationship with the Charlottesville Police Department and ensure the district’s gifted education program is reflective of local demographics. Additionally, she would like to strengthen the district’s partnerships with community colleges so that students have as many paths as possible upon graduation.

We have no recommendation for this race. However, we still encourage you to show up on November 2 and vote for or write-in the candidate of your choice for this race and the other races on your ballot.

No Recommendation

Charlottesville is a city with a population of 47,266. It lies in central Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. All city of Charlottesville residents can vote in this election. Charlottesville is a strongly Democratic area; Mayor Walker is the only independent currently serving on the city council, alongside four Democrats. President Biden won in the city with 86% of the vote in 2020.

Mayor Nikuyah R. Walker is running as an independent for re-election to city council. During her time on council, Walker started Home to Hope, a city program for returning citizens to help them get housing, jobs, and education. She also created the Measurements and Solutions Office, which works to ensure the non-profit organizations that the city funds are creating substantial improvements. Walker also supports criminal justice reform, more affordable housing, and creating youth centers.

Democrat ​​Brian R. Pinkston is the vice-chair of Charlottesville’s local Democratic party and a project manager at the University of Virginia. He prioritizes improving affordable housing and public transportation options in the city. He plans to bring an equity lens to policy to address inequalities in housing, education, and income. He supports the school board’s school reconfiguration plan. He would also prioritize improving the city’s relationship with the University of Virginia and Albemarle County.

Former School Board Member Juandiego Wade is a Democratic candidate running for the city council. Wade has served on the Charlottesville school board since 2006. He supports criminal justice reform, including de-escalation training and community outreach by officers. He would like to ensure sufficient funding for affordable housing and public schools. Additionally, he’s in favor of policies to protect the environment, including increasing tree canopy coverage and addressing pollution in the city.

Yasmine Ariel J. Washington, CEO and founder of Rocket Science Integrated, is running as an Independent for the city council. Washington’s top priorities include criminal justice reform, such as eliminating unnecessary bonds and supporting the police civilian review board. She would like to increase equity in public schools and supports the schools’ reconfiguration project. She advocates for investment in environmental protection, including implementing a tree protection ordinance.

Independent John E. "Ringer" Hall is running as well. He is a native of Winchester and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M in 1974. He’s a design engineer who lives in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood of Charlottesville. No information about his candidacy or policy positions was available at the time of this guide’s publication.

We have no recommendation for this race. However, we still encourage you to show up to vote on November 2 and vote for or write-in the candidate of your choice for this race and the other races on your ballot.
  • Charlottesville is a city with a population of 47,266. It lies in central Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. All city of Charlottesville residents can vote in this election. Charlottesville is a strongly Democratic area; Mayor Walker is the only independent currently serving on the city council, alongside four Democrats. President Biden won in the city with 86% of the vote in 2020.

    Incumbent Joe Platania has served as Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney since 2018. Platania attended Providence College before joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he was a teacher. He then attended Washington and Lee University School of Law and, following his 1998 graduation, defended death row inmates in Richmond. He later became one of the first attorneys at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender’s Office in 1999. In 2003, he began working for the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. He and his wife have two children.

    Platania advocates for criminal justice reform. One of his top priorities was introducing community prosecution to Charlottesville, which, similar to community policing, requires prosecutors to get to know their community members. It also encourages opportunities for community involvement in the criminal justice process and seeks to create avenues for community input and participation. It works so that prosecutors’ success rates are determined by the community's safety and quality of life rather than overall conviction rates.

    Platania has also worked to decrease the number of people incarcerated and the length of time spent in jail. During the pandemic, in particular, he worked to reduce the number of individuals in jails and prisons, reducing many felonies to misdemeanors and prioritizing alternatives to incarceration. He particularly prioritizes de-escalation and diversion practices at the policing level in hopes of decreasing the overall number of individuals arrested by the police, and accordingly, conviction rates. He serves on the “Imagining A Just CVille” working group, which is focused on helping the city implement more equitable policing.

    Serving as the board president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Drug Treatment Court, Platania has worked to ensure drug use and mental health issues are handled fairly by the courts. One of his priorities is expanding the city’s mental health docket so that individuals are able to receive mental health treatment, support, and rehabilitation, rather than incarceration. Since being elected, he expanded the program to include felonies, not just misdemeanors. Platania also supported the legalization of marijuana.

    Additionally, he’s a strong advocate for restorative justice practices, particularly for youth. He helped implement a day reporting center in Charlottesville as an alternative to incarceration. Platania also started a program called “Books Behind Bars,” which allows individuals at Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Jail to receive college credit through University of Virginia while incarcerated. Platania has also served as an advocate at the General Assembly, supporting progressive legislation like death penalty abolition, and records expungement processes.

    Joe Platania is running unopposed in the general election. However, due to his support of criminal justice reform, he is a progressive choice for this seat.

    Joe Platania

    Incumbent Joe Platania has served as Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney since 2018. Platania attended Providence College before joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he was a teacher.