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  • Democrat

    Shelly Wood

  • 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.
    Last updated: 2021-09-15

    Shelly Wood

    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.

    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.

    Shelly Wood

    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.

  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Mark Herring

    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.

  • 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 was raised in Virginia Beach and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Longwood University. She taught at several Virginia Beach schools for more than a decade and currently serves as vice-chair of the Virginia Beach School Board. She is a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Melnyk and her husband reside in Christopher Farms of Virginia Beach, where they own a manufacturing company. The couple has three children, all of whom have attended local schools.

    Educational equity is a top priority for Kim Melnyk, and she hopes to translate her successes as a school board member to the General Assembly. She will push for fully-funded public education in the Commonwealth, including special education and full-day kindergarten. Melnyk wants to ensure that students are provided with the mental and behavioral health services they need. She also supports raising teacher pay up to the national average to attract the best talent and prevent high turnover.

    As a resident of a coastal area, Melnyk understands the urgency of the climate crisis and will use legislative action to tackle the issue. Melnyk will advocate for better infrastructure to address rising sea levels and flooding in the district. She also wants to direct resources to local farmers who are impacted by flooding and prepare them for the future. She supports efforts to educate young people on protecting the environment, becoming better stewards of Virginia’s natural resources, and envisioning a sustainable future.

    Melnyk has been directly impacted by gun violence and supports keeping communities safe by passing common-sense gun violence prevention measures like universal background checks, waiting periods for gun purchases, and closing existing loopholes that make it easy to obtain guns. She also wants to ban the sale of ghost guns and keep guns out of the wrong hands of people deemed to be a risk for themselves or others.

    Melnyk wants to make access to quality, affordable healthcare a reality for all households in the district. She will work to protect people with pre-existing conditions and lower prescription drugs costs. She will fight to protect access to reproductive healthcare and abortion. Melnyk believes ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia was a great step toward ensuring equality for women and wants to ensure women can remain in the workforce by implementing paid family and medical leave.

    Melnyk is challenging Republican incumbent Delegate Glen Davis who has represented the district since 2014. In 2020, Davis opposed raising the minimum wage and the Virginia Clean Economy Act. This year the delegate voted against marijuana legalization, the abolition of the death penalty, and the Voting Rights Act of Virginia.

    Due to her support of public education, the environment, access to affordable healthcare, reproductive rights, and gun violence prevention, Melnyk is the most progressive choice in this race.

    Kim Melnyk

    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.

  • Incumbent Delegate Jay Jones was elected to represent the 89th District in 2017. A native of Norfolk, his family has a history of political involvement in Virginia starting with his grandfather being the first Black member of the Virginia Board of Education. Jones obtained his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from the University of Virginia. Jones practices law in Norfolk where he and his wife are active members of the community.

    Jones has consistently fought for criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth during his time as a delegate. Jones was a chief co-patron of the bill that abolished the death penalty in Virginia. He voted to hold police accountable by voting to end qualified immunity in Virginia, a practice that shields police from lawsuits for violating people’s civil rights. He supported expunging certain individuals’ criminal records to give them better access to housing, education, and jobs.

    Jones supports protecting the environment and tackling the climate crisis. He advocated for legislation that works to protect Virginia’s coastline and proposed infrastructural changes that would address the flooding and rising sea level of his district. In 2020, the delegate voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which commits the Commonwealth to 100% clean energy by 2050. He received an “A” rating from the Virginia Sierra Club on their 2021 legislative scorecard for his votes to protect the environment.

    Jones continues to make access to affordable healthcare a legislative priority. In 2018, he voted to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians. He voted to lower drug costs, voting to cap the price of insulin in 2020 and establish a state-run health insurance marketplace, which helps uninsured or underinsured residents who aren’t covered by an employer-provided health plan to get affordable coverage. He also supported legislation declaring racism a public health crisis in the Commonwealth.

    Jones supports making the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding access to the ballot. He voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls. He fought to keep voters safe during the pandemic by establishing drop boxes for ballots and removing the witness signature requirement for absentee ballots during an emergency. Jones also advocated for bills to extend early voting, remove the requirement for an excuse for absentee voting, open up the polls for Sunday voting hours and opportunities for curbside voting, as well as make Election Day a state holiday.

    Jones is facing a challenge from Republican Hahns Copeland, a Navy veteran, and civil engineer. Copeland opposes criminal justice reforms such as ending qualified immunity and cash bail. He is against efforts to repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law, which prevents workers from forming unions and opposes giving workers collective bargaining rights. Copeland also opposes keeping communities safe by passing common-sense gun violence prevention measures.

    Due to his support of criminal justice reform, access to affordable healthcare, the environment, and expanding access to voting, Delegate Jay Jones is the most progressive choice in this race.
    Last updated: 2021-09-15

    Jerrauld “Jay” Jones

    Incumbent Delegate Jay Jones was elected to represent the 89th District in 2017. A native of Norfolk, his family has a history of political involvement in Virginia starting with his grandfather being the first Black member of the Virginia Board of Education.

    Incumbent Delegate Jay Jones was elected to represent the 89th District in 2017. A native of Norfolk, his family has a history of political involvement in Virginia starting with his grandfather being the first Black member of the Virginia Board of Education. Jones obtained his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from the University of Virginia. Jones practices law in Norfolk where he and his wife are active members of the community.

    Jones has consistently fought for criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth during his time as a delegate. Jones was a chief co-patron of the bill that abolished the death penalty in Virginia. He voted to hold police accountable by voting to end qualified immunity in Virginia, a practice that shields police from lawsuits for violating people’s civil rights. He supported expunging certain individuals’ criminal records to give them better access to housing, education, and jobs.

    Jones supports protecting the environment and tackling the climate crisis. He advocated for legislation that works to protect Virginia’s coastline and proposed infrastructural changes that would address the flooding and rising sea level of his district. In 2020, the delegate voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which commits the Commonwealth to 100% clean energy by 2050. He received an “A” rating from the Virginia Sierra Club on their 2021 legislative scorecard for his votes to protect the environment.

    Jones continues to make access to affordable healthcare a legislative priority. In 2018, he voted to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians. He voted to lower drug costs, voting to cap the price of insulin in 2020 and establish a state-run health insurance marketplace, which helps uninsured or underinsured residents who aren’t covered by an employer-provided health plan to get affordable coverage. He also supported legislation declaring racism a public health crisis in the Commonwealth.

    Jones supports making the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding access to the ballot. He voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls. He fought to keep voters safe during the pandemic by establishing drop boxes for ballots and removing the witness signature requirement for absentee ballots during an emergency. Jones also advocated for bills to extend early voting, remove the requirement for an excuse for absentee voting, open up the polls for Sunday voting hours and opportunities for curbside voting, as well as make Election Day a state holiday.

    Jones is facing a challenge from Republican Hahns Copeland, a Navy veteran, and civil engineer. Copeland opposes criminal justice reforms such as ending qualified immunity and cash bail. He is against efforts to repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law, which prevents workers from forming unions and opposes giving workers collective bargaining rights. Copeland also opposes keeping communities safe by passing common-sense gun violence prevention measures.

    Due to his support of criminal justice reform, access to affordable healthcare, the environment, and expanding access to voting, Delegate Jay Jones is the most progressive choice in this race.

    Jerrauld “Jay” Jones

    Incumbent Delegate Jay Jones was elected to represent the 89th District in 2017. A native of Norfolk, his family has a history of political involvement in Virginia starting with his grandfather being the first Black member of the Virginia Board of Education.

  • Incumbent Delegate Angelia Williams Graves has represented the 90th District since a special election in January 2021. Prior to her election, Del. Graves served on the Norfolk City Council for ten years and as vice mayor of Norfolk for three years. She attended Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University, graduating with a degree in business administration and marketing. She owns her own realty company and has two sons. She’s a member of Grove Baptist Church.

    In the General Assembly, Del. Williams Graves advocates for equitable criminal justice reform. She was chief patron of a bill to strengthen civilian oversight of sheriff’s offices, covering a loophole in previous bills and ensuring all law enforcement officers are held accountable. She introduced legislation to expand an individual’s access to a lawyer to include their first court appearance and bail hearing. She voted to legalize marijuana and wants to ensure that legalization is done equitably to support Black and Brown communities ravaged by the Drug War.

    Williams Graves supports making the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding access to the ballot. She was a chief co-patron of legislation that allows localities to expand access to early voting on Sundays. She fought to keep voters safe and healthy during the pandemic by removing the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots during an emergency and establishing dropboxes available for voters to leave their ballots. She voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls.

    Serving on the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee, Williams Graves advocates for environmental protection and understands the threat of rising sea levels to her district. She worked with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to ensure Virginia’s rivers and bays are clean and protected from polluters. She voted in favor of a bill that establishes new fuel efficiency standards and mandates car manufacturers produce a certain percentage of low- and zero-emission vehicles, supporting the Commonwealth’s transition to relying on 100% renewable energy.

    Williams Graves has also been an advocate for the rights of workers and tenants, ensuring everyone can afford to live and work in Virginia. She voted in favor of a successful bill to establish a housing tax credit for low-income individuals. She voted in favor of expanded legal protections from foreclosures for individuals living in mobile home parks. Williams Graves also received the “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” from the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy for her commitment to expanding options for childcare, eldercare, paid sick days, and family leave.

    Williams Graves is facing a challenge from Sylvia Bryant (R), a local mother and business administrator for a construction company. Bryant supports using taxpayer money to fund private education. She opposes a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and is against keeping our communities safe with common-sense measures to prevent gun violence.

    Due to her advocacy for equitable criminal justice reform, working families, the environment, and voting access, Del. Angelia Williams Graves is the most progressive choice for this race.

    Last updated: 2021-09-16

    Angelia Williams Graves

    Incumbent Delegate Angelia Williams Graves has represented the 90th District since a special election in January 2021. Prior to her election, Del. Graves served on the Norfolk City Council for ten years and as vice mayor of Norfolk for three years.

    Incumbent Delegate Angelia Williams Graves has represented the 90th District since a special election in January 2021. Prior to her election, Del. Graves served on the Norfolk City Council for ten years and as vice mayor of Norfolk for three years. She attended Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University, graduating with a degree in business administration and marketing. She owns her own realty company and has two sons. She’s a member of Grove Baptist Church.

    In the General Assembly, Del. Williams Graves advocates for equitable criminal justice reform. She was chief patron of a bill to strengthen civilian oversight of sheriff’s offices, covering a loophole in previous bills and ensuring all law enforcement officers are held accountable. She introduced legislation to expand an individual’s access to a lawyer to include their first court appearance and bail hearing. She voted to legalize marijuana and wants to ensure that legalization is done equitably to support Black and Brown communities ravaged by the Drug War.

    Williams Graves supports making the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding access to the ballot. She was a chief co-patron of legislation that allows localities to expand access to early voting on Sundays. She fought to keep voters safe and healthy during the pandemic by removing the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots during an emergency and establishing dropboxes available for voters to leave their ballots. She voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls.

    Serving on the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee, Williams Graves advocates for environmental protection and understands the threat of rising sea levels to her district. She worked with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to ensure Virginia’s rivers and bays are clean and protected from polluters. She voted in favor of a bill that establishes new fuel efficiency standards and mandates car manufacturers produce a certain percentage of low- and zero-emission vehicles, supporting the Commonwealth’s transition to relying on 100% renewable energy.

    Williams Graves has also been an advocate for the rights of workers and tenants, ensuring everyone can afford to live and work in Virginia. She voted in favor of a successful bill to establish a housing tax credit for low-income individuals. She voted in favor of expanded legal protections from foreclosures for individuals living in mobile home parks. Williams Graves also received the “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” from the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy for her commitment to expanding options for childcare, eldercare, paid sick days, and family leave.

    Williams Graves is facing a challenge from Sylvia Bryant (R), a local mother and business administrator for a construction company. Bryant supports using taxpayer money to fund private education. She opposes a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and is against keeping our communities safe with common-sense measures to prevent gun violence.

    Due to her advocacy for equitable criminal justice reform, working families, the environment, and voting access, Del. Angelia Williams Graves is the most progressive choice for this race.

    Angelia Williams Graves

    Incumbent Delegate Angelia Williams Graves has represented the 90th District since a special election in January 2021. Prior to her election, Del. Graves served on the Norfolk City Council for ten years and as vice mayor of Norfolk for three years.

  • Incumbent Delegate Martha Mugler was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2019. She is a native of Hampton and worked in higher education and banking. She spent 12 years on the Hampton School Board, serving as chair of the board for four years. She’s passionate about improving the lives of children and is involved with the Downtown Hampton Child Development Center Board and No Kid Hungry, among other organizations. She is also a proud mother and grandmother.

    Since her election, Mugler has voted for environmental protections and facilitated Virginia’s transition to relying on 100% renewable energy sources. She voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which facilitates Virginia’s power grid relying on renewable sources by 2050. To help with this process, Mugler was chief patron of a bill that established the Division of Offshore Wind to manage wind energy projects and established Hampton Roads as a location for future offshore wind generation. These projects will be critical to Virginia’s transition to renewable energy as well as create many new jobs in the wind industry.

    As a member of the House Education Committee, Mugler has fought for quality and well-funded education at all levels, from early childhood to higher education. She is proud of her work on the budget to increase teacher salaries, giving all teachers a 5% raise. She’s dedicated to ensuring that Virginia pays teachers more than the national average and believes that having competitive salaries will help the state recruit and retain high-quality educators. Mugler also worked to add $88 million dollars to the budget for early childhood education and expanded opportunities for financial aid for in-state college and university students.

    Additionally, Mugler wants to boost opportunities for working families. She voted to raise the minimum wage in 2020. She successfully patroned legislation to expand child care subsidies in the Commonwealth by doubling the income threshold for individuals eligible for subsidies and expanded it to individuals looking for work. Mugler received the “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” from the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy for her dedication to expanding options for paid family and medical leave.

    Mugler has also worked to increase access to affordable healthcare. She voted in favor of capping the price of insulin at $50. She voted for legislation to end surprise billing so that there is more transparency about medical costs. She supports expanded access to reproductive healthcare and voted in favor of requiring insurance companies to cover abortions. She voted to establish a state-run health insurance marketplace, which helps uninsured or underinsured residents who aren’t covered by an employer-provided health plan to get affordable coverage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she advocated for expanded protections for sick leave for healthcare workers.

    Mugler’s opponent is Republican A.C. Cordoza, an Air Force veteran who works in cybersecurity and serves as vice-chairman of the Hampton Republican Party. He opposes common-sense gun safety legislation and supports using taxpayer money to fund private education through school voucher programs. Cordoza does not believe that the rich and wealthy corporations that have benefitted from our communities should have to pay their fair share in taxes.

    Due to her support of the environment, public education, working families, and access to affordable healthcare, Delegate Martha Mugler is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 91st District.

    Last updated: 2021-09-16

    Martha Mugler

    Incumbent Delegate Martha Mugler was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2019. She is a native of Hampton and worked in higher education and banking. She spent 12 years on the Hampton School Board, serving as chair of the board for four years.

    Incumbent Delegate Martha Mugler was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2019. She is a native of Hampton and worked in higher education and banking. She spent 12 years on the Hampton School Board, serving as chair of the board for four years. She’s passionate about improving the lives of children and is involved with the Downtown Hampton Child Development Center Board and No Kid Hungry, among other organizations. She is also a proud mother and grandmother.

    Since her election, Mugler has voted for environmental protections and facilitated Virginia’s transition to relying on 100% renewable energy sources. She voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which facilitates Virginia’s power grid relying on renewable sources by 2050. To help with this process, Mugler was chief patron of a bill that established the Division of Offshore Wind to manage wind energy projects and established Hampton Roads as a location for future offshore wind generation. These projects will be critical to Virginia’s transition to renewable energy as well as create many new jobs in the wind industry.

    As a member of the House Education Committee, Mugler has fought for quality and well-funded education at all levels, from early childhood to higher education. She is proud of her work on the budget to increase teacher salaries, giving all teachers a 5% raise. She’s dedicated to ensuring that Virginia pays teachers more than the national average and believes that having competitive salaries will help the state recruit and retain high-quality educators. Mugler also worked to add $88 million dollars to the budget for early childhood education and expanded opportunities for financial aid for in-state college and university students.

    Additionally, Mugler wants to boost opportunities for working families. She voted to raise the minimum wage in 2020. She successfully patroned legislation to expand child care subsidies in the Commonwealth by doubling the income threshold for individuals eligible for subsidies and expanded it to individuals looking for work. Mugler received the “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” from the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy for her dedication to expanding options for paid family and medical leave.

    Mugler has also worked to increase access to affordable healthcare. She voted in favor of capping the price of insulin at $50. She voted for legislation to end surprise billing so that there is more transparency about medical costs. She supports expanded access to reproductive healthcare and voted in favor of requiring insurance companies to cover abortions. She voted to establish a state-run health insurance marketplace, which helps uninsured or underinsured residents who aren’t covered by an employer-provided health plan to get affordable coverage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she advocated for expanded protections for sick leave for healthcare workers.

    Mugler’s opponent is Republican A.C. Cordoza, an Air Force veteran who works in cybersecurity and serves as vice-chairman of the Hampton Republican Party. He opposes common-sense gun safety legislation and supports using taxpayer money to fund private education through school voucher programs. Cordoza does not believe that the rich and wealthy corporations that have benefitted from our communities should have to pay their fair share in taxes.

    Due to her support of the environment, public education, working families, and access to affordable healthcare, Delegate Martha Mugler is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 91st District.

    Martha Mugler

    Incumbent Delegate Martha Mugler was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2019. She is a native of Hampton and worked in higher education and banking. She spent 12 years on the Hampton School Board, serving as chair of the board for four years.

  • Incumbent Delegate Jeion Ward has represented the 92nd District since 2004. A native of Hampton Roads, she attended Thomas Nelson Community College before graduating from Christopher Newport University. She became a teacher and is the president of the Hampton Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 4260. She is active in the Hampton Branch NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Hampton Democratic Committee. She is married to her high school sweetheart with whom she has three sons.

    Ward is a strong advocate for working families and serves as chair of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. She successfully sponsored legislation to raise Virginia’s minimum wage in 2020. She fought the following year to remove a Jim Crow-era exemption that bars farmworkers from earning the minimum wage but was unsuccessful. Ward supports the right of workers to form unions and voted for legislation to allow municipal employees to collectively bargain. She also wants to repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law.

    Ward voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which will facilitate Virginia’s transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. She also supported the creation of new emission standards for cars and requiring car manufacturers to produce a certain percentage of low- and zero-emission vehicles. She voted in favor of the creation of a rebate for individuals who purchase electric vehicles, incentivizing the use of efficient transportation. Additionally, she is working on expanding the state’s vehicle charging infrastructure.

    As a middle school teacher, Ward believes in the importance of a well-funded education system. She voted for 5% raises for teachers, which she sees as a critical step for addressing the teacher shortage in Hampton and statewide. She supports increasing funding to allow for smaller class sizes, particularly for younger students who benefit from more teacher-student interaction. She also voted for additional funding for schools so they can reopen safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Ward wants to keep communities safe with common-sense measures to prevent gun violence. She was chief patron of a successful bill to establish a one-handgun-per-month purchase limit. She also supported universal background checks and the right of localities to regulate the possession of firearms, along with other gun violence prevention legislation passed in 2020. She voted in favor of abolishing the death penalty in Virginia and for the legalization of marijuana.

    Ward is facing a challenge from Republican Benjamin Siff. He opposes a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and the Virginia Clean Economy Act. Siff supports using taxpayer money to fund private education through school voucher programs. He also opposes policies to make our public schools welcoming and inclusive places.

    Due to her support of working families, the environment, gun violence prevention, and public education, Delegate Jeion Ward is the most progressive choice in this race for the 92nd District.

    Last updated: 2021-09-16

    Jeion Ward

    Incumbent Delegate Jeion Ward has represented the 92nd District since 2004. A native of Hampton Roads, she attended Thomas Nelson Community College before graduating from Christopher Newport University.

    Incumbent Delegate Jeion Ward has represented the 92nd District since 2004. A native of Hampton Roads, she attended Thomas Nelson Community College before graduating from Christopher Newport University. She became a teacher and is the president of the Hampton Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 4260. She is active in the Hampton Branch NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Hampton Democratic Committee. She is married to her high school sweetheart with whom she has three sons.

    Ward is a strong advocate for working families and serves as chair of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. She successfully sponsored legislation to raise Virginia’s minimum wage in 2020. She fought the following year to remove a Jim Crow-era exemption that bars farmworkers from earning the minimum wage but was unsuccessful. Ward supports the right of workers to form unions and voted for legislation to allow municipal employees to collectively bargain. She also wants to repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law.

    Ward voted in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which will facilitate Virginia’s transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. She also supported the creation of new emission standards for cars and requiring car manufacturers to produce a certain percentage of low- and zero-emission vehicles. She voted in favor of the creation of a rebate for individuals who purchase electric vehicles, incentivizing the use of efficient transportation. Additionally, she is working on expanding the state’s vehicle charging infrastructure.

    As a middle school teacher, Ward believes in the importance of a well-funded education system. She voted for 5% raises for teachers, which she sees as a critical step for addressing the teacher shortage in Hampton and statewide. She supports increasing funding to allow for smaller class sizes, particularly for younger students who benefit from more teacher-student interaction. She also voted for additional funding for schools so they can reopen safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Ward wants to keep communities safe with common-sense measures to prevent gun violence. She was chief patron of a successful bill to establish a one-handgun-per-month purchase limit. She also supported universal background checks and the right of localities to regulate the possession of firearms, along with other gun violence prevention legislation passed in 2020. She voted in favor of abolishing the death penalty in Virginia and for the legalization of marijuana.

    Ward is facing a challenge from Republican Benjamin Siff. He opposes a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent and the Virginia Clean Economy Act. Siff supports using taxpayer money to fund private education through school voucher programs. He also opposes policies to make our public schools welcoming and inclusive places.

    Due to her support of working families, the environment, gun violence prevention, and public education, Delegate Jeion Ward is the most progressive choice in this race for the 92nd District.

    Jeion Ward

    Incumbent Delegate Jeion Ward has represented the 92nd District since 2004. A native of Hampton Roads, she attended Thomas Nelson Community College before graduating from Christopher Newport University.

  • 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.