Incumbent Congressman Don Beyer (D), was born to a military family in the Free Territory of Trieste. He is the grandson of Clara Mortenson Beyer, who helped implement the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Don Beyer chairs Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, as well as the Space Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He is also a member of the New Democrat Coaltion’s Climate Change Task Force and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Megan.
Beyer considers the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a serious threat to reproductive freedom and a denial of fundamental human rights. He believes that bodily autonomy is integral to gender equality. The congressman believes that abortion is health care and access to abortion is key to economic freedom. He also points to systemic racial inequities that have led to disparities, specifically with the Black maternal mortality rate. He has consistently voted in favor of abortion access legislation and co-sponsored the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.
Beyer recognizes the impact of generations of injustices towards Black and Brown communities. He voted twice for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which included his legislation with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, requiring federal officers to use body and dashboard cameras. He considers himself a “strong proponent of criminal justice reform” and believes racial justice must be addressed in all legislation, including environmental justice, health care, criminal justice reform, and education. He opposes the death penalty and supports legalizing cannabis. Last year, he pushed to end Arlington House’s designation as a memorial to Robert E. Lee.
Gun violence prevention is a major priority for Beyer, who believes that weapons of war do not belong in American communities. He co-sponsored the Protecting Our Kids Act, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021. He also voted for both the Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. Beyer also voted for legislation to close the Charleston loophole and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which closed the “boyfriend loophole.”
Beyer supports comprehensive immigration reform with a humane approach that treats people with dignity. He views Trump’s treatment of immigrants and refugees as racist and a national embarrassment. He voted for the American Dream Act of 2021, which allowed DREAMERs to get lawful permanent resident status for 10 years. Additionally, he helped pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act and the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act.
Beyer’s opponent is Karina Lipsman (R), who spent over a decade in defense and intelligence. She considers calls to defund the police as hurtful to communities. In response to restoring trust in the government, she stated, “Fauci should be jailed.” She blames illegal immigration for the rate of drug overdoses.
Due to his record of supporting abortion access, criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, and comprehensive immigration reform, Don Beyer is the more progressive candidate for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.