Virginia’s 2nd District covers a large portion of Hampton Roads, including the entirety of the cities of Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Franklin, as well as Isle of Wight County, Accomack County, Northampton County, and parts of Chesapeake and Southampton County. The district has changed hands several times since 2008 at all levels and is considered one of Virginia’s most competitive congressional districts. Luria won the seat with 51.55% of the vote in 2020.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D), a US Navy veteran who was first elected in 2018, faces State Senator Jen Kiggans (R), a former geriatric nurse practitioner and retired US Navy veteran. Kiggans has served in the Virginia State Senate since 2020.
Democratic incumbent Representative Elaine Luria has served Virginia’s Second District since 2019. She is a 20-year Navy veteran who served as a Surface Warfare Officer and nuclear engineer. She was one of the first women to attend the Naval Nuclear Power School. In 2013, she started a family business, Mermaid Factory, which created jobs and added over $250,000 to Hampton Roads’ economy. She currently serves on the House Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Luria is a staunch advocate for clean air and water, as well as access to natural environments. She introduced the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation for $85 million to fund clean up of the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, she spoke out against offshore drilling, and in 2020, cosponsored the Great American Outdoors Act. Earlier this year, she introduced legislation that would authorize a study to designate Coastal Virginia as a National Heritage Area.
Access to quality and affordable healthcare is a top priority for Luria. She supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act and works to lower prescription drug prices. In early 2022, Luria advanced legislation supporting health care access to veterans with certain illnesses as a result of burn pits. She also pushed TRICARE to increase access to free COVID tests to service members and military families. Luria criticized the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, as well as Governor Youngkin’s plan to change abortion laws in Virginia.
Luria is a gun safety advocate who believes in commonsense measures to keep people safe from gun violence. She supports universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers, with certain exceptions. She cosponsored the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would prohibit the possession or transfer of large-capacity ammunition magazines, a common weapon used in mass shootings. Similarly, Luria cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, which prohibited the importation, sale, or transfer of semiautomatic weapons.
Racial equity is important to Luria, and she believes that systemic racism must be holistically addressed. She voted in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which dealt with law enforcement accountability for misconduct and would restrict certain practices. She also supported the No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act. With the hope of fixing the Black maternal mortality crisis, Luria supported the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. To address racial equity in education, she secured $10 million for Historic Preservation Grants for HBCUs.
Luria is running against nurse practitioner, Navy veteran, and Virginia State Senator Jen Kiggans (R). This past session, Kiggans introduced legislation attempting to bar trans girls from playing school sports. She also patroned legislation aiming to ban the teaching of accurate history in public schools. She applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the moment a chance to “stand against the extremist Democrat policies…”
Due to Kiggans’ extreme views on abortion access and trans rights and her lack of support for public education, Congresswoman Luria is the most progressive candidate in this race.
City District Races
Depending on where you live, you may have the following district races on your ballot.
Melissa Saarijarvi Peck is running against Republican candidate Rocky Holcomb.
Republican incumbent Rocky Holcomb III served in the House of Delegates from 2017 to 2018. Holcomb obtained his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management from Regent University. His professional experience includes serving as a captain in the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. He has served in the United States Marine Corps. Holcomb’s campaign pushes to fight for middle class families as well as addressing the needs of the police force, ensuring they have the tools and training to protect.
Due to lack of information on the candidates, we are unable to make a recommendation for this race.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 2 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. Elaine Fekete (I), Nanette Miller (R), Michael Mauch (I), Paul Telkamp (I) will face incumbent Barbara Henley (I), who has served on city council since 2006. She previously served from 1978-1990, and again from 1994-2002. Henley currently holds the Virginia Beach City Council Princess Anne District seat.Incumbent Barbara Henley has served on City Council since 2006 and two years as vice mayor. Henley is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in urban studies. Henley is president of the Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society and serves as the City Council liaison to several organizations. She aims to “address flooding and restarting the city open space program and ensuring the city makes progress on the flooding prevention projects funded this past year.”
Henley also advocates for prompt COVID-19 response. In response to the COVID-19 vaccination availability Henley expressed the need for urgency when making vaccinations available to the public declaring that “the city needs to do whatever possible to prioritize vaccination distribution.” Henley also pressed for answers on the delay of vaccination availability, comparing Virginia Beach’s delay to cities that were already in the next phase of their treatments.
Henley is also running to improve the flooding conditions in Virginia Beach. Concerned about the severe flooding, she proposed a plan in order to combat the negative effects of flooding. Using a trees’ ability to act like a pump — capturing, storing and removing water from the environment, Henley suggested researching which existing forests are integral to prevent flooding and where strategic reforestation would provide the most benefits all in an effort to examine how forests could help with an issue that's plaguing the southern, rural part of the city.
Also on Henley’s campaign agenda is economic development and infrastructure. Henley was among the city council members to approve a new city council vision and worked with coordinators to create a master plan for future development in the Princess Anne area. The vision included mixing residential units and businesses among government buildings to diversify the area and make it more pedestrian-friendly while also offering shopping, restaurants, apartments, hotels and entertainment.
Lastly, Councilwoman Henley promotes city parks and recreation. Henley voted in favor of the construction of the Pungo Ferry Landing Park. She expressed interest in getting volunteers together to do an archaeological dig at the park, as it was a major crossing for Native Americans who lived in the area. Updates included a paved parking lot where Captain George's restaurant once stood, renovating the boat ramp, adding a walkway and fencing near the ramp and creating an informal kayak launch.
Henley is running against the following candidates: Paul Telkamp, Nanette Miller, Michael Mauch, and Elaine Fekete.
Paul Telkamp, (I) was a previous candidate for the At-large school board race. We are unable to find information on this candidate’s policies for this school board election at this time.
Republican candidate Nanette Miller currently serves as Vice-Chairwoman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party and helped Governor Youngkin win his election this past November. She has an extensive military history and reached the rank of Commander in the US Navy. Miller has a Master's degree in American Government from Regent University. Miller’s priority issues include underfunding crucial programs by lowering taxes and promoting second amendment rights.
A Virginia Beach native, first time Independent candidate, Michael Mauch is running for city council to protect agricultural resources. He plans to strengthen communities as well, ironically by allocating more money to police, despite their history of violence crimes and cover-ups towards those they are sworn to protect. Mauch also supports developing economic growth to keep Virginia graduates in Virginia. Mauch is currently the Vice President of the Atlantic Avenue Association, and the treasurer of the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association.
Independent candidate Elaine Fekete advocates for flooding solutions, lowering taxes and fees, and support for education and public safety. Fekete also pledges to campaign for transparency and accountability. An experienced realtor, Fekete started her advocacy fighting to preserve vacation renting in Sandbridge Beach. If elected as a member of city council, this first time candidate's first order of business will be “asking for relief on the city's prepared food/restaurant tax,” which would mean fewer services will be available for those who are most vulnerable.
The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 2 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. Amy L. Solares (R) and Alexis Cristy Gerdes (I) will face incumbent Kim Melnyk (D). Melnyk has served on the school board since 2015, and is the current vice chair of the Virginia Beach City School Board and holds the District 7 Princess Anne seat.
Residing in Virginia Beach for over forty years, Democratic incumbent Kim Melnyk is running for reelection to the school board. She believes her experience as a school board member and educator will aid her in advocating for making education a top priority. Melnyk wants to raise teacher pay and provide funding for necessary resources and services for our students. Melnyk intends to fully fund education, address students mental health, and invest in our working families.
Kim Melnyk is passionate about protecting children’s education while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. While Melnyk’s efforts to provide Virginia Beach students with Chromebooks before the closing of schools was a success, she is still concerned with other disparities that plague student learning remotely. She previously built and delivered over 2,000 desks to students in the community who did not have a place to do their school work. She stresses the need to provide access to broadband internet for the whole Commonwealth and continue to make investments in public education so we can improve our schools.
Melnyk, who was a teacher for ten years, is an advocate for teachers. She believes we need someone who believes in public schools and will protect them to serve on school boards. Melnyk campaigned this year to continue her efforts to raise teacher pay and provide school funding for necessary resources and services for the students of Virginia Beach.
Melnyk also advocates for resources that promote positive mental health in the lives of Virginia Beach students and to raise funding for services that support student individual development as well as their learning capabilities. Additionally, Melnyk uses her platform to fight for special education and full-day kindergarten.
Melnyk has been directly impacted by gun violence and supports keeping schools 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 is running against Amy Solores and Alexis Gerdes.
Republican Amy L. Solares has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida State University and a Juris Doctor from Widener University. Frustrated with Virginia Beach’s decision to keep schools closed as a result of COVID, Solares decided to run. We can’t recommend a candidate who would not prioritize student and teacher safety during a global pandemic.
Independent candidate Alexis Gerdes is a military wife and mother of three who wants to see students grow “academically, physically and emotionally for a prosperous future.” Gerdes believes parents should dictate curriculum and teachers shouldn’t be able to teach accurate history in schools. She also wants to bring cops back into schools, which has shown to make schools less safe for students of color.
Kim Melnyk is the most progressive choice for District 2 due to her advocacy of children's mental health and education andher prioritization of teacher needs.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 4 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. Amelia Ross-Hammond (I) is running unopposed.Incumbent Amelia Ross-Hammond is a former Kempsville member of the Virginia Beach City Council, elected to the council in 2012. Her education includes a Ph.D. in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver. Founder & Chairman of the Virginia African American Cultural Center, Ross-Hammond also chairs the Mayor’s Inclusion Diversity, Equity and Accessibility and is an Appointee to the Hampton Roads Transit Commission. Her priorities are school funding, revitalizing public transportation, improving affordable housing options, and public safety.
Ross-Hammond will use her platform to prioritize public transportation. She believes work should be done to revitalize regional transportation and make public transit more rider-centered and accessible. She aims to make the transportation system stronger and more diverse in its options for the Virginia Beach citizens who depend upon it. A light-rail supporter, Dr. Ross-Hammond insists work must be done to improve the public transit system and make it more “rider-centric.”
Public safety is another topic of concern for Democrat Ross-Hammond, who wants to expedite the recruitment, training and maintaining high quality public safety officers to make our streets safe. As the Founder and Chairman of the Virginia African American Cultural Center and Mayor’s Inclusion Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Program, Ross-Hammond is running to support racial justice and serves as an Inaugural Chair of the Mayor’s IDEA Commission to restore and grow trust and faith in local government and police in Virginia Beach.
On the subject of economic growth, this candidate endeavors to train our workforce for high-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing, STEM, and green energy. Dr. Ross-Hammond supports trade and vocational opportunities. She would also support workforce development to work with the offshore wind industry. Offshore wind issues are anticipated to make a significant economic impact in Virginia Beach in the coming years and the demand for these occupations could contribute in economic growth.
Dr. Ross-Hammond highlights the need to focus on housing in her campaign. She commits to improve access to quality, affordable housing options. Ross-Hammond previously worked alongside the Housing Department to gather support for the development of the Homeless Shelter Crescent Square on Diamond Street Road. She also promises to increase services for senior citizens, veterans, and military families of Virginia Beach like the Senior Center Complex she worked to build with Councilman Jones to service the needs of the community.
Running unopposed in District 4, Amelia Ross-Hammond is the most a progressive choice for this year’s election due to her commitment to improve affordable housing, promote economic growth through workforce training, increase public safety and prioritize public transportation.
The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 4 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. Kenneth Richard Lubeck (I) and Staci Martin (I) will compete for the District 4 seat.
Staci Martin is an Independent candidate who obtained an undergraduate degree at Radford University and a Master of Arts in English at Old Dominion University. Her platform consists of wanting to look at bus routes and compensation for all school personnel, including bus drivers. She also wants to address school infrastructure and expand opportunities for trades and technology education in an effort to keep students from acquiring debt.
Martin’s platform starts by addressing school infrastructure. Personally affected by the failing school infrastructure, Staci's daughter experienced severe episodes of asthma and hives during high school. She pledges to tackle this issue with minimal impact to students by ensuring that school reconstruction stays on track.
Martin’s campaign is also run on the foundation of student and teacher wellness. Martin advocates that both students and teachers need resources to support their mental and physical wellbeing. Marit’s solution is to increase the student to counselor ratio, enabling students to feel like their issues matter. She also prioritizes paying teachers and staff what they deserve, ensuring a high quality of life.
Staci is also an advocate for accurate history telling in our public schools. She understands that America is a diverse nation striving for truth, justice, and liberty for all while also recognizing the importance of teaching students about the injustices and truths of the past in an effort to make a just future. She is also against book banning, believing that while parents do have the right and ability to choose what their children read, they do not have the right to choose what other children read.
Staci is running against Richard Lubeck.
Richard “Ken” Lubeck served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted corpsman and earned a graduate degree in theology from Regent University. He has worked as an information technology professional and has a history of working with at-risk youth. Lubeck is running his campaign on issues such as “parent rights” which is code for being against accommodations for trans kids and social emotional learning in the classroom.
We recommend Staci Martin as a candidate for this race due to her prioritization of addressing school infrastructure and expansion of educational opportunities for students.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 6 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. Richard Kowalewitch (R), Cat Porterfield (I), and Worth Remick (I) will face incumbent Linwood Branch (R). Branch previously served on city council from 1992-2002, and was appointed to serve again in 2021. He currently holds the Virginia Beach City Council Lynnhaven District seat.Worth Remick is an Independent candidate who works as a licensed realtor for over thirty years. Remick earned a bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College and is a member on several community boards including the Board of Directors for the Virginia African American Cultural Center and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation. Remick’s political priorities are few but include creating high paying jobs, diversifying the economy and “making Virginia Beach a place where our children can live, work and play.” Not much information was found on his policy points.
Worth Remick is campaigning against candidates Richard Kowalewitch, Linwood Branch, and Cat Porterfield.
Small business owner Richard Kowalewitch campaigns as a Republican candidate in this year’s race. Passionate about exposing corruption in office, Kowalewitch previously ran for Virginia Beach Mayor in 2020. He aided in trying to change the Virginia Code 3100 Section from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class 5 Felony and helped to orchestrate the fight against light rail. With his platform Kowalewitch plans to repair the stormwater infrastructure, fix Virginia Beach spending, and fully staff the police department.
Republican candidate Linwood Branch served as a member of the Virginia Beach city council from 1992 to 2002. Branch also performed as a commissioner for the Virginia Beach Development Authority. Branch works as a business owner and serves in several community organizations, such as the Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tax. Branch’s mission is to prioritize public safety, commit to flooding mitigation projects, pursue economic growth, and increase public engagement.
Cat Porterfield is a former journalist and current podcast co-host running as an Independent in this year’s race. Inspired to run after seeing citizens attempt to communicate with elected leaders about struggles, Porterfield aims to center the public, listening to their solutions to issues impacting Virginia Beach. She prioritizes the flooding issues, planning to urge the city to stop developing wetlands, prevent development that diverts water to neighboring properties and avoid sacrificing old growth trees.
Worth Remick is the progressive choice for District 6 because of his dedication to creating high paying jobs and diversifying the economy.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 8 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. Rona Marsh (R), Chris Taylor (R), and John Andrews (I) will compete for the District 8 seat. Former mayor and city council incumbent, Louis Jones (I), known as Mr. Bayside, was also campaigning for the District 8 seat until he passed away in June 2022.John Andrews is an awarded US Navy Veteran running as an Independent candidate for City Council. Andrews currently serves as the Vice President of the Chelsea Waterway Association. He wants to grow the Virginia Beach economy by increasing jobs and promoting small businesses. Andrews also plans to strengthen the public school system by providing resources to the students and support for the teachers. Unfortunately, this is all the information we could find on this candidate.
Andrews is running against Rona Marsh and Chris Taylor.
Rona Marsh, a Republican candidate for City Council, promises to, “get on that council and get them to be financially responsible.” Marsh has led a 35 year career in finance and pledges to represent the community. Her platform prioritizes tax relief and financial transparency. Marsh does not have much information surrounding her politics.
Chris Taylor is a Republican candidate and business owner who bases his platform off of the basis of community, civility, and collaboration. He prioritizes issues such as public safety, public education support for students' parents as well as teachers. Mental and public health is a priority for Taylor in addition to providing more tax cuts and resources for economic development for small businesses. Taylor supports working to support the police department despite their violence toward the people they are sworn to protect.
Due to his pledge to increase economic growth and strengthen the public school system by way of increasing student resources and increasing teacher pay John Andrews is the most progressive choice for this race.
The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 8 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. David Cannon Culpepper (R) will face incumbent Carolyn Rye (I). Rye has served on the school board since 2015, and is the current chair of the Virginia Beach City School Board and holds the District 5 Lynnhaven seat.
Carolyn Rye is an Independent incumbent who was elected in November 2014. She has an extensive background in education as a private mathematics tutor and secondary school classroom teacher. She served on the PTA Boards of Lynnhaven Middle, Kingston Elementary, Kemps Landing Magnet and Ocean Lakes High School, and is a two-time PTA president at both the elementary and high school levels. Rye advocates for students making their voices heard, employee compensation, school counselor allocations, and special education supports.
Carolyn Rye prioritizes public school safety. When addressing the concerns of the community regarding mass shootings, Rye, also a mother, was in favor of the utilization of a school buzzer system, in which front doors are locked and staff can inspect visitors before buzzing them into the building. Acknowledging that “nervousness has increased as school shootings around the country have continued,” Rye believes that the new buzzer system is a proactive attempt to keep a potential shooter out of a school while not a guaranteed solution.
Rye believes special needs education should be a top priority for our schools. Rye currently promotes the five year plan the school board created in order to increase the special needs education programs, which includes better training for all staff. Additionally, Rye also advocates for the Virginia Beach public school’s music education program.
Carolyn Rye also advocates for increased employee compensation and input. Rye supports the Compensation Study commissioned by VBCPS and looks forward to the report and recommendations this fall. She is currently concerned about the persistent salary stagnation and salary compression issues and will be working towards resolving that if re-elected. She also wants to address other concerns such as teacher workload and student behaviors.
An advocate for student mental health wellness, Rye fought for the 12 additional high school counselor positions included in the 2018 Operating Budget. This resulted in an average caseload reduction of 50 students and allowed more counselor time to establish quality relationships with their students.
As a liaison to the School Board Health Advisory Committee, Rye has supported the increased behavioral and mental health support staff positions added in recent budgets.
Rye is running against David Culpepper. David Cannon Culpepper is a Republican candidate who works as a commercial pilot in Little Neck, Virginia. Culpepper was inspired to run due to his disapproval of the district's decision to keep students out of school and the mask mandates put in place for the student protection against the COVID-19 virus.
Due to her prioritization of student mental health, school safety, special needs education resources and COVID-19 safety, Carolyn Rye is the most progressive choice for this year’s race.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 9 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. TJ Morgan (R) and Joshua F. Schulmann (I) will face incumbent John D. Moss (I). Moss has served on city council since 2011, and currently holds a Virginia Beach City Council At-Large seat.Independent candidate Joash Schulman is a real estate and business attorney who serves as the managing partner of Town Center Office Suites. Additionally, he is a Regional Board Member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. This candidate serves as the Chair of the Virginia Beach Wetlands Board, Vice President of Virginia Beach Vision, and Secretary of the Central Business District Association of Virginia Beach. He stands for building a resilient coastal community, economic and workforce growth, and strengthening public schools.
Joash Schulman is running to increase the economic growth opportunities in Virginia Beach. He advocates for a simpler permit process to make starting small businesses easier to navigate. Additionally, Schulman proposes providing more business mentorship opportunities. Promoting equality in the workforce, he suggests training programs and pathways for small, women-owned and people of color-owned businesses. Schulman believes that Virginia is on the verge of economic prosperity, stating that, “with major initiatives underway like offshore wind and our regional broadband network, Virginia Beach can lead the region in tomorrow’s economy.”
Schulman’s platform is also based on strengthening public schools. As a member of the Central Business District Association, Schulman has done work to develop volunteer mentoring opportunities in the classroom and establish a scholarship program for exceptional seniors at Princess Anne High School who want to stay, or return and contribute, in Virginia Beach after graduation. He also prioritizes maintaining and/or replacing school infrastructure, investing in technology, and recruiting, retaining and rewarding quality teachers and administrators.
Building a resilient coastal community is another one of Schulman’s priorities. While serving as Chair of the Virginia Beach Wetlands Board, Schulman oversaw a net gain in vegetated wetlands and approved critical shoreline stabilization projects such as sand replenishment for locations at Chic’s Beach, the oceanfront, and Sandbridge Beach. He suggests planting trees to combat flooding, coastal erosion, and increase the quality of water and air.
Joash Schulman is running against TJ Morgan and John Moss.
Republican TJ Morgan owns and operates Morgan Wellness Center in addition to serving as President Chesapeake Beach Civic League and the Vice President Chesapeake Beach Civic League. Morgan stands for the promotion of small businesses, as well as a well-funded law enforcement, despite their current funding being over three million dollars and no accountability or repercussions for their crimes against Virginia Beach citizens.
Elected to City Council in 2011, John D. Moss is a retired Naval soldier with a forty-year military history. His education includes degrees from Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech. Moss pledges to bring attention to detail, a commitment to transparency and integrity to the office of city council as well as advocate for the everyday taxpayers of Virginia Beach. Additionally Moss supports “increasing capital investments in public safety to promote innovation to more effectively deploy our public safety officers."
Due to his support for strengthening public schools, his plan for increasing economic growth through small business, and his plan to address flooding issues and build a resilient coastal community, Joash Schulman is the progressive choice in this race.
The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 9 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. Erika D. Guess (I) will face incumbent Carolyn Weems (R). Weems has served on the school board since 2009, and currently holds the Virginia Beach City School Board District 4 Bayside seat.
Ericka D. Guess is a parent and a Virginia Beach City Public Schools graduate who is running as an Independent candidate in this year’s school board election. Guess has lived in Virginia Beach all her life and suggests that her background in the nonprofit sector “gives [her] a unique perspective in serving the public, solving problems, and being a responsible steward of public funds.” Guess promotes teacher retention, school safety, and arts support.
Ericka Guess wants to prioritize teachers. She advocates for better teacher retention and wants to create more reasons for our current teachers to stay while also appealing to the next generation of educators. Guess also advocates for all school staff, not just teachers. In response to VBCPS School Board’s proposal to provide an additional 1% cost-of-living wage increase to teachers, Guess proposed, instead, that the 1% cost-of-living raise be distributed to all staff, including bus drivers, nurses, counselors, cafeteria staff, custodians, and others.
Guess is against the new Virginia Beach school board proposal to limit the number of speakers at future school board meetings, advocating for more communication from the community. She believes allowing speakers at school board meetings is “an important part of the democratic process.”
Guess promotes equity, believing that it “fosters understanding and enriches the educational experience for all.” Additionally, she stands for allocating funding for both the arts and media literacy. “A foundation in the arts prepares students for life beyond school. Well-informed students are the next generation of leaders.” Guess also promotes local art opportunities on her social media page, encouraging her followers to participate.
Lastly, Guess is running to promote school safety. Guess believes we need to create safer spaces for students by creating proactive gun violence prevention policies. In an interview for her candidacy, Guess noted she did not believe teachers should be expected to do the jobs of law enforcement.
Guess is running against Carolyn Weems.
Incumbent Carolyn Weems is a Republican candidate running for reelection. Weems, a graduate of Clemson University, has served on the Virginia Beach school board since 2002. In addition to teaching and coaching at Old Dominion University, Weems, an advocate for protecting children from the threat of drug addiction, founded a nonprofit called Caitlyn’s Halo which provides a community group and a speaking program that presents anti-drug talks in schools. Weems considers herself a"consistent conservative" and opposes the current school grading system believing “the change in grading practices has caused much more work for teachers and diminished student accountability.”
Because of her prioritization of community input in schools, focus on teacher retention, and emphasis on gun violence prevention, Erika Guess is the progressive choice for this year’s school board election.
The election for Virginia Beach City Council District 10 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, Virginia Beach City Council had seven residential district seats and four at-large seats. This is the first city council election with ten residential districts. Heidi Daniels (R) and Jennifer Rouse (I) will compete for the District 10 seat.An assistant professor of sociology at the Virginia Beach campus of Tidewater Community College for the past ten years, Jennifer Rouse is running as an Independent candidate in this year's city council race. Eager to impact more than just the students she teaches, Rouse promises to listen to the needs and interests of the community and speak to those issues. Rouse focuses her campaign on strengthening educational opportunities, as well as workforce development and affordable housing.
Candidate Rouse is an advocate for building coastal resiliency and improving stormwater management. Acknowledging the sea-level rise forecast and its effect on the community, Rouse strives to work alongside local federal and state workers to address this threat. She plans on using the 2021 bond referendum to rectify problems in the current stormwater management systems.
Rouse believes in people-powered, citizen-led government. As an elected official, she prioritizes transparency and accountability. She strives to engage and inform the community. Also an advocate of community members being engaged with local government, Rouse stands on letting the community decide how city Council members are elected.
Lastly Rouse stands on increasing affordable housing options and improving the economy. With the acknowledgment that District 10 is lacking in terms of affordable housing options, Rouse aims to provide quality affordable housing options across the city. In order to improve the economy, Rouse suggests assisting those leaving the military transition into civilian life with workforce training and career resources so they can thrive in the local economy.
Jennifer Rouse is running against Heidi Daniels.
Republican Heidi Daniels is a US Marine Corps veteran and former police officer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She currently manages the Green Run Homeowners Association, in the community she’s resided for 22 years, serving 16,000 residents. Daniels campaigns to “address public safety” in Virginia Beach by raising money for the police department despite their violent crimes against several members of the community. She also aims to aid small businesses in creating more job opportunities and ensuring that education is not a partisan issue.
Jennifer Rouse is the progressive candidate for this race due to her focus on strengthening educational opportunities, as well as workforce development and affordable housing.
The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 10 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. Kim Antonio Bentley II (I) and Kathleen J. Brown (I) will compete for the District 10 seat.
Kim Antonio Bentley (I) is a single father and president of Green Run Homes Association. Bentley says that he will bring the qualities of energy, integrity, and objectivity to the school board. Bentley is concerned about recent curriculum challenges and advocates for the correct teaching of history in schools. His campaign is centered on post graduation pathways, teacher retention, and improving infrastructure.
Kim Bentley is aware of the teacher concerns in Virginia Beach and promises to address them. Bentley prioritizes hiring and retaining qualified teachers, advocating for them on his social media platforms. A supporter of unions, Bentely speaks for change to the material conditions of Virginia Beach City Public School’s faculty and staff, helping them with their collective bargaining efforts to get teachers the support and compensation they deserve.
Bentley makes local academics a priority for his campaign. As a Black American, Bentley is concerned about recent curriculum challenges that seek to limit what children can learn, believing that children can’t get a quality education by avoiding the truth of our complex history. Bentley is also in support of post graduation pathways, expressing the need to support “whether [students] decide to enroll, employ, enlist, or explore, we need to ensure that students are prepared for success after they graduate, whatever path they choose.”
Improving school infrastructure is an additional issue in the campaign. Bentley believes that addressing the problems that come with aging school buildings is just as important as building new school facilities to create spaces where students can thrive. Bentley’s social media pages showcase his advocacy for improving the condition of the schools. He says that in order to ensure consistency of quality education throughout the city, we must implement improvements to the school infrastructure.
Lastly, Kim Bentley supports ensuring Virginia Beach school systems are at the forefront of technology. With a twenty year history of working in tech, Kim wishes to streamline parent communications through thoughtful and efficient technology use.
Kim Bentley is running against Kathleen Brown.
Independent Kathleen Brown is a wife, mother of four, and a Virginia Beach resident for the last thirteen years. With an associate’s degree from Tidewater Community College and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Liberty University, Brown worked as a figure skating coach for the past twenty-six years. Brown promises to thoroughly and openly consider all public input before voting on any policy changes. She is an advocate for “parental rights” which is code for book banning, transphobia in schools, and a lack of social emotional learning in the classroom.
Due to Kim Bentley’s emphasis on academics, teacher compensation, prioritization of technology implementation in schools, and improving school infrastructure, he is the most progressive choice in this race.