Virginia’s 10th district includes a few inner and many outer suburbs in Northern Virginia, including all of Loudon County, Faquier County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, Rappahannock County, and parts of Prince William County and Fairfax County. Though the district voted for Clinton in 2016, the congressional seat did not flip until Wexton won in 2018 with 56% of the vote. The 10th District is considered one of the more competitive districts in the Commonwealth.
This congressional election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent congresswoman, lawyer Jennifer Wexton (D), who has held the District 10 seat since 2019, is running for re-election against Hung Cao (R), a retired Navy Captain who served in Special Operations.
Incumbent Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D) has served in the House of Representatives since 2019. Previously, she served in the Virginia State Senate, representing the 33rd District. As a lawyer, she served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudoun County. She has spent years advocating for abused and neglected children, both through her work in the courtroom and in the legislature. During her first term in Congress, she introduced 17 pieces of legislation and passed four bipartisan bills in the House.
Wexton recognizes the failings of the criminal justice system. She passed legislation at the state level to promote alternatives to suspension to combat Virginia’s school-to-prison pipeline. She also recognizes the injustices toward Black Americans and co-sponsored the Justice of Policing Act of 2020, which put forth sweeping reforms to address discriminatory and excessive policing practices. Wexton supports reforming mandatory minimums, ending use of for-profit private prisons, reentry programs, voting rights restoration, and decriminalizing possession of marijuana.
Wexton advocates for gun violence prevention. As a state legislator, she pushed for universal background checks, banning bump stocks, extreme risk protection order laws, and other methods of reform. In Congress, Wexton sustained her support for gun reform through legislation to expand mandatory background checks, bans on sales of military-style assault weapons, and studies on gun violence as a public health issue. She co-sponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 and introduced the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act. She voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.
Wexton advocates for fairness and equal opportunity for all. She introduced the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019, a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing. She cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination in public employment. Wexton supported bills aimed at removing the same-sex marriage ban in the Virginia Constitution, expanding Virginia’s hate crimes statute to include the LGBTQ community, and end conversion therapy. She is a member of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus and the Transgender Equality Task Force. She supported H.R. 124, which rejected the Trump-Pence administration’s transgender military ban.
Wexton recognizes the importance of immigration reform and rights. She consistently spoke out against Republican attacks on immigrant communities. She supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. Additionally, she supports legislation that protects DREAMers and shuts down private detention centers. She voted for the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Wexton opposed building a border wall, instead urging the funds be used to defend national security.
Wexton is facing Republican Hung Cao, a retired Navy Captain who served in Special Operations. He claims that masks and lockdowns have done little to halt the spread of COVID-19 and pushes the use of off-label alternatives for treatment. He condemns the Mar-a-Lago raid. Cao opposes gun reform and abortion access.
Due to her commitment to criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, and immigration and equality advocacy, Jennifer Wexton is the more progressive candidate in the race for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below county races on your ballot.
Loudoun County had a population estimate of 427,592 in 2021. It is located in the northern part of Virginia and is the third most populous county. The Broad Run District has a population of 48,778. For decades, the county favored Republican candidates, but a shift began with the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama won close to 54% of the vote. The county leans Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 61% of the vote during the 2020 presidential election.
This election takes place on November 8, 2022. Nick Gothard (D) and Tiffany Polifko (I) will face incumbent Andrew T. Hoyler (I), who was appointed to the school board in 2021, in the race for the Loudoun County School Board Broad Run seat.
Nick Gothard was raised by two working parents in Ashburn, VA where he grew up supported by free lunch and the CASA programs provided by Loudoun County Public Schools. In elementary school, Gothard’s future was bolstered by the special education department when a school speech-language pathologist helped him overcome a speaking disability. At the age of 17, he attended his first School Board meeting to advocate for LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections and has been working to support our communities ever since.
Gothard supports funding the Monroe Advanced Technical Academy (MATA), which is a Virginia Governor’s STEM Academy. MATA aims to provide students with real-life experience to prepare them for the job market after graduation. The program gives students the chance to get hands-on experience in the fields of their choice like auto servicing, construction, cyber security, and more. Gothard wants more funding for public schools to invest in STEAM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education as well.
Gothard believes that the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the mental health crisis for students, parents, and staff in Virginia. He supports a proactive, not reactive, approach to empower Unified Mental Health Teams and ensure the priority of mental health across students’ entire educational experience.As part of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports, all secondary Unified Mental Health Teams meet on a monthly basis to discuss and develop action plans to support mental health and wellness prevention and intervention. This includes engaging directly with community stakeholders, mitigating external causes of mental health concerns, and ensuring every teacher and staff member has the knowledge and tools they need to assist every student.
According to a report from the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development, kindergartners and first graders were at a higher risk of reading failure, and those rates were even higher for English learners and students with IEPs. Gothard believes that Loudoun County needs a model rooted in the science of reading combined with increased targeted intervention to ensure all our students emerge from school literate. On the school board, he will support the transition to a data-backed curriculum while simultaneously advocating for the professional support required to ensure every child receives the literacy education they need.
Gothard believes that Loudoun county must reaffirm its commitment to the protections outlined in Title IX. This includes making necessary policy changes to empower the Title IX Team and ensure that it is always staffed by full-time, dedicated employees. He also aspires to engage in a strategic effort to bolster lessons of consent, abuse, and sexual assault in Family Life Education curriculum.
Gothard supports funding for the JL Simpson MS Renewable Energy Project, which offsets nearly 75% of the school’s energy usage. He believes that as solar arrays become more attainable, Loudoun County can dramatically reduce energy costs and use the money saved to bolster educational priorities. He believes that Loudoun County needs a deliberate capital improvement portfolio specifically for the implementation of solar across our county, which will save money in the long term.
LCPS school buses travel over 8 million miles each year and produce over 20 tons of carbon monoxide into the environment. On top of that, Loudoun County budgets over $7M for vehicle fuel each fiscal year. We can save money, better plan for the future, and continue to be climate champions by prioritizing our fleet transition to electric.
One of Gothard’s opponents is Tiffany Polifko, a Republican whose main platform is parental control of childrens’ agency in schools. She is opposed to historically accurate education and does not support children who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Polifko does not specify any support for climate initiatives, school security, counseling, the arts, or any accessibility issues.
Gothard’s other opponent is Andrew Hoyler. Andrew Hoyler is an incumbent who was first elected in October 2021. He spent 12 years of his education in Loudoun County Public Schools and believes his first-hand knowledge and experience in the school system will continue to be extremely beneficial to the school board and county. He graduated from Briar Woods High School in 2014 and spent his next three years as a student at Purdue University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Flight, with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. He spent the next year teaching at Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. He also volunteers as a member of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Auxiliary, where I am a mentor and a Field Training Officer.
Nick Gothard is the most progressive candidate for the Loudoun County School Board for the Broad Run District.
Loudoun County had a population estimate of 427,592 in 2021. It is located in the northern part of Virginia and is the third most populous county. The Leesburg District has a population of 49,509. For decades, the county favored Republican candidates, but a shift began with the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama won close to 54% of the vote. The county leans Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 61% of the vote during the 2020 presidential election.
This election takes place on November 8, 2022. Erika Ogedegbe (I), Michael Anthony Rivera (I), and Lauren Elizabeth Shernoff (I) will face incumbent Thomas Corbett Marshall, III (I) in the race for the Loudoun County School Board Leesburg seat. Marshall previously served on the school board from 2008-2011, and was appointed to serve again in 2021.
Lauren Shernoff has two daughters who both attend school in Loudoun County, and she believes that schools should have strong ties with their communities. She wants to strengthen the relationship between parents and schools, as she believes it will make students more likely to succeed. Shernoff has been a public educator for the past 15 years. In graduate school, she studied to become a teacher, and has since been working with students with Autism, and children living with HIV. Then she was a primary teacher in Fairfax County working in Title 1 schools before moving to Loudoun as a part time English and Language Arts Facilitator.
Shernoff promises to support policies that protect students as well as help to prioritize access to core instruction. She believes that the current board is too political, which has distracted from academic development. She says that this is evident in the current board’s use of the word equity. Shernoff supports “true equity”, saying that there shouldn’t be an implementation of any rules that support one group whole harming another.
Shernoff promises to support more incentives for substitute teaching. While there has been a pay increase for substitutes, Shernoff would like to see them receive more professional learning opportunities, as many of them in training, need to renew their license, or are working on a second specialty or degree. She supports access to recertification classes or professional development, because these incentives will make it more appealing for people to become substitute teachers, especially those who are interested in educational jobs.
The current budget for the Leesburg District includes full funding for arts and athletics. Shernoff supports the funding, and hopes to continue to support arts and sports as a school board member. Shernoff and her husband participated in marching band, so they have a deep appreciation of the arts, and how it builds discipline, hard work, creativity. Shernoff believes that with Loudoun County’s 1.5 billion dollar budget, the school board can support the arts and athletics equitably.
Shernoff believes that one of the biggest concerns with the current board is their lack of transparency and communication, so she advocates for routine town halls as well as focus groups where to strengthen the relationship between the board and the public. Shernoff believes that this is the way to build back trust.
Shernoff’s opponents are Erica Ogebegden and Michael Rivera. Ogebegde’s priorities as a school board member are to invest in teaching and learning to support students as individuals to ensure that each student's unique needs are met. She wants to support the recruitment, retention and growth of LCPS staff, while improving and enhancing communication with parents and families. Ogedegbe also believes in understanding, empathy, and appreciation for what it means to be citizens of an increasingly diverse community and world. Ogedegbe promises to advocate for better resources to be allocated for academics and extracurricular programs.
Rivera’s family is from Puerto Rico, so he grew up speaking English and Spanish fluently. Although he has an extensive background in technology, he does not wish to return to a career as an IT professional. Rivera is currently a law enforcement officer for the Virginia Commonwealth. Rivera wants schools to move away from gender, identity, and racist politics in schools.
Lauren Shernoff is the most progressive candidate for this position, because of her extensive background as an educator, and her support for community-inclusive education.