Virginia’s 1st Congressional District stretches from the fringes of Northern Virginia suburbs to just north of Hampton Roads, including parts of central Virginia.the Hampton Roads area. It contains parts of Henrico County, Chesterfield County, and Hanover County, as well as all of James City County, York County, Gloucester County, New Kent County, Westmoreland County, Williamsburg City, King William County, Northumberland County, Poquoson City, Lancaster County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Richmond County, Mathews County, and King and Queen County. The district has been represented by a Republican for over twenty years.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. A US Army veteran, Herb Jones (D), is running against incumbent Rob Whitman (R), who has been in Congress since 2007.
Democrat Herbert Jones Jr. came to Virginia through an assignment in the Army. After leaving active duty to join the reserves, he was elected County Treasurer of New Kent County in 1999, beginning his journey in elected office. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of the military, Governor Ralph Northam appointed him to the Commonwealth’s Military Advisory Council. In 2019, Jones lost to Senator Tommy Norment in the race for the Virginia State Senate District 3 seat.
Jones considers himself a supporter of the 2nd Amendment but is also in favor of strong gun violence prevention legislation. He points to greedy politicans and funding from gun lobbyists like the NRA as barriers to passing common sense laws. A gun owner himself, he supports mandatory background checks and extreme risk protection laws. Additionally, he believes there must be an end to the gun show loophole. He is on record as being in favor of the Active Shooter Alert Act and promises to fight for immediate and meaningful reform.
Accessible healthcare is a top priority for Jones. He believes that all Americans should have access to high quality and affordable healthcare. Jones emphasizes the need to expand and increase funding for services for veterans. He supports mental health care initiatives and addiction treatment programs, as well as access to reproductive healthcare. Jones considers Planned Parenthood an essential healthcare provider and stands against attacks on abortion access.
Jones promises to protect and preserve the natural environment, and pledged never to accept campaign contributions from Dominion Power and Appalachian Power, believing elected officials should not make decisions about the environment because of monetary influence. He believes that we must invest in clean energy, and points to renewable energy as a source for new jobs. Jones encourages providing tax incentives to clean energy companies. Furthermore, he hopes to revoke the tax breaks that are given to fossil fuel companies. He emphasizes the need to conserve the resources of the Chesapeake Bay by expanding funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Jones supports criminal justice reform in conjunction with police reform. He believes marijuana should be legalized federally to help end the war on drugs, which he notes has disproportionately incarcerated people of color. Jones is pushing for national training requirements for police officers, as well as a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants. In 2020, Jones expressed support of police civilian review boards, recalling two instances in which police drew their weapons on him.
The Republican incumbent is Congressman Robb Wittman, who has represented the 1st District since 2007. 93% of Wittman’s votes were in line with President Trump’s position. Wittman voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also voted against increasing housing assistance and an economic stimulus package to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. He opposes raising the minimum wage and abortion rights. He voted against the Active Shooter Alert Act.
Due to Wittman’s opposition to raising the minimum wage, expanding abortion access, and his votes on the Affordable Care Act and the Active Shooter Alert Act, Jones is the progressive candidate in this race.