• Non-Partisan

    Tanya Bhasin

  • The Norfolk City School Board Ward 2 election takes place on November 8, 2022. Tanya Karapurkar Bhasin (D) is the only candidate and is running for office for the first time.

    Tanya Bhasin was born to parents who immigrated to the US from India and was raised in Delaware. Bhasin received her BA in Anthropology from the George Washington University in 1996 and her Master's in Public Health from Emory University in 1999. She is a Research Scientist and started her career working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Birth Defects and Disabilities. While at the CDC, Bhasin supported studies in epidemiology that led to breakthrough findings for five developmental disabilities. These include autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and vision impairment. Bhasin also has many other accomplishments from her time at the CDC.

    Ms. Bhasin participated in several committees for Norfolk City Schools, where she collaborated to create solutions and improve conditions for students. She has volunteered for Norfolk GAINS (Growing and Investing in Norfolk Schools), a group that advocates for public education, to uplift the necessities of public school students and staff. She created dialogue with officeholders in Virginia to lobby for improvements such as longer board member terms, full funding for schools, and a taxes increase to fund operations and infrastructure in the school system.

    Recommendation: Bhasin is running unopposed, and she is a progressive choice because of her support of students with different abilities, as well as her effective approach in her role as a Norfolk City School Board member.

  • Virginia’s 3rd congressional district stretches across parts of Hampton Roads and encompasses all of the cities of Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, and Portsmouth, as well as parts of Chesapeake. In 2012, the 3rd district was found to have been unconstitutionally gerrymandered based on race. It was redrawn for the 2016 elections to exclude parts of Richmond which had previously been included in the district. The district is reliably Democratic, even since redistricting. Bobby Scott won the 2020 election with 68.35% of the vote. 

    This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Longtime incumbent, Congressman Bobby Scott (D), who has served since 1993, is running for re-election against Terry Namkung (R), a retired senior non-commissioned officer of the Air Force and renewable energy researcher.

    Democratic incumbent Congressman Bobby Scott has represented Virginia’s Third District since 1993. Before being elected to Congress, Scott served in the Virginia General Assembly for 15 years as a member of both the House of Delegates (1978-1983) and the State Senate (1983-1993). Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry, he is the first American of Filipino descent to serve as a voting member of Congress, in addition to being the first African American Representative from Virginia since Reconstruction.

    As co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, Scott advocates for protecting the environment and preserving the Chesapeake Bay. Together with Congresswoman Elaine Luria, he co-authored the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act. He also introduced the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement Act with Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes and Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman. He opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as well as offshore drilling. Alternatively, he cosponsored the Offshore Wind American Manufacturing Act and supports the Green New Deal.

    Since his early days in Congress, Scott has been fighting for criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention. In 2017, he sponsored the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Act, which addressed the country’s prison population problem. He also cosponsored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants and address accountability for law enforcement misconduct. Scott serves as vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Recently, he voted in favor of the Protecting Our Kids Act.

    Scott has been a cosponsor of Medicaid for All since his first congressional term. He has introduced legislation to improve the Affordable Care Act by putting limits on deductibles, expanding eligibility for subsides, and expanding on open enrollment outreach efforts. He coauthored the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, aiming to save Americans $500 billion on prescription drug costs over the next decade. Additionally, he introduced the Ban Surprise Billing Act to protect patients from unexpected medical bills.

    Investments in education and training are the long-term solution to recovering economy for Scott. He views this as key to keeping the US competitive in the global marketplace.He introduced the Raise the Wage Act to ultimately increase minimum wage to $15. Scott also introduced the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize), which would strengthen workers’ right to unionize. To protect older workers, he introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. Scott supported the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

    Scott is facing Terry Namkung (R), a retired senior non-commissioned officer of the Air Force and renewable energy researcher. Namkung is against children masking and future school shutdowns, as well as mandated vaccines. He has spoken out against teaching accurate history in public schools. Namkung received Governor Glenn Youngkin’s endorsement in the race.

    Due to Namkung’s views on the COVID-19 pandemic and his spreading of disinformation, Bobby Scott is the most progressive candidate in this race.

  • Endorsed By: SEIU, Virginia Sierra Club

City District Races

Depending on where you live, you may have the following district races on your ballot.

  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 1 includes much of northwest Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. The candidates in the race for city council
    Ward 1 are Pádraig-Eóin Leigh Dalrymple (I), a member of Virginia Beach EMS and a former federal firefighter, and incumbent Martin Thomas (I), an attorney and vice chairman of the Norfolk Planning Commission and who has served since 2016.
    Pádraig-Eóin went the trade school route graduating from Utah Valley University Wildland and Structure Firefighter Recruit Academy in 2009. He graduated from Paramedic School in 2011 through Mt. Nebo Training / University of Utah 2011. His professional experience includes working as an Interagency Hotshot with the Bureau of Land Management and as an EMT. Additionally, he has worked as a Pharmacy Technician and a local volunteer EMT. He is a military spouse and comes from a multigenerational military family.

    Ward One’s City Council Set has been uncontested since 2010, and Pádraig-Eóin believes the problems with the Norfolk Police that have led to over two hundred Police Officer job vacancies and rising crime rates go back a decade. Based on a pattern of behaviors, Pádraig-Eóin things will only get worse. He believes that at this juncture, Norfolk is at a critical moment in time. He also believes that this is an opportunity to build a police department that the community deserves, needs, and can trust as well as a department that the officers need and deserve.

    He is running for city council because he recognizes that the City Council needs someone with personal experience dealing with the hardships of the city. He believes that being a First Responder also offers unprecedented value to the City Council.He believes that Democracy does not work unless the People have a choice, and that change starts at the local level. He also believes that change can not happen if people do not have a voice in that change. Pádraig is passionate about police reform, affordable and sustainable Housing, and increasing support for homelessness. More support for local businesses and their growth is needed as well. Above all, he believes Norfolk needs a City Council that inspires the city.
    - All information about Pádraig-Eóin was provided directly.

    Pádraig-Eóin is the most progressive candidate for Norfolk City Council because he supports police reform, affordable and sustainable housing and increased support for homeless people.
  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 1 includes much of northwest Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    The Norfolk City School Board Ward 1 election takes place on November 8, 2022. Carly W. Gelles (D), a Portsmouth City Public Schools English teacher, will face incumbent Adale M. Martin (I), who has held the seat since 2018.

    Carly West Gelles grew up in Chesepeake, Virginia and attended college at Old Dominion University. Since then, she has lived in Norfolk. She began working at CMA-CGM(Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement-Compagnie Générale Maritime) until she found a passion for teaching. She then began working as an Administrative Assistant at Tidewater Community College. She worked at TCC for nearly 5 years and looked for every opportunity possible to understand the framework of the education system.

    Gelles believes that mental health is a top priority for Norfolk City students. Gelles has said that resources are only available to students who pose a threat to themselves, but she believes that those resources should be expanded to those whose mental illnesses have affected them in other ways. She also believes that performance problems can be spotted early on in students, which make early intervention a necessity.

    Gelles believes since COVID, schools have become more dangerous. She wants to invest in the safety of Norfolk city children. She believes that Norfolk City Schools need to purchase devices to secure doors during lockdowns. She also believes that additional security is needed. She said that with more security, along with healthcare professionals, the Norfolk School Board can help mitigate some of the safety issues that occur in schools.

    Gelles wants to further students’ education, help them prepare for a trade, or prepare them for the workforce. She stated that Norfolk already has partnerships with higher education through the Dual Enrollment program. We could partner with industry leaders in our area to ensure that our students are graduating with desired qualities for employment. They could also partner with trade certification programs to help students get the qualifications they need. This supports our community and our students’ needs. There are so many different groups that want to help our mission of education, and we need to bridge the gaps to gain the support people want to offer.

    Gelles’ opponent is Adale Martin. Martin was elected to the Norfolk County School Board on July 1, 2018. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Louisiana State University and is a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Old Dominion University in collaboration policy. Martin served on the Norfolk Jury Commission and the Naval Station Norfolk Centennial Commission. She is currently the Executive Director of the Slover Library Foundation to make the Slover Library a model, state-of-the-art community space by partnering with Norfolk Public Library, community organizations, and businesses. She is also an advocate and fundraiser in support of CHKD as a member of The King’s Daughters Communications Committee, Past President of the Magnolia Circle and Founder and Chairman of the Magnolia Circle Dragon Boat Race Fundraiser in partnership with Nauticus. Martin’s husband and son were both born with profound hearing loss, so resources for disabled children is a priority.

    Carly West Gelles is the most progressive candidate running, because of her priorities around mental health, school safety, and higher education.

  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Courtney Doyle (I), who has served on city council since 2018, is running unopposed in the race for city council Ward 2 representative.
    Courtney Doyle has been a Norfolk City councilwoman since 2018, and she has been determined to improve Norfolk City. Before joining City Council, she served on the Norfolk School Board, the West Ghent Civic League, and the Norfolk Recreation Parks and Open Space Commission. Doyle will continue to lean on these experiences to listen to and advocate for Norfolk residents, businesses, and families while remaining accessible, transparent, and dedicated to doing what she says she’s going to do.

    She’ll focus on four issues: education, neighborhood safety, flooding and sea level rise, and economic development.

    Doyle believes that the school funding formula between the City of Norfolk and Norfolk Public Schools has worked very well in affording more funds from city revenue towards the schools. She appreciates the work being done to evaluate enrollment figures, capacity, facility conditions, and programming for both immediate and incremental solutions to make the school division the best it can be for the children of Norfolk City. Doyle’s accomplishments in economic development include supporting Open Norfolk, an initiative that promoted safe opening measures for businesses during Phases 1-3 of the pandemic. She also a cruise center, a business concierge and more.

    Courtney Doyle is running unopposed, but we recommend supporting her because of her support of pandemic safety, education, and climate change safety measures.
  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    The Norfolk City School Board Ward 2 election takes place on November 8, 2022. Tanya Karapurkar Bhasin (D) is the only candidate and is running for office for the first time.

    Tanya Bhasin was born to parents who immigrated to the US from India and was raised in Delaware. Bhasin received her BA in Anthropology from the George Washington University in 1996 and her Master's in Public Health from Emory University in 1999. She is a Research Scientist and started her career working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Birth Defects and Disabilities. While at the CDC, Bhasin supported studies in epidemiology that led to breakthrough findings for five developmental disabilities. These include autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and vision impairment. Bhasin also has many other accomplishments from her time at the CDC.

    Ms. Bhasin participated in several committees for Norfolk City Schools, where she collaborated to create solutions and improve conditions for students. She has volunteered for Norfolk GAINS (Growing and Investing in Norfolk Schools), a group that advocates for public education, to uplift the necessities of public school students and staff. She created dialogue with officeholders in Virginia to lobby for improvements such as longer board member terms, full funding for schools, and a taxes increase to fund operations and infrastructure in the school system.

    Recommendation: Bhasin is running unopposed, and she is a progressive choice because of her support of students with different abilities, as well as her effective approach in her role as a Norfolk City School Board member.

  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 3 includes much of the central area of Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Mamie Johnson (I), who has served on the city council since 2014, is running unopposed in the race for city council Ward 3.
    Mamie B. Johnson was elected to Norfolk City Council on May 6, 2014 to represent Ward 3. Johnson is a career educator. She was employed for 14 years as a teacher with Norfolk Public Schools and was an Instructional Specialist for an additional 6 years. She most recently served as a teacher specialist in math and reading with Virginia Beach Public Schools. She is a 1984 graduate of Maury High School, where she was elected Senior Class President. She earned her bachelor's degree in Education from Norfolk State University. Johnson is married to William H. Johnson.

    Johnson is a member of Virginia First Cities Coalition and is immediate past chair of its board of directors. Virginia First Cities Coalition (VFC) is the Commonwealth’s only advocacy organization for the oldest and most historic cities. Through Johnson’s leadership, the VFC improved challenging school environments, expanded employment and career opportunities, and made cities a magnet for equitable economic development.

    Ms. Johnson has voted for initiatives that benefit the community, including using donated funds to support the Read 500 Books before Kindergarten Project. She voted to appropriate funds specifically for the use of substance abuse and prevention, and this year, she supported an ordinance that sought to fund the Virginia Eviction Prevention pilot.

    Johnson is a member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Additionally, she is the Norfolk representative of the Hampton Roads Community Action Program.

    Johnson is a member of the Elizabeth River Project board of directors and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council board, an organization that advocates for a comprehensive approach to workforce development. She also serves as a board member of the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Plan.

    Johnson previously served as a member of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and as co-chair of the Mayor’s Lifelong Learning Commission.



    Johnson is running unopposed, but we recommend her for the position, because she supports education programs such as Read 500 Books Before Kindergarten, and supports unanimous efforts by Norfolk City Council to help the Norfolk City community.
  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 3 includes much of the central area of Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. John Sitka, III and Mark S. Askew, Sr. will face incumbent Carlos Clanton (I), interim School Board chair who was elected in 2018, in the race for Norfolk City School Board Ward 3 representative.

    Carlos Stanton was elected to the Norfolk County School Board in May 2018. Stanton believes that pre-K is an important first step for success in school. Pre-K resources are not widely accessible in Ward 3, so he believes that Norfolk needs to expand early learning programs through public and private partnerships to underserved communities. He is also a strong supporter of the Career and Technical Education Pathways High School, and believes it is a way to connect local colleges, universities and business communities.

    Stanton wants to implement and support strategies to increase reading literacy and math proficiency. He also wants to emphasize growing and expanding the district’s mentoring, tutoring programs, and literacy initiatives.

    Stanton wants to remove politics from the School Board and use data and organizational objectives to meet our goals. He will work with School Board, City Council, and School Administration to secure the necessary funding to provide safe learning environments.

    Carlos Stanton’s opponents are John Sitka III and Mark Askew Sr.

    John Sitka wants to implement remedial courses to review course material that students risk losing over the course of summer vacation. He believes that this will help students get back on track, in the same way that they help community college students. Sitka is opposed to “CRT”, gender studies, and sexual studies being taught in schools, as he believes most parents do not want it in the curriculum. He has stated that parents of school age children should be able to include their input in school issues such as budgeting, school security, and curriculum.

    There is currently no information publicly available for Mark Askew Sr.

    Carlos J. Stanton is the most progressive candidate for this race, because of his support for expansion of access for disadvantaged communities and his proven track record as a School Board member since 2018.

  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 4 encompasses much of southeastern Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. The candidates in the race for city council Ward 4 representative are Erik DeSean Barrett (D), J P Paige (I), and Philip Hawkins, Jr. (I). Philip Hawkins, Jr. unsuccessfully ran for the Norfolk City Council Superward 7 seat in 2021.
    John Paige’s career in public service began as an Adjunct Professor at his Alma Mater, Norfolk State University (NSU), with Going Places, a program based in Portsmouth, Virginia. Here he recruited, trained, and developed employment opportunities within the hospitality industry. He would later return to the Norfolk Campus of Norfolk State University as Director of Student Services for the School of Business.

    John “JP” Paige wants to reduce gun violence and crime by teaching conflict resolution and making social services accessible within neighborhoods.

    Paige supports all schools in Ward 4, and wants them to be safe environments for children to learn and grow. He wants to pay Norfolk educators fairly and equitably for the work they do in cultivating children, who he believes are Norfolk’s most precious resource.

    He also wants to revitalize neighborhoods by supporting local businesses and attracting new development to every corner of the city by bringing good paying jobs and more opportunities to Norfolk citizens.

    Additional information about his platform was not publicly available at the time of publication.

    Paige’s opponents are Phillip Hawkins Jr. and Erik DeSean Barrett. Phillip Hawkins Jr. is an educator for Norfolk Public Schools. As an assistant principal at P.B. Young Elementary, Hawkins’ goal along with the education team was that every child receive a world-class education. He oversees Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Programs (PBIS), School Attendance, Discipline, and Special Education Services. He is also a member of the Norfolk Public Schools Educational Planning Steering Committee. In 2021, during a spike in COVID cases, Hawkins advocated for students by proposing that they return later to in-person lessons.

    Erik DeSean Barrett is a lifelong resident of the City of Norfolk, who has been committed to serving the citizens of the city by being a tireless advocate and civic leader. He has organized walks on the Elizabeth River Trail, fitness initiatives at MacArthur Center, and various activities focused on supporting the senior communities in Ward 4 and beyond. He has also led successful programs in partnership with various civic leaders to engage our youth, provide resources to low income communities and advocate for those who feel they have no access to assets to promote the sustainability of the neighborhoods in which they live. Barrett wants to use his position as city councilman to amplify the voices of my constituents to promote growth, equity, and forward movement.

    John “J.P.” Paige is the most progressive candidate for Norfolk City Council Ward 4 because of his support of economic development, social services and education.
  • Non-Partisan

    Leon Rouson

  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 4 encompasses much of southeastern Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. The candidates in the race for Norfolk City School Board Ward 4 representative are Tiffany R. Moore-Buffaloe (I) and incumbent Dr. Leon Rouson (D), who was appointed to the school board in 2021.

    Dr. Leon Rouson has spent more than 30 years in education as a public school teacher, a college professor and as a dean of the School of Education at Norfolk State University. In his roles, he has served as a leader as well as a team member. He has published research articles in revered journals and he has written several book chapters. His research focuses on issues of diversity and social justice, and it mostly centers Black males, child development and school culture. He is in several professional organizations such as the Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, International Literacy Association and the National Association for Blacks in Higher Education. He has received several awards in teaching which included the National Black Teacher of the Year in 1990, while being celebrated as a public school teacher in North Carolina. He also earned the Norfolk State University Outstanding/Distinguished Professor Award in 2016.


    Rouson was appointed to the Norfolk City School Board on December 15, 2021.

    Rouson’s opponent, Tiffany Moore-Buffaloe, currently serves as the Clerk of the Board for Newport News School Board. She wants to focus on increasing communication with stakeholders, as well as supporting methods that will improve student achievement. She also wants to push for more conversations on policy development and accountability.

    Dr. Rouson is the most progressive candidate for the position, because of his dedication to Black youth and childhood development, as well as his career as a celebrated educator over the course of 30 years.

No Recommendation

The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 5 encompasses the northeast border of Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

This election takes place on November 8, 2022. The candidates in the race for city council Ward 5 representative are former CEO and executive director of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Shurl Montgomery (I) and incumbent Tommy Smigiel (I), who has served on city council since 2010.
Tommy Smigiel is the incumbent for Ward 5 City Council and is running for reelection. Smigiel was first elected on May 4, 2010. Despite the increase in officer involved shootings, Smigiel supports increased funding for police. Smigiel’s history as a councilman includes advocating for $12,000 retention bonuses to retain existing police officers. He also pushed for and secured a master Police pay scale in which 288 officers received 10.5%-13.5% pay increases. For the 2023 budget, he has secured $5 million to replace all street lights with LED lights for brighter and safer streets.

Smiegel’s opponent is Shurl Montgomery. He believes that law enforcement in Norfolk City should be strengthened, as well as revenue from taxes, and planning protection from flooding.

There is not a progressive choice in this race, please write in a candidate of your choice.
  • The City of Norfolk has a population of 235,089 people and sits on the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. It is the home to the world’s largest naval base. Ward 5 encompasses the northeast border of Norfolk. The city is strongly Democratic with President Joe Biden winning with 72% of the vote during the 2020 election. 

    This election takes place on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Lauren Dee Campsen (I) was elected in 2018, and is the only candidate in the race for Norfolk City School Board Ward 5.

    Lauren Campsen has had a very long career as an elementary school educator. In Her experience spanning almost 40 years, she has been a teacher, principal, instructional specialist, and an administrator for Norfolk City Schools. She was also Interim Chief Academic Officer of Norfolk Public Schools.

    Under her leadership at Ocean View Elementary School, Campsen and her faculty won recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School. She was featured in Achiever, a newsletter from the U.S. Department of Education, for academic excellence. Ocean View also held Title I status for five years total.

    Campsen was a part of the Golden Key National Honor Society as a graduate student at Old Dominion University. She won Teacher of the Year in 1988 at Meadowbrook Elementary School, and she was part of the All City Teaching Team. in 2009, she was recognized for her outstanding leadership, and in 2014 was named Virginia National Distinguished Principal.

    Lauren Campsen is running unopposed, and she is the progressive fit for this position because of her long career as an educator and administrator, during which she won awards for improvement and outstanding performance.