By Progress Virginia
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Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th
The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.
Democratic Delegate John Bell served in the U.S. Air Force for almost 26 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and now leads a financial team in the private sector. Bell was previously a volunteer tennis coach for Freedom High School and now resides in Loudon County. Delegate Bell was elected to the House of Delegates in 2015.
Delegate Bell voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and to increase teacher salaries. He is pro-choice and supports commonsense measures to prevent gun violence. He has sponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals on the job and to make solar panels more affordable to Virginia families. He has also supported redistricting reform.
Bell’s opponent, Geary Higgins, is the Republican candidate. Higgins currently serves on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. He is a self-proclaimed conservative and opposes reproductive rights. He also opposes gun violence prevention measures, seeing them as a threat to Second Amendment rights.
John Bell is the progressive choice in this race.
General Progressive: Progress Virginia
Environment: Virginia LCV
Democrat Qasim Rashid is a best-selling and critically acclaimed author, practicing attorney, visiting fellow at Harvard University's Prince Al Waleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies, and national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. Rashid vows to work to protect the rights of immigrants while ensuring a documented legal path to citizenship. Rashid believes in ensuring gender pay equity and supports paid family and medical leave. Additionally, Rashid believes in repealing right to work policies that are designed to eliminate labor unions and benefit big corporations.
His opponent is incumbent Republican Senator Richard Stuart. Senator Stuart is anti-choice and has opposed Medicaid expansion and raising the minimum wage. Stuart supported a bill that would prohibit the establishment of sanctuary cities, forcing localities to use local resources to do the job of the federal government.
Qasim Rashid is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Senator Jeremy McPike lives in Dale City. Senator McPike received his Bachelor's and Master's of Public Administration degrees from George Mason University. He also led the design and construction of an innovative, environmentally conscious, and award-winning volunteer fire station.
Senator McPike has supported numerous progressive bills during his time in the Senate. He sponsored a bill to ensure foster children can keep their healthcare while transitioning into adulthood after turning 18. He is also committed to advancing common-sense gun safety measures, like universal background checks and blocking domestic abusers’ access to firearms. He considers redistricting reform one of his fundamental policy goals. Senator McPike voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia and to raise Virginia’s minimum wage.
Senator McPike is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Danica Roem was elected in 2017 and is the first openly transgender woman elected to the Virginia legislature. She supports marginalized communities, and she has talked about her support for the DREAM Act and voting rights. She is pro-choice, supports raising the minimum wage, and advocates for affordable healthcare. Roem has also voted to raise teacher salaries and expand Medicaid.
Kelly McGinn, Roem’s Republican opponent, opposes ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and is anti-choice. She is also against marriage equality and has worked to prevent LGBTQ families from being able to adopt children.
Because of her support for affordable health care and advocacy for equality for all, Delegate Roem is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Lee Carter was elected in 2017 as the first Delegate to identify himself as Democratic Socialist. In his first term as a Delegate, Delegate Carter has proven to be a strong supporter of reproductive rights. He opposes discrimination against the LGBTQ community and immigrants. Delegate Carter believes in criminal justice reform and wants more funding for public education, transportation, and expanded access to affordable healthcare. He supports workers’ rights and unions. Delegate Carter also advocates for clean energy.
Ian Lovejoy is Delegate Carter’s Republican opponent. Lovejoy supports market solutions to the health care crisis, and it is not clear that he would protect Medicaid expansion. His website lacks clear positions on key issues like reproductive health care access, increasing the minimum wage, and voting rights.
Delegate Carter is the more progressive choice in this race because of his support of Medicaid expansion, equality, and abortion access.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Hala Ayala was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017. She is a graduate of the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project. As Delegate, she co-sponsored a bill that seeks to keep guns away from people posing a substantial risk of harming themselves or others. She’s a strong advocate for progressive priorities that help working families like paid family leave, paid sick leave, and increasing the minimum wage. She also voted for Medicaid expansion, allowing an additional 300,000 Virginians to access health care when they need it.
Her opponent is former Republican Delegate Richard Anderson. As Delegate, Anderson voted for bills that shame and stigmatize women who seek an abortion and voted against a program that would have allowed low-income women to access birth control. He also had an A rating from the National Rifle Association and voted against a commonsense bill that would have required background checks before guns can be purchased.
Delegate Ayala is the more progressive choice in this race because of her support for Medicaid expansion, paid family leave, and increasing the minimum wage.
General Progressive: Progress Virginia
Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro Choice Virginia
Democratic candidate Ann Wheeler moved to Haymarket in 2001. She has served on several boards, including the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. She is also the former Chair of the Prince William Board of Social Services.
As Chairwoman At-Large of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, Wheeler wants to make the county a more welcoming place for immigrants and doesn’t believe local tax dollars should go toward federal immigration enforcement. She supports providing more public transportation options in the county, including expanding the Washington Metro service to the county. She wants to increase funding for public schools and attract more technology companies and other industries to the county to diversify Prince William’s tax base and make it less reliant on property taxes. She also believes the county should have a greater say in regional and state decisions, such as ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
Wheeler is running against Republican John Gray, a candidate who supports Prince William’s 287(g) agreement, which allows the sheriff’s department to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal immigration officials. There are also three independent candidates: Muneer Baig, an immigrant rights advocate, Don Scoggins, a former board member of the county’s Republican Party, and Jesse Maggitt, a veteran and corporate executive.
Because of her prioritization of PWC schools, Wheeler is the progressive candidate for the At-Large Chair of the Prince William Board of Supervisors.
A former county prosecutor, Democratic candidate Amy Ashworth received her Juris Doctorate degree from George Mason University in 1995. She worked as a prosecutor in the Special Victim’s Unit. She lives in Nokesville with her husband and two sons.
If elected, Ashworth wants to reform the Commonwealth Attorney’s office with a new mission statement, new organizational structure, and focus on crimes that do harm, not crimes that put the most people in jail. Recognizing that discrimination in the justice system disproportionately affects people of color, Ashworth is pledging to hire attorneys in the office who represent the diversity of the community and establish a non-discrimination policy for people who work in the office. She is promising to limit the use of cash bail in the county justice system and opposes the death penalty. Ashworth supports the restoration of rights for returning citizens and pledges fair treatment for juvenile offenders.
She also understands that many people with addiction issues and mental health issues are incarcerated and wants to train county police officers to better handle cases involving individuals dealing with mental health and addictions. Ashworth will support efforts to fight payroll fraud, wage theft, and mistreatment of workers. She wants to build better relationships with the county’s immigrant community and supports the decriminalization of marijuana in Virginia. Finally, she wants to end mass incarceration by keeping people out of jails and helping them get an education, rehabilitation, or psychological care.
Ashworth’s opponent, Republican Mike May, is a former County Supervisor for the Occoquan District. He’s a private attorney with his own firm. May is running his platform on keeping neighborhoods safe, modernizing the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to make it more transparent, and engaging the community more with outreach efforts to encourage community involvement.
Because of her plan to overhaul the office, Ashworth is the progressive choice for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney.
Democratic candidate Joshua King is an Iraq War veteran and Fairfax County Sheriff Deputy. A Dumfries resident, he’s a parent with three children in the Prince William County School System.
As Sheriff of Prince William County, King promises to end the county’s 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which uses local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration law. He wants to focus on school safety where his sheriff deputies will be trained to intervene during school shootings. King plans to reduce the school to prison pipeline in the county by training his deputies to assist and protect children with special needs. He also wants to improve services for veterans by ensuring that all veterans, law enforcement officers, and inmates receive the services that they deserve.
King is challenging incumbent Republican Sheriff Glen Hill, who started Prince William’s participation in the 287(g) program.
Candidate Rhonda Dickson is the first woman to run for the sheriff’s office in Prince William. She wants to increase enrollment in the Child ID program and to increase the Sheriff office’s presence in Prince William schools.
Joshua King is endorsed by our partners SEIU Virginia512 and CASA In Action and is the progressive choice for Sheriff in Prince William County.
Dr. Babur Lateef is originally from Youngstown, Ohio. Dr. Lateef received his Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and his MD from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine. Currently, he serves on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and SPARK Foundation Board and is an active member of his children's Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs). Dr. Lateef was elected School Board Chair in a 2018 special election.
His platform consists of a plan to close the achievement gap, increase test scores, and increase teacher pay for Prince William teachers. He also wants to repair school infrastructure, secure campuses, increase mental health specialists, and provide cultural sensitivity training.
His opponents are Alyson Satterwhite and Stanley Bender, both of whom challenged Dr. LaTeef in the November 2018 special election. During that election, Satterwhite was endorsed by the Prince William County GOP. She is a mother of four who resides in the Gainesville District. She has served as the Gainesville School Board representative since 2015. Satterwhite wants to reduce classroom sizes, improve school safety, and to increase fiscal responsibility and transparency on the school board.
Stanley Bender is a retired Woodbridge resident. Despite the controversy surrounding the 2018 special election over whether Stanley Bender was being supported by local Republicans or not, Mr. Bender is not endorsed by any local committee. Because he does not have a website or social media, we cannot know what he intends to do if elected.
Because of Dr. Lateef’s plan to close the achievement gap, increase test scores, and to increase teacher pay for Prince William teachers, he is the more progressive choice for this race.
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