A bit earlier this afternoon, Democracy for America (DFA) held a conference call to announce its next four “Purple to Blue” targeted Virginia House of Delegates races. These four districts – the 12th, 31st, 60th and 93rd – are in addition to the previously announced DFA “Purple to Blue” endorsements of Jennifer Boysko (running against Tom Rust in the 86th House of Delegates district), John Bell (running against the horrendous David Ramadan in the 87th district), and Kathleen Murphy (running against the egregious Barbara Comstock in the 34th district). The candidates announced today are: Jasper Hendricks (District 60, currently held by Republican James Edmunds); Monty Mason (District 93, currently held by Republican Mike Watson); James Harder (District 12, currently held by Republican Joseph Yost); and Jeremy McPike (District 31, currently held by Republican Scott Lingamfelter).
According to Howard Dean, who spoke on the call, the Purple to Blue program in Virginia is “essential,” as Republicans have nominated “the most extreme…ticket” (Cuccinelli, Jackson, Obenshain) imaginable. In addition, Virginia is a key swing state, “one of the most important states in the union,” and this election is about preventing a bunch of “extremists [from] running the state.” In order to accomplish this, Dean emphasized that we need more than a “moderate, thoughtful governor;” we also need the state legislature. In Dean’s view, the Republicans currently controlling the House of Delegates are only really interested in “going after women’s [reproductive] rights,” “denying that climate change is a serious problem,” “excited about defunding Planned Parenthood,” and totally “not serious about…governing…jobs…economic self sufficiency.” It’s long past time, in Dean’s view, to restore the Virginia House of Delegates to “some modicum of sanity.” I couldn’t agree more.
P.S. Dean said it might take several cycles, but he “wouldn’t write off the possibility of taking back the [Virginia] House [this year]...it’s uphill, but it’s more possible today than when we had the last press conference several weeks ago.” I sure hope Gov. Dean is right!
UPDATE: A few quotes from the call.
“Now that Republicans have put three anti-woman, anti-working family right-wing candidates at the top of their ticket, now is the time for Democrats to expand the battleground in Virginia. Democracy for America’s Purple to Blue Next Wave program will help seize this opportunity and ensure that smart, people-powered progressive campaigns are making Republicans sweat in every corner of the Old Dominion in November.” — Gov. Howard Dean, Founder of Democracy for America and Fmr. DNC Chair
“I am honored to receive Democracy for America’s support and endorsement. I am running for this seat to change the way Richmond does business. Over the last two years we have seen the Virginia legislature to reduce the rights of women, continue the erosion of education funding, and engage in partisan politics rather than working for the solutions our state needs. We must move beyond the divisive politics and ideological extremism that are creeping into Richmond, and reinvest in the future of our state.” — Monty Mason, Candidate, VA-93
“With the support of Democracy for America, I plan to continue working together with the people of the 60th district to move the heart of Virginia forward because there is not a moment to waste. Our district deserves a candidate that will stand his ground, dig in his heels and fight for solutions and steadfast to what matters most for this community and the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.” — Jasper Hendricks, Candidate, VA-60