This past Saturday, I listed my 8 criteria for choosing the Democratic nominee in the 8th CD race. How do these criteria apply to specific candidates? I started with former Virginia Lt. Governor Don Beyer, continued with Del. Mark Sickles, Del. Charniele Herring, Bruce Shuttleworth, Lavern Chatman and Alfonso Lopez. We now turn to Del. Patrick Hope.
1. The next Representative from the 8th CD should be a strong, rock-solid progressive.
Patrick Hope has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2010, so he has a voting record of about 4 years now. Here are a few highlights from his Project Vote Smart ratings:
*100% from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
*83% from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce (note that almost everyone seems to get high ratings from this group; no idea why)
*100% from Equality Virginia
*0% from the far-right-wing Family Foundation of Virginia
*100% from the League of Conservation Voters
*0% from the NRA
*100% from the Virginia AFL-CIO
*100% from the Virginia Education Association
The bottom line, based on these ratings and on Patrick Hope’s votes since 2010, is that he’s as close to a rock-solid progressive as you’re going to get in this state, or probably any other state. 🙂 Anyway, I give him an “A” on this criterion.
2. I want to see a tenacious, indefatigable FIGHTER for progressive values
Patrick Hope has certainly fought for progressive values like LGBT equality (and protection from discrimination), quality/affordable health care for all Virginians, gun safety, women’s reproductive freedom, prison reform, and “green buildings.” Recently, Del. Hope announced his support “for a proposal recently endorsed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to replace payday lenders with the U.S. Postal Service.” Good stuff all around. The ONLY quibble I have with Del. Hope is that I would have liked to see a lot more emphasis on my #1 priorities: protecting the environment (particularly dealing with climate change), promoting clean energy, and getting us off of dirty energy as fast as possible.
3. We need a Representative who will fight for the 8th CD.
Patrick Hope has been a fighter for progressive values, no doubt. The only question is about how effective he’s been, but this one’s really tough to answer because the Virginia House of Delegates is dominated by right-wing Republicans. This, by the way, applies to all the Democratic members of the General Assembly, including the ones running for the 8th CD nomination. Finally, while I give Patrick Hope credit for co-founding the Progressive Caucus, I’m not sure what that organization has accomplished exactly since it was founded in July 2011.
4. We’re going to be losing some big-time seniority and need to build it back up.
Patrick Hope is young (41) and certainly would have plenty of time to build up seniority.
5. We want, need, and deserve a Representative who has the highest ethical standards and who makes us proud every day.
As far as I’m aware, Patrick Hope is highly ethical and generally is a good guy.
6. A superb, impressive track record of accomplishment over the years.
According to Del. Hope’s website, he is “a health care attorney with over 13 years experience working for Virginia and has been recognized by numerous organizations including the 2010 Legislator of the Year by both the VA Transit Association and the VA Academy of Family Physicians.” He spent “several years working on Capitol Hill for Senator Bob Kerry (D-NE) and Representative Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX),” then “worked for various health care organizations working to improve access and care for patients,” and now “is the Director of Legislative Policy at the American College of Cardiology” as well as “an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.” In addition, Hope “was the founder and first president of the reorganized Buckingham Community Civic Association (2003-2009) and chaired the Arlington County Community Services Board (2005-2008)…was co-chairman, Arlington Implementation Task Force to End Homelessness (2008-2010), and Commissioner for the Arlington County Commission on Aging (2002-2007).” He’s a member of “numerous organizations and caucuse: Arlington County Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association, The ARC of Northern Virginia, CPAAS, NAMI-Arlington, NAMI-Northern Virginia, Friends of Clarendon House, SAARA-Arlington, Equality Virginia, Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Arlington Special Olympics, Arlington Committee of 100, Leadership Arlington (2010), and Arlington Kiwanis.”
Very, very impressive.
7. Obviously, we want someone who will do a great job on “constituent services.”
Patrick Hope is my delegate, and I’ve been very happy with his responsiveness. Unlike several candidates for the 8th CD seat, Hope is savvy about communicating via social media, with weekly House of Delegates updates via YouTube and numerous Twitter and Facebook updates. That, to my mind, is crucial in the year 2014, given that the vast majority of 8th CD residents use social media (of one sort or the other) to communicate and gather/share information.
8. I want to see a “heavyweight” in this job — someone who is a serious policy wonk, someone who really loves diving into the weeds of legislation, someone who can go toe-to-toe with Republicans and Tea Partiers (and conservative and/or corporate Democrats for that matter) in the battle of ideas.
From what I’ve observed, Patrick Hope is mild mannered but certainly not afraid to stand up to the extremist Teapublicans. As for being a policy wonk, I’d definitely say he is on health care, but could probably use a bit more “wonkiness” on a few other areas, particularly energy/environment. I’ll be very interested to hear Hope’s vision for Congress, as well as his national and international policy ideas, during this campaign.
Overall: Patrick Hope is one of the top candidates, from a progressive point of view, for this seat. I say this as someone who supported Miles Grant in the 2009 House of Delegates primary against Patrick Hope, but have come to like and respect Hope a great deal. I give him an overall A-/A grade.