From Del. Rip Sullivan’s Project Blue Dominion:
Flip-A-District Friday: Volume XI
Welcome to the 11th edition of Flip-a-District Friday. This week Project Blue Dominion is spotlighting Steve Aycock, Tracy Carver, Cori Johnson, and Kellen Squire. Check out their info below to learn more about the candidates, their districts, and their opponents.
Meet the candidate: Steve Aycock
Steve is the son of a union factory worker and dental assistant. He and his wife Pam have four children and fifteen grandchildren. Steve and Pam have lived in the 88th District for over 20 years. He is a member of the Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Rotary, and member and past Chair of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. Steve is a retired Baptist minister.
Steve is running against one of the most conservative and polarizing members of the House: Mark Cole. Cole is infamous for his 2010 “microchip” bill, citing the book of Revelations as his rationale. See this Washington Post article, titled “Human microchips seen by some in Virginia House as device of antichrist” for more details.
House District 88:
This is a traditionally red district, but the Republicans’ margins here have continued to thin in recent elections. The 88th district includes parts of Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Fauquier Counties, as well as Fredericksburg City. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why Mark must go:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, commutes to work from the three counties in the 88th District — Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Fauquier — are significantly longer than the average for Virginians overall. In fact, compared to other counties, those three are all in the Commonwealth’s top ten for longest commutes.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that in 2013, 17.8 percent of Virginia’s bridges were classified as functionally obsolete and just 79.3 percent of our roads were of an “acceptable pavement quality.” Both of those statistics were worse than the national average.
Despite these substandard conditions reported in 2013, Mark Cole voted that year against a major bipartisan transportation bill (HB 2313) that was ultimately signed into law by then-Governor Bob McDonnell (R). Even the other two Republican Delegates representing Stafford County, the county with the 88th District’s worst commute, voted for the legislation. Mark has done nothing on the issue of transportation, which continues to be a huge problem facing the district, and it’s time for him to move on (pun intended).
Contact the campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the candidate: Tracy Carver
Tracy is a deeply rooted Virginian and proud United States Navy veteran. He is an activist and mechanic — like most folks in the 59th District, he works hard every day.
Tracy will bring this work ethic to Richmond to work for you. His main focuses will be protecting our environment by fighting against new pipelines and stopping fracking, legalizing marijuana in the Commonwealth, and making sure Virginians have access to affordable health insurance.
House District 59:
The 59th district represents parts of Campbell, Appomattox, Buckingham, Albemarle, and Nelson Counties. It is currently represented by Matt Fariss (R).Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why Matt needs to go:
Matt Fariss introduced a purely political bill to change the way electoral college votes are allocated meant solely to disadvantage Democrats. President Barack Obama won the Commonwealth in 2008 and 2012, and polling indicated (correctly) that Secretary Hillary Clinton would win Virginia in 2016.
So, hoping to boost Republican electoral college numbers, Matt put forward a bill in 2015 that would grant two of Virginia’s thirteen electoral college votes to whoever wins the Commonwealth, and distribute the other eleven based on congressional district. It’s worth noting that, in large part thanks to gerrymandering, just four of our eleven congressional seats are held by Democrats. If these numbers had held, Secretary Clinton would have won less than half of Virginia’s electoral college votes despite winning the popular vote here.
Contact the campaign: email@example.com
Meet the candidate: Cori Johnson
From the time Cori was in preschool, she knew she wanted to grow up to help people. After ten years working in emergency services, then moving to an administrative role, she realized that entering politics is the best way to make a difference.
Cori is passionately committed to public service. She started as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and after completing her education in Advanced Life Support as a Paramedic, she became a professional firefighter while continuing to provide advanced emergency medical care in a cross-trained, dual-service role.
Ten years of front-line service to people from all walks of life have given Cori unique experience tackling issues facing every level of the community. Her time as a paramedic has taught her decisive leadership, critical problem solving, and rigorous accountability. Firefighting has solidified her commitment to serving something bigger than herself.
Her recent professional experience in Fire Department Community Risk Reduction involves collaborating with key community partners and executive level leaders to build community-based programs that improve the health and safety of the public. She plans to apply the same proven, systematic approach to legislative matters and issues affecting the lives of her constituents.
House District 97:
The 97th district encompasses parts of Hanover, New Kent, and King William Counties. It is currently represented by Chris Peace (R). Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why Chris needs to go:
Chris has a very unsympathetic view of undocumented immigrants.
For example, Chris:
- Has repeatedly introduced a bill to bar undocumented young adults, also known as “DREAMers,” from admission to Virginia colleges and universities,
- Voted to require that local law enforcement hold undocumented immigrants in jail past their scheduled release dates until they can be transferred to immigration authorities,
- Voted to ban sanctuary cities, a position that law enforcement across the country has argued endangers the public rather than protects it,
- and has copatroned many, many, many more anti-immigrant bills.
Contact the campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the candidate: Kellen Squire
Kellen’s work as an ER Nurse on the front lines every day and his commitment to working families have helped him receive endorsements from the AFL-CIO and the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF).
In the House of Delegates, Kellen will continue to fight for working families’ rights by supporting fair and equal pay for all, providing the tools — like broadband internet — to succeed in the 21st century economy, and pushing to expand Medicaid in Virginia.
House District 58:
The 58th encompasses parts of Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, and Rockingham Counties. It is currently represented by Rob Bell (R). Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why Rob needs to go:
Rob Bell has consistently received a zero percent voting record from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, a fact he proudly displayed on his website when running in the Republican primary for Attorney General in 2013, though he later removed the reference (before, after). Rob has been anti-choice since he arrived in the General Assembly in 2003, when he introduced a bill that would essentially ban abortions in the Commonwealth. Since then, he voted for the infamous transvaginal ultrasound bill, to defund Planned Parenthood, to require parental consent for women under 18 to access abortion services, and to restrict access to abortion for low-income women.
Additionally, Rob is a member of the House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee, which oversees all health-related bills, including those concerning women’s reproductive rights. In this position, Rob has ushered through all of the anti-choice bills that have ultimately come before the House since 2003. He is clearly out of touch with Virginia values, which polls have consistently showninclude the right to choose.
Contact the campaign: email@example.com
This concludes Volume XI of our Flip-a-District Friday series. I encourage you to review this and older volumes of Flip-a-District Fridays here, and find a candidate or candidates whom you would like to support with your time or financial resources.