From the Michael Wade for Delegate campaign.
Democratic Socialist Michael Wade Takes First Step Towards Second House of Delegates Run
HAMPTON, Virginia – August 31, 2018 – This week, Michael Brandon Wade announced a fundraising pledge drive in advance of declaring a run for the Virginia House of Delegates 91st District in 2019.
Wade, the Democratic Party nominee for the office in 2017, is taking the pulse of the electorate by asking supporters to make a pledge to donate to the campaign once the election season kicks into high gear on Jan. 1, 2019.
To that end, Wade has established Startup 2019, an effort to secure a commitment of $50,000 to mount a campaign capable of unseating an entrenched Republican incumbent politician. In just a few days, pledges have already exceeded the $20,000 mark.
Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 edge in the House of Delegates, an advantage that Wade would sorely like to see reversed.
“There’s no question it’s possible,” Wade said. “We picked up 15 seats in 2017 and it took a drawing of lots to allow the Republicans to maintain control of the House.
“The Republicans know we’re coming after them and their majority. We will have to be ready and that means well-financed campaigns across the board. Nothing beats getting out and meeting the voters, but to compete on a level-playing field, you have to keep an eye on the money coming in and going out.”
Wade is on the Executive Board of the Hampton Democratic Committee and recently served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the Karen Mallard for Congress campaign.
Wade was the first challenger that the incumbent, Gordon Helsel, had to face off against since winning an uncontested special election in March of 2011.
“We were very competitive,” Wade said. “We can be again. If I run, I’ll be campaigning on a progressive platform that includes passing the Equal Rights Amendment, a living wage for the working class, educational and electoral reforms, a move towards a clean-energy economy and the repeal of anti-union ‘right to work’ laws. Unlike our current delegate, I’ll stand for commonsense gun-reform and against easier access to firearms. I’ll be a voice for those who’ve been ignored for far too long. And on Medicaid expansion, I’m proud to have been onboard long before the political winds had shifted.”
The 91st District, home to Langley Air Force Base, includes much of Hampton, York County and Poquoson. The 91st District boundaries are likely to shift over the next few months, the result of a June, Federal Court ruling that found 11 Virginia House districts had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered along racial lines. State lawmakers have been given until Oct. 30 to redraw boundary lines for the 11 affected districts, a move that will almost certainly affect the bordering districts, including the 91st.
“We can’t be sure how this will all play out,” Wade said. “The 91st could look a lot different once this has been sorted through, but we can’t wait until it is to make a decision to run. The courts are watching. This does not have to be a partisan process. The goal is fairness. That’s not too much to ask of our elected representatives.”