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As the 2020 Campaign Heats Up, Let’s Focus Presidential Campaign Energy on Virginia 2019!

Elizabeth Warren shows how!

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by former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Kip Malinosky

The 2020 presidential campaign is here: debates, faux controversies, fundraising numbers and grassroots organizing! Democrats are lucky, if also slightly annoyed, that we have more than 20 presidential candidates to choose between. Now, I have my candidate (more on that below), but I will work just as hard for whoever is the Democratic nominee.

While the presidential campaign is going to garner an enormous amount of attention and energy, we can’t forget about the state and local races. We need to win Board of Supervisors, Commonwealth’s Attorney, House of Delegate and State Senate races across the Commonwealth. I want to set up a competition among our Democratic presidential candidates to see who can get the most volunteers out to phone bank, call and text for our Virginia Democratic candidates.

Why? Democrats need to flip the General Assembly in order for us to make progress on gun safety, confronting the climate crisis, passing the Equal Rights Amendment and strengthening our democracy. If we harness the visibility and energy of Democratic presidential politics into our state and local campaigns we can increase our chances of flipping the state legislature and taking critical County Board Chair races.  

How do we start? This effort should come from the presidential campaigns themselves. It may very well be up to grassroots volunteers in every presidential campaign to push their candidate to encourage their supporters to make calls, knock on doors, donate and of course vote for Democratic candidates. It’s already started.

For my part, after considering the field and their plans, I decided that I am all in for Elizabeth Warren. Her vision of bold, structural change from corporate boardrooms to Capitol Hill buttressed with dozens of specific plans is exactly what we need. I really like a lot of presidential candidates, but Warren excites me the most as being a potentially transformative president. And naturally she has a plan to help Virginia Democrats.

I hosted an organizing meeting yesterday for Warren (see picture), where about 40 activists talked through different actions we will take to help Virginia Democrats win. Warren folks will help make calls and canvass for Virginia candidates, if you want to join us sign up here in conjunction with the Arlington Democrats (any other campaigns are welcome to join). Warren folks will help register new voters at all tabling events. Warren will highlight Virginia candidates as she can — she already has done so with Sheila Bynum-Coleman and Delegate Hala Ayalaas well as highlight key dates like the start of absentee-in-person voting, the voter registration day and of course election day itself. 

I encourage all the other 23+ Democratic presidential candidates to do all they can to support our great Virginia candidates. We can truly change the Commonwealth this year and the country in 2020!