If it’s Friday, it must be “Flip-A-District Friday,” courtesy of Del. Rip Sullivan’s “Project Blue Dominion.” This week, the focus is on Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-HD10), Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-HD34), Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-HD31) and Alex Askew (D-HD85).
Flip-A-District Friday: Volume XII
Welcome to Volume XII of what will be — for the next few weeks — our “Defend-a-District” series. Over the next several weeks we’ll break down the races in districts currently held by Democrats with Republican challengers. These are must win races and many are likely to be extremely close.
We all know we need to flip some seats to gain the majority, and flipping seats has become a mantra. But of equal importance, though some overlook it, is the fact that we simply cannot take the majority in the House if we lose Democratic incumbents. And we know the Republicans are targeting some of our incumbents. So in addition to supporting our great slate of challengers (click here to read previous Flip-a-Districts), I encourage you to pick a Democratic Delegate in a targeted seat to help with your time and resources.
Just over 50 days left until the future of the House of Delegates — and Virginia — is decided…
House District 10
Meet the candidate: Wendy Gooditis
Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) represents the 10th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. She serves on the House Science and Technology Committee, as well as the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.
Wendy has a background in teaching, real estate, and technology. Early in her career, she served as a contractor for Bell Laboratories. Her husband serves as Chief Technology Officer for Valley Health, a hospital system in Frederick County.
Wendy’s legislative efforts center around her vision of a healthy population, robust educational system, thriving technology sector, and clean environment. During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, Wendy proudly voted in favor of expanding Medicaid, raising teacher salaries, reforming the state’s criminal justice system (by raising the outdated felony larceny threshold), and funding the Metro system to spur Virginia’s economy.
In 2019, Wendy introduced and passed bills to fight the opioid crisis, build safer schools, and protect children from sexual abuse.
House District 10:
The 10th District is without a doubt one of the most difficult races for a Democratic Delegate this cycle. Wendy unseated Randy Minchew (R) in 2017 by a narrow margin, and Minchew is back this cycle to try to reclaim the seat. He’s literally putting his money where his mouth is — take a look at the two charts below from VPAP.
On the left is Minchew’s data and Wendy’s is on the right:
Notice anything interesting? Wendy has been outraised by $72,771, but it’s where contributions come from that often tells the real story. Wendy has four times the number of large cash contributions and nearly eight times as many small dollar donations as Minchew. It’s clear who is running a grassroots campaign here.
Dig into Minchew’s large contributions and you’ll see something else interesting. His top seven donors all have something in common besides contributing at least $25,000 each. They are all affiliated with Randy Minchew, according to the State Corporation Commission. Between three in-kind donations and seven cash contributions, Minchew has contributed at least $410,000 to his own campaign through his companies. His ability to self-fund — albeit through opaque means — makes this race even more competitive.
This is a purple district, with Clinton winning 49 percent of the vote to Trump’s 45. It is a must-win district, and Delegate Gooditis needs your help today to make sure we hold this critical seat.
West of Reston, the 10th District encompasses parts of Loudoun, Frederick, and Clarke Counties. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why we cannot let Minchew win:
As a delegate from 2012 to 2018, Minchew was extremely conservative, voting with his party 89 percent of the time on the floor. He is attempting to position himself as more moderate, however, as he attempts his comeback. His record, though, speaks volumes as to how partisan he really is.
– His website has been scrubbed of any mention of guns, but looking back at his “Issues” section from when he was in office, he touted his pro-gun bona fides, boasting that “Randy is an NRA Life Member, gun owner, and sportsman. He will always protect the people¹s right to keep and bear arms in full exercise of the Second Amendment.”
– Likewise, he no longer addresses abortion issues on his website. Back in 2011, though, he wrote that he is “pro-life and believes that human life begins at conception. He will oppose the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion funding and supports parental notification laws.”
– Today, Minchew claims on his website to be “an advocate for alternative energy innovation,” yet his original website said that he “supports Governor McDonnell’s call for responsible oil exploration efforts off the coast of Virginia.”
– Minchew has carefully avoided discussing Medicaid expansion on his website since he lost his seat in 2017, but he voted against it multiple times and was a vocal opponent of expansion as a delegate.
– Minchew introduced a highly partisan and controversial bill in 2016 that would have forced Virginia’s representatives to the Electoral College to vote according to how individual congressional districts voted, thus giving an advantage to Republican presidential candidates despite Hillary Clinton decisively winning Virginia in 2016.
Minchew may be trying to re-frame himself as a reformed moderate Republican, but his actions speak louder than his words.
Contact the campaign here.
House District 34
Meet the candidate: Kathleen Murphy
Delegate Kathleen Murphy represents Virginia’s 34th District, located in Fairfax and Loudoun County. The House District includes McLean, Vienna, Wolf Trap, Great Falls and parts of Eastern Loudoun. Kathleen is a member of the Transportation Committee, General Laws Committee, and the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee. She founded the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, and the Rare Disease Caucus, and is a member of the Military and Veterans Caucus, and the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus. She serves on the Board of
Veterans Services and chairs the Women Veterans Workgroup.
Prior to her service in the General Assembly, Kathleen was President of Johnson Murphy & Associates – a McLean consulting firm providing strategic counseling and legislative strategies for companies and non-profit organizations. During the Clinton Administration, she worked as a Senior Advisor for International Trade issues at the Department of Commerce and handled Congressional Affairs at USAID.
Previously, she was senior staff for Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-TX), where she handled Defense and Foreign Operations appropriations. Throughout her career, Kathleen has held a Top Secret Security clearance.
Kathleen helped found Salute Our Services, which was created to connect deployed service members to their families. She also helped found Kids Serve Too, an organization to honor and support children in military families. Kathleen played a critical role in Women’s Campaign International, an organization dedicated to teaching women in developing countries how to become political leaders, and was a founding member of the Congressional Wives Task Force, an advocacy group that focused on ensuring accurate nutrition labeling on food products and decreasing violence in children’s television.
Kathleen is a member of the McLean Community Foundation. She served on the Human Services Council for Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Health Care Task Force. She serves on a fundraising board for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She graduated from American University magna cum laude. Kathleen is the mother of four children. She and her husband, Bill Sudow, are long time McLean residents.
House District 34:
The 34th District has leaned blue in recent years, with Senator Tim Kaine winning 63 percent of the vote in 2018. Situated along the Potomac River north of the 48th District, it includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. The district has been represented by Kathleen since she won a highly competitive special election in 2015 to replace outgoing Republican Delegate Barbara Comstock after her congressional win (she has since been replaced — thankfully — by Representative Jennifer Wexton) in the 10th District.
Kathleen won re-election in 2017 by approximately 20 points, but drop off is high in this district in “off off” years. The last time there was a similar election in 2015, Kathleen won by just 188 votes, so we expect that this year’s election will be a serious fight given that there is no statewide race at the top of the ticket to drive turnout. She is facing Republican Gary Pan in November.
Just one example of why we cannot let Pan win:
If one didn’t know better, one would think Pan is running as a Democrat – he lists environmental protection and school funding in his website’s “Issues” section, for example. You have to look hard to even find the word “Republican” on his website. Judging from his Facebook, Twitter and website, there just doesn’t appear to be much substance with the exception of issues on which Kathleen has already been working hard…
For example, Pan has made transportation issues a main issue in his campaign, focusing on the need to eliminate burdensome tolls, reduce traffic, and expand public transportation options. Perhaps he missed the fact that Kathleen sits on the Transportation Committee, where she helped push for the WMATA funding bill last year.
He also has failed to notice that she has been proactive about improving transportation. For example, Kathleen introduced a bill this year to curb cut-through traffic in neighborhoods. The bill passed the House unanimously and became law. She also has made clear that she “oppose[s] adding tolls to I-66 inside the Beltway.”
Pan again parrots Kathleen’s priorities when he discusses education reform and the need for smaller class sizes on his website. Not only did Kathleen vote for a bill encouraging schools to reduce class sizes, she introduced a bill to cap the number of students per classroom in certain subjects.
Pan has limited substance on his website. Kathleen is all about substance. The 34th District deserves a knowledgeable and consistent champion of their issues like Delegate Kathleen Murphy.
Contact the campaign here.
House District 85
Meet the candidate: Alex Askew
Alex was born in Virginia Beach and raised there by his mother, a public school teacher. He was educated in the Virginia Beach public education system, including Tallwood High School, and then attended Hampton University. After graduating, he worked for nearly seven election cycles on a variety of local, state-wide, and national campaigns and projects.
Alex now serves as a legislative aide for the Virginia House of Delegates, guiding elected officials toward tangible solutions. He has helped craft groundbreaking legislation such as the nationwide Ashanti Alert (a public alert system for missing and endangered adults), Medicaid expansion, affordable housing expansion, and school safety initiatives.
Outside of work, Alex remains engaged in his community. He is an active member of New Jerusalem Ministries, where he mentors and tutors local youth. He is a founding board member of the New Leaders Council Virginia, as well as a Board Member for the Democratic Business Alliance of South Hampton Roads and a 2018 graduate of UVA’s Political Leaders Program.
Alex is inspired to fight for affordable healthcare, quality education, economic opportunities, and a safe environment for all of us. Together, he knows that we can create positive change for our community.
House District 85:
While it has become slightly more blue in recent years, Clinton barely won the 85th District by 48 to 46 points. The district was represented by a Republican since 1982 until Delegate Cheryl Turpin (D) defeated incumbent Rocky Holcomb (R) by just 389 votes in 2017.
Turpin is running for the state senate, however, so this is now an open seat race between Alex Askew and Holcomb, who is hoping to make a comeback to the House of Delegates. Open seats are historically much more difficult to win, and Alex will need all the help he can get to hold on to this important seat. This race is crucial to winning the majority.
North of the border with North Carolina, the district is entirely located within Virginia Beach City. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why we cannot let Holcomb win:
Holcomb served just one term in the General Assembly, but he made it abundantly clear when he was there that he was there to work for the GOP, not the 85th District. On every issue, from the environment to LGBT rights, Holcomb was on the wrong side, voting 94 percent of the time with the Republican Party on the floor.
For example, Holcomb supported:
– A shameful, anti-choice resolution naming the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as a “Day of Tears.”
– An anti-immigrant bill introduced by the infamous former Delegate Bob Marshall that would have put onerous requirements on local law enforcement to turn over undocumented individuals to ICE.
– A dangerous bill that would have allowed weapons in emergency shelters, where tensions are already running high and guns would only create a more hazardous situation.
– An anti-LGBT bill that would discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to get married.
– An anti-environment bill that would prevent Virginia from adhering to the Clean Power Plan.
Contact the campaign here.
House District 31
Meet the candidate: Elizabeth Guzman
Elizabeth Guzman is a public administrator and a social worker who resides in Dale City with her husband Carlos and four children. In between ballet and tap lessons, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts activities, judo practices and swimming lessons at the Dale City Recreation Center, Elizabeth works tirelessly as a Court Appointed Service Advocate for CASA CIS to prevent child abuse, a PTO representative for Penn Elementary School, and as a “Cookie Mom” for her youngest daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The Guzmans are active and long-time members of Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge. The family also attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Elizabeth came to the United States from Peru as a single mom, looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. She remembers those early years, when she worked three jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment for her and her daughter. Despite graduating with honors from high school in Peru, Elizabeth’s parents could not afford to send her to college. With her love of learning Elizabeth persevered and enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College, obtaining her degree in Office Administration and Management. Elizabeth also holds a Bachelor’s in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master’s in Public Administration from American University, and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Elizabeth is a long-time resident of Prince William County, living in the community for more than fifteen years. She fell in love with Prince William County because of the opportunity the area offered to her as a community leader and homeowner, and her desire to raise her children in a diverse, engaging environment.
Elizabeth was elected in 2017, becoming the first Hispanic female immigrant to join the 400-year-old Virginia General Assembly. She now proudly represents Virginia’s 31st House District, which includes parts of Fauquier and Prince William County.
Elizabeth has been working in the public sector for 10 years, and currently works as the Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services for the City of Alexandria. Her personal and professional experiences have given her strong insight into the needs of the 31st House of Delegates District, and Elizabeth cares deeply about the many challenges facing residents in Prince William and Fauquier Counties. Elizabeth will fight for the needs of the 31st District, whether legislating for change in Richmond or attending a community meeting in Catlett.
House District 31:
The 31st District is newly light blue, having been represented by a Republican delegate from 1993 until 2017 when Elizabeth beat incumbent Scott Lingamfelter by approximately 10 points. Elizabeth is facing first-time candidate D.J. Jordan (R) this cycle.
Like the races above, this is a must-win, and it is likely that Elizabeth’s total vote count will be much lower than 2017 given that there is significant drop-off in the district between “on” and “off off” years. For example, only 17,793 people voted in the 31st in 2015 compared to 28,605 voters in 2017 when there were statewide candidates on the ballot. We simply must ensure that our voters show up on November 5th.
West of Woodbridge and south of Manassas, the 31st District includes parts of Prince William and Fauquier Counties. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why we cannot let Jordan win:
DJ Jordan has yet to mention in any of his campaign literature that he is a Republican, and most of his yard signs — depending on where they’re located — fail to mention that key fact as well. As the former Vice Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Party, however, Jordan made his conservative views clear. The “Meet D.J.” section on his website also omits his strong Republican ties, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:
Jordan is also prolific with his Facebook posts, recommending clearly biased, conservative-written articles like:
– “Seattle welfare recipient lives in million dollar home.”
– “Cosby: Trayvon Martin case about guns, not race.”
– “Black unemployment: Racism or personal responsibility?”
One article covering the Republican losses during 2017 House of Delegates cycle notes that “Jordan…wouldn’t be surprised to see the party make some gains two years from now, calling it a ‘perfect test case for Republicans.'”
Let’s make sure he is wrong on November 5th.
Contact the campaign here.
That’s it for Volume XII. I encourage you to review this email and past editions to find a candidate or candidates whom you would like to support with your time or financial resources.