From Del. Rip Sullivan:
“Flipped-the-General Assembly Friday”
We did it. After 26 years — a generation — of hard work, grit, and determination, we flipped the House of Delegates in Virginia. The Senate flipped, too, for the first time since 2011. We finally have united Democratic government in the Commonwealth, and we are set to create a brighter, more inclusive future for all Virginians.
Click here to watch a clip of my announcement of my candidacy for the House of Delegates in 2014 at an Arlington Democrats Committee meeting. I vowed then to fight with everything I had until we reached a majority in the House of Delegates. It may have seemed to some like a pipe dream at the time — after all, I was just the 33rd member of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. We had a long climb ahead of us, but I was in the fight for 51 from the very beginning and I never lost sight of that mission.
When I served as the Caucus Campaign Chair in 2017, we flipped 15 seats and reached 49 members in the Democratic Caucus. It was a clear message from voters that they were not getting the representation they wanted from the Republican-led House of Delegates. But despite our massive gains, we were still in the minority. We were more powerful — we were able to finally expand Medicaid, for example — but we were still not where I and countless other Democrats wanted to be. At 51.
I re-upped as Caucus Campaign Chair this cycle, and I was confident that our tireless volunteers, generous donors, and fantastic slate of candidates would accomplish great things. But I was also concerned about 2019 being an “off off” year, when turnout tends to drop off and candidates have a harder time getting the resources they need to get out the vote. Despite that concern I was optimistic, knowing that Virginians were eager for change on important issues like health care and gun safety reform.
We worked hard, you worked hard, and on Tuesday — together — we fulfilled the promise that I made in 2014 to reach 51 in the House. As it turns out, we did even better than 51 — we picked up six seats and reached 55 members in the Democratic Caucus.
Here is a quick breakdown of how we got there:
- We successfully defended every single one of our Class of 2017 members, including two seats that we won in 2017 but were open this cycle. Race details from Flip-a-District Volumes XII-XVI here.
- District 28: Josh Cole defeated Paul Milde. Race details from Volume I here.
- District 40: Dan Helmer defeated Tim Hugo. Race details from Volume VIII here.
- District 76: Clinton Jenkins defeated Chris Jones. Race details from Volume IX here.
- District 83: Nancy Guy defeated Chris Stolle. Race details from Volume IV here.
- District 91: Martha Mugler defeated Colleen Holcomb. Race details from Volume V here.
- District 94: Shelly Simonds defeated David Yancey. Race details from Volume I here.
Thank you for all that you did to make this historic win happen for the Commonwealth.
And we know — just like 2017 launched a huge national success in 2018 — that our victory will light the fuse for our next victory in 2020. I look forward to proving to you and all Virginians that electing Democrats will improve the lives of all who live and work in the Commonwealth.