From Del. Lee Carter – a possible Democratic candidate for governor in 2021 – and Paul Goldman, a Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor:
Carter and Goldman Call on Fellow Candidates to Put Public Health over Politics
Manassas & Richmond, VA – Delegate Lee Carter and LG candidate Paul Goldman are imploring all 2021 primary candidates to hold off on in-person petition circulation, for the sake of the health of their staff, volunteers, and the general public, pending the Richmond City Circuit Court’s resolution of a lawsuit on the issue.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, today is the first day Virginia has reported more than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. The UVA COVID-19 adaptive model predicts tens of thousands of weekly COVID-19 cases during the petitioning window, many times more than the worst weeks of the summer.
On December 22, Goldman and Carter filed suit and asked the Court to reduce the number of signatures required to qualify for the June statewide Democratic primary from 10,000 to 2,000, to eliminate the requirement to collect at least 400 signatures in each congressional district, and to order the implementation of electronic petition signature collection.
This week, Goldman and Carter reached out to both the Attorney General and Governor’s offices to emphasize the public health hazard posed by in-person petition circulation which begins this Saturday, January 2, 2021.
With the rapidly increasing spread on COVID-19 in Virginia – and the reported delays in vaccine distribution – Carter and Goldman are confident that the Court will order an electronic petitioning process. To circulate petitions in-person before allowing the Court to provide a remedy will unnecessarily put the health and safety of campaign staff, volunteers, and the public at grave risk.
“Anyone who truly supports President-elect Biden’s efforts to combat COVID-19 cannot support jeopardizing the health and safety of the public for political self-interest when a fair and safe solution is available,” Goldman said. “We Democrats must fix this if we truly give a damn about public health.”
“As candidates for positions of leadership, we have to do everything we possibly can to preserve public health,” Carter insisted. “I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror if I sent my staff and volunteers out into a growing pandemic without doing absolutely everything possible to find another way.”