UPDATED 3/11: According to a new Virginian-Pilot article:
A “Google search for Melnyk reveals her ties to the Republican party, and literature from the Republican Party of Virginia Beach has recognized her for being one of the region’s most prominent Republican women.
A Republican operative familiar with Virginia Beach politics said she has been active with the party for decades. While her seat on the school board is nonpartisan, she has consistently received tacit endorsements from the GOP.”
So…what’s the deal? If she’s actually a Republican, that’s obviously a non-starter. Now, *if* she’s honestly become a Democrat, then let’s hear her reasoning on that change of heart, her positions on the issues, etc. But unless/until that happens, this one definitely falls into the “thanks, but we’ll pass” category…
See below for a press release about a Democrat, Virginia Beach School Board Vice Chair Kim Melnyk, throwing her hat in the ring in HD84. This district, which is 100% in Virginia Beach, went 54% for Tim Kaine in 2018 and 52% for Ralph Northam in 2017, so it’s definitely winnable. Currently, the district is misrepresented by Republican Glenn Davis, who is also running for Lt. Governor. For more on him, see here. Given her background – “Vice Chair of the Virginia Beach School Board, a small business owner, a former teacher” – Melnyk looks like she could pose a formidable threat to Davis, which is a very good thing for Democrats! 🙂 Melnyk has already received a bunch of endorsements, including from former Del. Cheryl Turpin, Virginia Beach City Council member Aaron Rouse, Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam, Virginia Beach City Council Member Sabrina Wooten, etc. Also, note that there are two other Democrats – Tracie Liguid and Neil Smith – already in this race.
Kim Melnyk announces candidacy for the House of Delegates in Virginia’s 84th District
Melnyk, who serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Beach School Board, seeks to build consensus and deliver meaningful results for Virginia Beach residents.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — Virginia Beach School Board Vice Chair Kim Melnyk today announced her candidacy for the 84th District in the House of Delegates.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia families are hurting,” said Melnyk. “1 in 4 small businesses have closed throughout the Commonwealth. Students are struggling to close the learning gap and the cost of healthcare continues to rise in the midst of this global pandemic. We need more leaders in Richmond who will reach across the aisle to build consensus and make progress for our residents. I’m running for Delegate because I have the proven track record of delivering meaningful results for Virginia Beach on our School Board. As Delegate, I will continue to put the needs of my constituents first, prioritizing job growth, our public schools, and affordable healthcare for every Virginian.”
A Virginia Beach resident for more than 40 years, Melnyk is a product of Virginia Beach Public Schools, graduating from Brandon Middle School and Green Run High School. After graduating from college, Melnyk came back to Virginia Beach and taught 1st grade in Virginia Beach Public Schools for more than a decade. Melnyk serves as Vice-Chair of the Virginia Beach School Board, where she helped bridge the partisan divide to raise teacher pay, increase funding for school modernization, implement an equity policy, and reduce the student-to-counselor ratio.
Melnyk and her husband own Premier Millwork, a manufacturing company based in Virginia Beach that employs more than 50 people. Like many small business owners, they know the impact that COVID has had on our local economy. In the General Assembly, Melnyk will fight to expand access to low interest loans for small businesses, to retrain and re-skill workers in high-demand jobs by expanding Governor Northam’s G3 program, and work with the Governor and General Assembly leadership to make Virginia the best place for business and for workers. Virginia Beach is Melnyk’s home, and she is committed to serving our community. That is why she started a program called “Desks for Success” which has delivered more than 2,100 desks for low-income students in Hampton Roads to ease the challenges of virtual education. She has been a leader in growing the “Beach Bags” program, which provides shelf-stable meals and healthy snacks to students who might otherwise go hungry during weekends and over school breaks. Through service and action, Kim has been committed to putting Virginia Beach first, and in the General Assembly, she will advocate for additional funding to improve our infrastructure, to ensure coastal resiliency, and to keep our communities safe.
Melnyk’s campaign will focus on rebuilding the Commonwealth from the COVID-19 crisis to create an inclusive economy that works for all, expand access to affordable, quality healthcare, and fully fund our public schools.
What Virginia Beach leaders are saying about Kim Melnyk
Democratic leaders across Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth are enthusiastic about Melnyk’s campaign:
- Aaron Rouse, Virginia Beach City Council, At-Large
- Sabrina Wooten, Virginia Beach City Council, Centerville District
- Phil Kellam, Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue
- Carolyn Rye, Chair of the Virginia Beach School Board
- Sharon Felton, Virginia Beach School Board, Beach District
- Trenace Riggs, Virginia Beach School Board, Centerville District
- Beverly Anderson, Virginia Beach School Board, At-Large
- Dottie Holtz, Virginia Beach School Board, At-Large
- Cheryl Turpin, Former Delegate, 85th District
- Dan Edwards, Former Virginia Beach School Board, Kempsville District
- Joel McDonald, Former Virginia Beach School Board, Rose Hall
- Carla Hesseltine, Former Virginia Beach Democratic Party Chair and Small Business Owner
- Kim Howard, Community Leader and Former Democratic Candidate for 7th Senate District