From Del. Rip Sullivan’s BLUE DOMINION PAC
Flip-A-District Friday: Volume X
Welcome to the tenth issue of our 2021 Flip a District Series
Last night we saw a debate that revealed two dramatically different paths for Virginia. One focuses on continuing the momentum of a cleaner, more robust economy that creates jobs and reflects the values of a more inclusive Virginia and protects a woman’s right to choose.
The other showcased a future of fear and division for Virginia, one that sees investments in education and the environment as wrong. I am proud of the work our Democratic Majority has accomplished, and I believe Terry McAuliffe is the right person to lead us as we continue our path to a better Virginia for all.
The candidates and incumbents below are vital to take Virginia forward alongside Terry. Let’s make sure we elect Terry McAuliffe for Governor, and defend and expand our majority in the House of Delegates.
Vote for them. Give to them. Work hard for them.
House District 7
Meet the Candidate: Derek Kitts
Derek Kitts is a retired US Army combat veteran, small business owner, and middle school athletics coach. He served on active duty for 24 years, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, during which time he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Currently serving as Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Veterans and Military Families Caucus, he has been deeply involved in party politics and has continued to make veterans’ issues a priority.
A son of Southwest Virginia, Derek was born and raised there and returned to the area in 2012 ahead of his retirement from the Army. Following an unsuccessful bid for the 9th Congressional District against Morgan Griffith, he opened up Virginia Blue Star Printing & Consulting, a Union print shop that has done work for the DPVA, various unions, and Democratic candidates across the Commonwealth.
House District 7:
HD-7 encompasses parts of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties as well as all of Floyd County, including parts of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. It leans to the right, but its long-term Republican incumbent is retiring so it is an open seat— and an opportunity. Marie March, Derek’s Republican opponent, is an extremist political newcomer who has alienated moderate Republicans (whom she refers to derisively as “RINOs” and compares to socialists), leading several notable local Republican elected officials to cross party lines and come out in support of Derek’s candidacy.
So while the district leans to the right, Republicans in the district are not sold on Marie March’s brand of extremism. As long as Derek can successfully communicate his message to moderate Republicans and Independents, this seat is flippable.
Just one example of why we can’t let Marie March win:
Marie March is an extremist who has modeled her political career after the likes of Donald Trump, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. She attended Trump’s rally on January 6th and labeled the violent insurrectionists “patriots.” More recently, she has publicly stated that she believes in “privatizing everything,” which would spell the end of our public education system, publicly-funded infrastructure projects, our social safety net, and much more. If elected, she will undoubtedly prioritize rolling back progress Democrats have made for the Commonwealth over the last two legislative sessions; and while for now she may just be a problem for the 7th District, if we do not end her political career this election she will become a problem for all forward-thinking Virginians.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 97
Meet the candidate: Stan Scott
Stan Scott spent his youth in the South as one of four sons in a poor family that found its way into the middle class through education. After attending public schools in Arkansas and Mississippi during desegregation, he accepted admission to the College of William and Mary but left school to enlist in the US Army. He spent much of his military career in Germany and watched the Berlin Wall come down and the Cold War end from a motor pool in Schweinfurt. Later, he deployed with the First Infantry Division for peacekeeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, first as the Senior Operations NCO and later as a tank platoon sergeant. After 20 years as a combat soldier, Stan retired from the Army in 2002.
After completing his service at Fort Knox, Stan went back to school on the GI Bill and earned degrees in political science, public policy, and economics. He then returned to Virginia for doctoral work in international relations and public policy at George Washington University. His research focused on global governance and international institutions, with specific work on peacekeeping and national reconstruction after conflict.
Stan has taught political science and public policy at the university level and presented academic papers on corporations and ethnic conflict. He has published work on the politics of climate change. Stan also studies the history of the US Constitution and Government with a focus on social and political context. He teaches Government for Piedmont Virginia Community College and has held seminars on the Electoral College.
Stan has worked on public policy advocacy since he retired from the Army, first on specific issues with a grassroots and legislative affairs consulting firm and later as a paid and volunteer grassroots organizer and policy advisor.
He has been a member of the Hanover Democratic Committee for 12 years, including seven on the Executive Committee organizing as a Precinct Chair. He supported the campaigns of Rick Waugh, Wayne Powell, Jack Trammel, Glenn Millican, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, John Suddarth, Vangie Williams, Qasim Rashid, and Jennifer McClellan.
House District 97:
The 97th District, made up of Eastern Hanover County, most of King William County, and all of New Kent County, may be one of the most conservative House districts in Eastern Virginia. It won’t be easy to flip. Still, incumbent Delegate Scott Wyatt (R) is in his first term and alienated many Republicans when he used control of the nominating committee to oust Chris Peace in 2019. More importantly, Hanover County has changed rapidly as new housing construction attracts new residents. Engaging with these new residents is a key part of our campaign.
Why we must defeat Scott Wyatt:
During the Civil Rights era, Hanover County constructed new schools for High School and Junior High students. County officials then named the schools after Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis as a way of intimidating some Hanover County residents and making the County less attractive as a new home for certain groups of people. As a member of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors, Scott Wyatt resisted changing these names at every turn.
He also became the face of resistance to expanded health care access when he organized the effort to unseat Chris Peace because Peace had supported expanding Medicaid, which helped four hundred thousand Virginians get access to life-saving medical treatment and medications – including more than eleven thousand in the 97th District.
A Virginia General Assembly controlled by Scott Wyatt and his allies would mean new restrictions on voting rights and reproductive health care, lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and reduced firearm regulation. We cannot let that happen.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 62
Meet the candidate: Jasmine Gore
Jasmine Gore has served on Hopewell’s City Council since the age of 24 after her historic win in 2012. Within the past decade, she has served as the Ward 4 City Councilor, Vice Mayor, and Mayor for the City of Hopewell, Virginia.
The cornerstone of Jasmine’s advocacy is improving the quality of life for residents by
addressing the social and economic factors influencing their communities. Jasmine believes that an inclusive government is rich with civic engagement, public policy amendments, and the equitable allocation of resources. As such, one of her platform priorities includes fighting to expand access to opportunity for residents of the 62nd District and all Virginians.
Growing up in a military family, Jasmine learned the importance of service and how working with others can solve problems. As a local leader, Jasmine met people at their doorstep to address issues impacting households and the locality. She has prioritized reaching across kitchen tables to make a difference when partisan politics does not provide the tools to make a direct impact within the community. She has earned the reputation of working collaboratively at the local, state, and national levels to accomplish innovative goals. Jasmine served as the youngest member of the National League of Cities Board of Directors and now is a member of the Leadership Advisory Council. In addition, she served as the only elected official on Virginia’s Board of Medicine. Jasmine currently serves as the Chair for the Local Government Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, which supports the Governors of the Bay watershed states and Mayor of the District of Columbia. She also serves as Chair for the Chief Elected Officials for the Crater Workforce Region.
Jasmine graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in Biology, Political Science, and a minor in Chemistry. During that time she also earned National/State Pharmacy Technician licensure, national legal assistant certification, and earned Court Appointed Child Advocate credentials. For years, Jasmine worked as a clinical laboratory scientist and pharmacy technician until she transitioned to Veteran Advocacy. Today, she works full-time to certify Virginia employers on national best practices to recruit, hire, and retain military job seekers. However, her love for government evolved from her years of volunteering with the Virginia General Assembly, the Democratic Party of Virginia, and her City.
Jasmine’s unique background and experiences at all levels of government provide the 62nd District with a leader that has first-hand knowledge of leading a community. Most specifically, as Mayor, she led her community through one of the most difficult times in a generation. Jasmine shares the priorities of her community and knows the challenges facing residents. She will continue to build on the results accomplished to invest in what matters most – the people.
House District 62:
The 62nd House district is located south of the City of Richmond. In 2019, the district’s lines were redrawn as a part of federal court-ordered redistricting due to gerrymandering. The change resulted in the 62nd District being more Democratic than previously designed. The current district includes parts of Chesterfield and Prince George Counties, as well as all of Hopewell City. The 62nd District is one of six Republican-held seats that President Biden carried in the November 2020 election with over 51% of the vote.
Just one example of why we must defeat Carrie Coyner:
The current incumbent is a first-term Republican candidate who does not list or display her party affiliation in public settings. However, when in the presence of Republicans, she supports conservative issues/ideologies and candidates. In addition, the campaign deceptively uses marketing and verbiage that portrays the priorities of the Democratic Party that is counter to her voting record. To be clear, Jasmine Gore is the only Democratic candidate on the November 2021 General Election ballot.
That is why the stakes in this election could not be higher and the choice could not be clearer. When the nation faced a crisis of mass unemployment, Jasmine’s opponent voted against the creation of a Secretary of Labor position, a first in Virginia. Her opponent also voted against paid sick leave for workers, against overtime wages, and against various other worker protections during the pandemic. Sadly, she also voted against the creation of a new small business procurement program that would increase state utilization and competition. Moreover, when thousands of Virginians were at risk of homelessness, the incumbent voted against tenant protections for health and housing security. It is a choice between sending someone to Richmond who has a track record of standing up for working people, the environment, and civil rights, or someone who puts extreme ideology first and Virginians second.
Jasmine’s legislative success includes fighting for health equity, early childhood development, Veterans, the digital divide, climate change, youth opportunity, gun violence, job training, entrepreneurship, community engagement, and City Hall reform. During the pandemic, as Mayor Jasmine worked with Hopewell’s City Council to pass local legislation that provided:
Tax relief to all taxpayers during the pandemic
Municipal pay increases for essential workers on the front line
Hand-deliver Covid-19 masks, sanitizers, and kits to every household
Small business grant programs for brick-and-mortar operations and
Funding for Utility and Rent Relief grant assistance
Wi-Fi and technical assistance/tutoring support for students
10,000 KN95 for the November 2020 Election
Free Covid-19 testing and vaccination sites
As Chair of our Regional Workforce Authority, Jasmine is working with state agencies, local officials, and partners to strengthen the Crater Workforce System. As Chair of the Local Government Advisory Committee, Jasmine is advocating for green job creation, environmental justice and to protect our community. In the House of Delegates, Jasmine will work day and night to help more Virginia families get ahead. Throughout these trying times, Jasmine Gore led by addressing the gaps we know exist – and planning for our future.
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Contact the Campaign: here
House District 61
Meet the candidate: Trudy Berry
Trudy Berry may be a relative newcomer, but during her 23 years in the 61st District
she has attended college, worked, and volunteered in her community with the Chamber
of Commerce and Friends of the Library. She has witnessed the economic decline with
the loss of businesses and jobs (including her own) and has waited for the promise of
broadband in every rural home to come to fruition.
Trudy’s platform is based on equality and justice. She is a firm believer in environmental
justice and has been a strong advocate against an unnecessary 1200 acre mega landfill
proposed for her District. This landfill operation will adversely affect the entire
Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia is the #2 importer of trash). Other challenges facing the 61st District include, but are not limited to, the need for broadband, permanent full- time jobs, and access to affordable healthcare. Trudy knows that a healthy economy leads to a healthy community and a healthy economy increases the quality of life.
House District 61:
The 61st District is rural and strong Republican. It has had two Republican Delegates
since 1994. Only three Democrats have challenged the incumbent, Delegate Tommy
Wright (R), in a general election since 2001. Trudy challenged him in 2019 and is again
challenging him in the 2021 general election. The District includes all of the counties of
Amelia, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, and Nottoway. Several precincts in Lunenburg
County are split between the 61st and 75th Districts. Click here for more district details.
Rural residents deserve equal opportunity to work and shop where they live; not have to
drive to the next county or two counties over. They deserve equal opportunity and
incentives for small and mid-size businesses to start up and thrive. They deserve equal
treatment when it comes to building broadband infrastructure to reach every rural
household. They deserve equal consideration to offer a sufficient number of medical
and dental providers to serve their communities. They also deserve a Delegate who
does not turn a deaf ear to their concerns.
Wright is wrong for District 61:
Tommy Wright, by his own admission, doesn’t listen to just one individual, but will listen
to a County Board of Supervisors. He also has not listened to several of his constituents
who are concerned about the health of Distict 61’s environment. He is more concerned
that everyone can own and carry every kind and any number of guns and rifles they
want, anywhere they want, than he is about whether we can breathe clean air and drink
clean water. Tommy Wright votes against equality and justice legislation. Rather than find a balance, he votes for business, but not for workers’ rights and he votes to protect law
enforcement, but not individuals’ civil rights. It is not an either/or. We can support and
protect business and law enforcement and workers and civil rights.
District 61 needs a Delegate who has experienced, and understands, how constituents are living: job loss, no secondary (rental or investment) income, lack of insurance. Trudy will be that Delegate. The District has never been represented by a woman and needs a woman’s perspective to move away from the status quo and toward a healthier
economy and lifestyle.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 36
Meet the candidate: Ken Plum
In my many years in the House of Delegates, I have never been more pleased and honored than with the work that I and other members of the General Assembly were able to accomplish in the 2020 and 2021 sessions.
We repealed the death penalty, ratified the ERA, passed the strongest voting rights and human rights laws in the country, established gun safety laws, ensured the reproductive rights of women, passed the first state level voting rights law, and more.
These advances did not receive bipartisan support on their passage. They were hotly debated. In the current political campaign, the opposition is pledging to turn back the advances we have made and go back to the old Virginia.
I have an opponent in the fall election who says in the statement announcing his candidacy “we must turn back before it’s too late” from what he terms “reckless policies.” (https://langforva.com)
Virginia was recently named the best state in which to do business for the second year in a row by CNBC for its stable governance, financial reserves including a rainy-day fund, its AAA bond rating, and excellent education opportunities. Virginia is a leader among the states.
I have spent a lifetime working on behalf of human rights. I got the first hate crime law passed in Virginia and have helped strengthen it over the years. My bills to ensure rights of LGBTQ+ citizens introduced over many years have now become law! We cannot turn back on these advances.
I introduced bills to protect our families and communities from gun violence before most legislators were willing to take on the NRA, and now my background check bill and many other bills to curb gun violence are law! We must keep our families and communities safe.
As a native Virginian I became aware of the terrible effects of Jim Crow laws on our society, and I wrote and spoke out against them. I am pleased to have cast votes to eliminate Jim Crow laws and will be vigilant to ensure that they do not creep back into our government. We have come too far to turn back!
As a career educator I worked hard to ensure that all children have the best possible education. Educators endorse me for they know my commitment to public education. We must provide the best schools possible for our children!
Much has been accomplished, but there is more to be done. Please keep me working on your behalf by voting for me by absentee voting, early voting, or on election day November 2.
Please support my candidacy with a contribution. Mail a check to Friends of Delegate Ken Plum at 2073 Cobblestone Lane, Reston, VA 20191 or contribute online below.
The voters have honored me with re-election many times including an over-whelming victory in a primary election earlier this year. I have not lost my enthusiasm nor my willingness to work for you as legislator.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 89
Meet the candidate: Jay Jones
Jay Jones was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017 to represent the 89th District. A lifelong resident of Norfolk, Jay’s call to public service was generations in the making.
The descendant of slaves, Jay’s family has been in Norfolk since the early 20th century. His grandfather, Hilary H. Jones, Sr., was a pioneering Civil Rights attorney in Norfolk and became the first Black member of the Norfolk School Board. In 1969, he was appointed to the State Board of Education, the first Black to be named to the board in the history of Virginia.
Jay’s father, Jerrauld C. Jones, is one of the few Virginians to serve in all three branches of state government. He was a member of the General Assembly from 1988 – 2002, served as Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice under Governor Mark Warner and is now a Circuit Court judge.
Like his forebears before him, Jay is dedicated to ensuring his community and Commonwealth embraces everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like.
As a member of the House of Delegates, Jay fought to expand Medicaid, increase the minimum wage, and give teachers a raise. He also gave voice to progressive energy and environmental policies that improve the lives of all Virginians while preserving our air, water, and land. A tireless legislator, Jay championed legislation known as the “Ashanti Alert,” a bill to establish a missing persons alert for adults in the Commonwealth. This legislation was used as the model for a bill that eventually became federal law. He has also sponsored legislation to deconcentrate poverty in urban communities, achieve a fair regulatory scheme for our public utilities, and create an earned income tax credit in Virginia.
Jay currently serves on the House Appropriations, Transportation, and Counties, Cities, and Towns committees and he is the chairman of the House Transportation subcommittee on Motor Vehicles. Jay also serves on the Opioid Abatement Authority, the Commission on Youth, the Criminal Justice Services Board, and the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation.
Jay completed his undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, where he was a double major in Government and History. Jay worked in finance in New York before returning to the Commonwealth to obtain his law degree at the University of Virginia.
Jay currently practices law in Norfolk with Protogyrou Law, PLC.
Jay and his wife Mavis reside in the Larchmont neighborhood of Norfolk. They are members of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
House District 89: The 89th district is a fairly safe blue district located mostly within the southern and western portions of Norfolk.
Why we must defeat Hahns Copeland: Copeland is an arch-conservative Republican candidate whose conservative ideals will threaten the very things that we’ve worked hard to eradicate in Virginia–including relics of Jim Crow. If elected, Copeland has pledged to continue fostering Virginia’s right to work laws. In doing this, workers’ rights to collectively bargain will be infringed upon and we must stand up for workers’ rights and ensure they are able to advocate for themselves.
Additionally, Copeland opposes laws to increase access to the ballot box, and has vowed to support more stringent voter laws under the guise of election and voter protection. Copeland opposes all justice reform measures, including abolishing qualified immunity, and supports the Texas-style abortion legislation that would threaten women across the Commonwealth. Copeland is not fit for public office, and especially not the 89th District.
Contact the Campaign: here
That’s it for Volume X of our Flip-a-District Friday series. I encourage you to review this email and future editions to find a candidate or candidates whom you would like to support with your time or financial resources.
Project Blue Dominion is committed to supporting Democratic candidates in every corner of the Commonwealth. Join us. The fight to defend and expand our majority is on.
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