From Del. Rip Sullivan’s Blue Dominion PAC:
Flip-A-District Friday: Volume XI
Welcome to the eleventh issue of our 2021 Flip (and Hold) a District Series
It’s late September, and Democrats are finally–FINALLY–waking up to the fact that we have an enormously important election in less than six weeks.
And it is tight. Yes we booted out Trump. Yes we took the U.S. Senate. Yes, we won the majority in the Virginia House and Senate and yes we’ve turned Virginia blue.
But we’ve got to protect what we’ve won. We cannot rest on our laurels and assume anything about the result on November 2.
If we show up, we will win. It’s as simple as that. If we don’t? Well, I refuse to even think about it. Because we will show up.
Take a look at these great candidates.
Vote for them. Give to them. Work hard for them.
House District 88
Meet The Candidate: Kecia Evans
Raised in a military family, Kecia learned the value of public service at a young age. Kecia’s family moved to Virginia in the early 1990’s, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School in Woodbridge. Now, she’s a mother of four, a small business owner, and works in the criminal justice field. Kecia has a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice; a Masters of Science in Cybersecurity/Digital Forensics and a Masters of Law National Security.
Kecia is active locally in her community; for example, she is a Member of the Stafford County NAACP and was the Former Committee Chair for Stafford County NAACP’s Legal Redress and Criminal Justice Committee. She knows that Virginia families like hers deserve leaders who will stand up and deliver on the issues that matter the most to them and their families.
Kecia has been appointed to three Local Boards in Stafford county and currently serves as Secretary of the Board Of Zoning Appeals, in Stafford County; the Former Chair and Vice-Chair of Stafford County Department of Parks and Recreation and Former Chair for the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for Stafford County School Board. This is Kecia’s second time running for this House of Delegates seat.
House District 88
HD88 is in the I-95 corridor just down the street from Northern Virginia; the haven of the blue powerhouse for Democrats. The district dashes across parts of Fauquier County, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, and Stafford County. The district is primarily rural by land mass; however, the commuter hub is rapidly growing as families move out of the capital beltway and settle into suburbia.
Republican Philip Scott is the traditional Republican Conservative who seeks to be a brick wall against progress and investing in our communities. As the personal choice of Congressman Wittman and retiring Mark Cole, he defeated Tim Lewis in the Republican Primary.
Libertarian candidate Tim Lewis, who lost the Republican primary, is determined to reject all restrictions and regulations on various issues from schools to guns to even health care.
Why We Need Kecia To Win
This is an open seat for the first time in 20 years. The Republicans have blocked progress in the General Assembly long enough. Since taking back the Democratic majority in the House, we’ve made great strides. Kecia wants to add to those accomplishments and advance progress for kitchen table issues and criminal justice reform. She wants to add to the Yes votes for progress. She wants to add to the security of our democracy, knowing we’re not just one coin-toss away or abstention or absence from voting for what is right and for what is Democratic.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 96
Meet the Candidate: Mark Downey
Dr. Mark Downey works as a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of Williamsburg, a practice of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. When he’s not in the office, he enjoys swimming and rowing as well as volunteering his time for his neighborhood Queens Lake swim team, the Bruton High School swim team, and the Williamsburg Boat Club rowing team. He’s been a resident of the 96th District for the majority of his life, beginning when he moved here with his parents at the age of two, after his father retired from the U.S. Air Force. He grew up in the Queens Lake neighborhood in upper York County attending Waller Mill and Magruder Elementary School, Queens Lake Middle School, and Bruton High School. He graduated from Bruton High School in 1984 and focused on academics (Valedictorian) and civics (Senior Class President) and then graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Chemical Engineering, but after working for four years as a chemical engineer, decided to pursue a different path. He then attended medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. After his residency and starting his career as a physician, he returned to Williamsburg in 2001 to join Pediatric Associates of Williamsburg.
He’s honored to be the father of four fantastic children with his wife Kristin. Since moving back to Queens Lake, he has strived to make his neighborhood as wonderful of a place for the next generation of children as it was when he grew up there and wants to do the same for the broader community.
As he looks to the future he hopes to take his passion as a pediatrician, father, and neighborhood volunteer to serve the wonderful people of the 96th District as their Delegate. His campaign is focused on creating a healthier, safer Virginia where all families have an equal opportunity to thrive. He believes in affordable living (which includes wages, housing, child care, paid sick leave, etc.); investments in public education (universal pre-K for all 3 and 4 year olds in Virginia, updating crumbling school infrastructure, creating additional career pathways in the trades for young people, and raising teacher pay); and comprehensive health care for all Virginians (to include medical, dental, vision, hearing, and mental care coverage).
House District 96: The 96th District is the last Republican-held House of Delegates seat on the Virginia Peninsula. It includes most of York and James City Counties along with the parts of Williamsburg that are not in the City. It also borders the York and James Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and features Historic Yorktown, which is one third of the Historic Triangle. The 96th is a mixture of suburban and rural and has been trending blue in recent years. President Biden only lost the district by one percentage point in 2020.
Why We Can’t Let Batten Win: Delegate Amanda Batten was recently ranked the 7th most conservative Delegate in Virginia. In a district that is increasingly more diverse and Democratic, her views are too extreme and out of line with the majority of voters. Delegate Batten is a particularly weak incumbent. She just finished her first term in office, has legislatively been unsuccessful in passing her own bills, has lacked overall strength in fundraising, and has proven herself to vote party line with rare exception. Her notable bad votes include voting against every gun safety bill, environmental protections, expanding access to voting, and access to health care.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 65 Meet the candidate: Caitlin Coakley
Caitlin Coakley first experienced politics as a reporter for a weekly newspaper. She became a staple at committee hearings, floor sessions, commission meetings, and all the other places where changes are made. The experience taught her firsthand what good governance looks like, as well as how political mudslinging – or worse, complacency – could derail it.
After several years as a writer and activist, Caitlin took to the streets in the summer of 2020 to demand better from elected officials when it came to Covid-19 response, public safety, and education. An activist and organizer, she held fundraising and supply drives, planned actions, and started conversations in her community about a better model of government to serve the people.
Now, she’s taking her ideas directly to the people. Caitlin believes in support for working families, access to essential government services, and a government by the people, for the people. She isn’t afraid to fight the hard battles to make sure that she is representing the voices of everyone in Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland and beyond.
Caitlin supports expanding public education to include universal pre-K and community college; raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and tying future increases to the cost of living; investing in mental health and substance abuse services to improve overall community health and safety; and supporting small business owners by offering increased access to credit and policies to keep commercial real estate affordable.
More than anything else, Caitlin believes in the power of community to create a more equitable Virginia for all people. She knows that when we unite, we can change the future.
House District 65:
The 65th district includes portions of western Chesterfield County, the entirety of Powhatan, parts of western Goochland, and two precincts in Fluvanna County. For the past 23 years, Lee Ware has represented the district. Yet when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, as families were scrambling to adjust to virtual work and school despite the lack of broadband access in rural areas of the district, he refused to meet with constituents over Zoom. Powhatan residents have called for support with environmental issues, including the protection of their water supply and the community’s opposition to a proposed mega-landfill across the border in Cumberland county; however, Del. Ware has not introduced any meaningful legislation to address their concerns. The voters of the 65th deserve representation that works as hard as they do.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 82
Meet the candidate: Scott Flax
Scott Flax was raised in the 82nd District, and now he is raising his family in the same community he grew up in. Scott understands Virginia Beach’s challenges and its successes and that’s why he is running to represent the 82nd District in the House of Delegates.
Scott grew up in Virginia Beach, so when he graduated in 2004 from the Washington College of Law, in D.C., he knew he wasn’t staying there. He came home. He began working for Tavss Fletcher, where he is now a partner, and married Leah, the love of his life, whom he had known since high school. They live in Thalia with their three wonderful boys and their dog.
Community involvement has been an integral part of Scott’s life from a young age. When Scott was in high school, the tragic death of a close friend led him and several classmates to start the D.A. Taylor Charitable Foundation. They’ve raised nearly half a million dollars and have helped 11 young people attend college in the 14 years since they began. He served on the Bay Colony Civic League board and served as the President of the Thalia Civic League. He is the vice president of Jewish Family Services, a premier social service agency that has helped thousands of families and individuals in need in the Hampton Roads area since 1946. As a lawyer, Scott advocates for his clients, and if elected Delegate for the 82nd District, he will advocate for his constituents and bring their voices to Richmond.
House District 82:
The 82nd District represents the northern Virginia Beach suburbs, and has been trending blue every cycle since 2016. Now, it is an open seat after the current delegate left to run for statewide office. The combination of an extreme GOP nominee, Flax’s moderate and practical policy approach, and the open seat make this district a once-in-a-decade opportunity to flip a seat blue. Polling and fundraising numbers have shown this race to be competitive heading into November.
Why we must defeat his opponent:
Anne Ferrell Tata, the current GOP nominee in HD82, is uniquely vulnerable for a nominee in a seat held by the GOP. She is an author and Christian media broadcaster who worked for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. She spends little to no time discussing the critical issues facing the district, like the economy, coastal flooding, and investments in education, and instead spends her time espousing right-wing talking points on cancel culture and critical race theory, while also holding views on a woman’s right to choose and gun rights that are out of step with her moderate suburban district. She has none of the right priorities or experience to represent the district in Richmond and will be a rubber stamp for the GOP agenda.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 58
Meet the candidate: Sara Ratcliffe
Sara grew up in the Midwest— in communities where families struggled to make ends meet, and where parents regularly needed to choose between paying a doctor’s bill or putting food on the table. Raised by a single mom, she saw from an early age what it means when public policy fails the needs of its citizens. Her struggle led Sara to a career advocating for voices which often go unheard by the government. Sara’s work focused on the impact on marginalized communities in women’s health issues and tobacco control policy.
In her nearly 30-year advocacy career, she has been proud to work with state, local, and national legislators to help shape strong and sound public policy which leaves no one behind. Sara’s understanding of health advocacy helped her to shepherd three parents through their end-of-life journeys—most recently her mother-in-law at 90 years old, just this past May. Her work and her family’s experience reinforced the deeply-held value of duty to home, family, and community.
A Virginia resident for nearly two decades, in 2016 Sara and her husband Joe bought their dream home in Greene County, where they fell in love with the beauty of Central Virginia, the warmth of the community, and the history woven into daily life. Today, Sara and Joe enjoy spending time watching their two-year-old Boston Terrier, Rufus, romping in the countryside around their home.
Sara is proud to present a new vision of the 58th District, one which protects, supports, and empowers every member of our community. Her vision includes better access to affordable quality healthcare, ensures everyone in the district has reliable broadband, paid family and medical leave, working with small businesses and local government to bring good paying jobs to the entire community, improving community mental health responses, protecting our children with common sense gun safety laws, and ensuring our teachers, school support staff, administrators, and students have the facilities they need to be successful in the 21st century. Sara is putting her decades of experience in advocacy, both personal and professional, to work for the people of the 58th District, and hopes to represent them in the House Delegates.
Dedicated to Serve
Determined to Fight
Ready to Make a Difference
House District 58
The 58th includes suburban areas near Charlottesville and Harrisonburg and rural areas across four counties. Sara resides in Greene County, the only county included in its entirety. The district also includes parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Rockingham. It’s a sprawling district that touches the shores of the James River and includes one of the main entrances to Shenandoah National Park. The current delegate is 20 year incumbent Rob Bell, who went unchallenged for 8 years before 2017. Sara is the third challenger in a row to Bell and plans to run again, win or lose.
Why Rob Bell Has Got To Go
During their first debate last week, Bell continued to show how cloaked in extremism he truly is. First, he admitted he voted for Trump twice. Then he confused CRT (Culturally Responsive Teaching) with CRT (Critical Race Theory). Finally, he tried to take credit for Governor Northam’s spending priorities!
On top of making outrageous statements during the debate, Bell has a history of extreme positions as a delegate. In 2012 he was the chief patron of both the infamous transvaginal ultrasound bill and a bill that would require police officers to ask a citizenship question to anyone arrested. Just last year, during the 2020 session, Bell voted to consider birth control as abortion and voted against discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 76
Meet the candidate: Clint Jenkins
Clinton was raised in the heart of the 76th District and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. He then went on to join the U.S. Army. Upon returning to Suffolk, VA., he earned his Bachelors of Arts degree at Saint Lee University and continued graduate studies at Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary. He married Karen Hopson of Suffolk and through their union they have three daughters. In August 2021, Karen and Clinton have now been married for 34 years. He has committed himself to serving the community and Commonwealth through civic engagement. He has chaired numerous civic organizations throughout the city, served on Blue Ribbon Commissions for assessing the City’s needs for school construction and served on the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Committee. He was employed as a Subcontracts Administrator for BAE Systems Shipyard and later served at the Ethics Office for the shipyard. While employed in the ship repair industries, he also worked as a part time real estate agent. He is now a real estate Broker.
Today, along with his daughter Ashlin, they manage their own real estate firm.
His civic engagements lead him to serve as Suffolk’s coordinator for the 77th District House of Delegates and also Chair the DPVA 3rd Congressional District. As Delegate for the 76th District, he voted in favor of minimum wage increases, increased teacher pay, protections for Voting Rights. He proposed legislation to add dental and eye-care coverage to Medicaid. He has been a continued advocate for criminal justice reform and environmental justice as well. He will continue his commitment to working up close and personal with the citizens of the 76th District and the Commonwealth to address the needs and concerns.
House District 76: The District was held by former Del. Chris Jones for 20 years before being defeated by Del. Jenkins in 2019. The district includes the majority of Suffolk and parts of Chesapeake. While still trending Democrat, the district is still up for grabs in 2021. We need to do everything we can to keep Delegate Jenkins representing the 76th district.
Why We Need to Defeat Dillender:
Dillender would support dangerous public health legislation if elected, making it nearly impossible to prevent the spread of future deadly pandemics. On his campaign website, Dillender has offered some policy solutions to the COVID-19 health crisis, including providing vaccines and PPE to the community. But when he filled out a questionnaire from the Virginia Constitutional Conservatives, he made his extremist views clear. He said he would support legislation to “oppose any and all ‘emergency declarations’ that do not pertain to the constitutional duties of elected officials, including, but not limited to forced facial coverings, lockdowns, business closures, and any and all actions infringing upon the right to assemble, worship, or pursue happiness and prosperity.” Additionally, Dillender indicated he would support legislation to prevent vaccination requirements in Virginia, putting the health of all residents at risk, saying that we shouldn’t “pressure” or “mandate” vaccines.
Contact the Campaign: here
That’s it for Volume XI 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.