I’m told that Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-HD24) is going to announce her candidacy for State Senate in District 29 today. SD29 is currently represented by State Senator Jeremy McPike (D), so this will be a primary challenge by Guzman to the incumbent. Note that , due to redistricting, Guzman herself was “drawn into” a House of Delegates district with Del. Luke Torian (D), so she had a choice of either running against Torian or against McPike…and chose to seek the “promotion” to State Senate by taking on McPike.
As for SD29, it is located in eastern Prince William County (88.77%) and Stafford County (11.23%); is solidly “blue” (went for Terry McAuliffe last year by 12.2 points, for Ralph Northam in 2017 by 21.1 points, etc.), and is VERY diverse (“majority minority”), with a population that’s 42.1% White, 24.6% Hispanic, 22.0% Black, 13.7% “other,” 13.6% Multiracial, and 8.6% Asian.
All of which would seem to give Guzman, who is Latino (an immigrant from Peru), a potential advantage in this primary. And, indeed, the Guzman campaign commissioned a poll, by Public Policy Polling, and gave me the green light to share the “top-line” results, which were Guzman 34%-McPike 8%-“Not Sure” 58%. So the majority are undecided, but of those who ARE decided, Guzman starts off with a 4:1 advantage before campaigning begins.
Finally, the Guzman campaign shared the following quotes from endorsers thus far:
“Elizabeth Guzman was a single mom who worked three jobs to support her child and has dedicated her career to helping others as a social worker, so she understands the challenges that countless Virginia women face in today’s society,” said Lisa Sales, president of Virginia NOW and chair of the Virginia NOW PAC. “From sexual harassment to paid sick leave to raising the minimum wage, Elizabeth has championed workers’ rights issues that disproportionately impact women, who are more likely to be caregivers and to hold low-paying jobs. Representation matters. If there had been more women’s voices in the Senate, Virginia would have passed an assault weapons ban and codified Roe v. Wade while Democrats still held power. Elizabeth Guzman has taken on the toughest fights, and the Virginia NOW PAC endorses her candidacy for the new Senate District 29 with urgency and enthusiasm.”
“Every worker should have the freedom to join a union and bargain collectively, and our sister Elizabeth Guzman passed a historic law to give Virginia’s teachers, firefighters, and public service workers a seat at the table,” said Robert Hollingsworth, executive director of AFSCME District Council 20. “Elizabeth is standing up with public service workers across Virginia while we are getting organized. We can count on her to fight for us in the Senate because she is one of us and has taken on the toughest fights to get things done. Workers need her voice in the Virginia Senate because she’s fought for them to have a voice on the job. AFSCME District Council 20 is proud to endorse her campaign in the new District 29.”
“Elizabeth has been the kind of public servant who doesn’t shy away from a tough fight,” said Dumfries Vice-Mayor Monaé Nickerson. “She has consistently taken on some of the biggest issues in Virginia, from criminal justice reform to more investments in public transportation, she made them a centerpiece of her legislative agenda. She is the kind of elected official who shows up. She’s never backed down from a tough fight and that’s why Dumfries needs her in the Senate.
“I’ve had the honor to work with Elizabeth ever since I got into office and she has been a tireless, relentless advocate for communities throughout Virginia and especially right here in Dumfries,” said Dumfries Town Councilwoman Selonia Miles. “She’s stood up for workers, families, and the disability community and I know she will continue to bring an energy that we so desperately need to the Senate. I am proud to support her candidacy “
“Elizabeth embodies what public service should be about, putting families and workers first and fighting to secure a more equitable Virginia for all,” said Dumfries Town Councilwoman Cydny A. Neville, “As a mother with two children in public school, she understands the impact decisions in Richmond can have on local communities and has fought for higher investments in public education and better pay for educators. She has never shied away from being a powerful advocate for women, families, and workers. In this pivotal time, we need more leaders like Elizabeth Guzman in the Senate.”
“Elizabeth Guzman is a proven fighter who has consistently championed Virginia’s families and workers, working to even the playing field and expand access to opportunities for all Virginians,” said Dumfries Town Councilman Brian Fields. “Dumfries needs strong and committed public servants like Elizabeth, and I have no doubt she will serve and fight for our community in the Senate.”
“Elizabeth is a union member and has been a fighter for working Virginians both in her district and beyond,” said Ronnie Hobbs, Virginia State Legislative Director SMART Transportation Division. She has been fighting for working families across Virginia unapologetically. Her voice has been instrumental from raising the minimum wage to ensuring that every major development includes project labor agreements and pay living wages. She has been a seminal champion for workers rights here in Virginia and we are proud to support putting a union sister in the state Senate.”
“Teamsters Local 639 is proud to endorse our union sister, Elizabeth Guzman for the new Senate District 29,” said President John Gibson. “Workers need more representation in government. Elizabeth Guzman will make sure our voices are heard because she is one of us and she will fight for us. She did it in the House, and she’ll do it in the Senate. Workers want fair contracts, so we can have the peace of mind that higher wages and access to paid sick leave won’t be an issue and Elizabeth gets it.”