Home 2023 Elections Endorsement: Russet Perry for VA Senate in the Crucial-for-Democrats-to-Win, “Swing” SD31 (Loudoun/Fauquier)

Endorsement: Russet Perry for VA Senate in the Crucial-for-Democrats-to-Win, “Swing” SD31 (Loudoun/Fauquier)

Democrats won this district in 2016, 2017 and 2018, while Youngkin won it by just 0.6 points in 2021

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With early voting for the June 20 Democratic primaries starting in in just two weeks (on May 5), and with 1Q23 fundraising numbers in, it’s starting to come down to the proverbial “crunch time.” And by “crunch time,” in this case, I mean weeding out the viable and non-viable candidates, as well as deciding who to support for the Democratic nomination. So expect several endorsement writeups over the next couple weeks, including yesterday’s endorsement of Stella Pekarsky in SD37 and today’s endorsement of Russet Perry in the crucial-for-Democrats-to-win-this-November, “swing” SD31 (90% Loudoun County, 10% Fauquier).

Before we get to the endorsement, for some context on the importance of Democrats winning this seat, see A Step-by-Step Guide to Maintaining – or Even Expanding – the Democratic Majority in the VA State Senate This November. Also note that in 2021, Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe were nearly tied in this district (50.0% for Youngkin, 49.4% for McAuliffe), while Democrats won it in 2016 (Clinton by 6.2 points), 2017 (Northam by 8.5 points) and 2018 (Kaine by 16.8 points). So this one’s definitely winnable, and it’s crucial that Democrats DO win it if we want to keep our Senate majority and prevent Glenn Youngkin and his not-so-merry band of right wingnuts from gaining a governing “trifecta” and rolling Virginia back to the 1950s…or maybe 1930s…or hell, 1850s. Ugh.

The crucial nature of this seat means that Democrats need a top-notch nominee, especially considering that the Republican nominee is a super-rich, hard-right guy who Democrats have correctly ripped for his “dangerous politics,” “dark and divisive vision,” “blatant attempts to stoke fears and divide our community.” Just to give you a flavor of this guy’s rhetoric, check out what he had to say at his kickoff, including a word salad of Fox-“News”-style nonsense/right-wing blather, including the use of phrases like “George Soros-backed,” “woke agenda,” “tyranny,” “radical left,” yada yada. Ugh.

So having looked carefully at the two Democrats running for this nomination – Zach Cummings and Russet Perry – they’re both good people and strong on the issues, but I really only see one candidate – Russet Perry – who is most likely to defeat Segura this November.  Clearly, I’m not alone in this conclusion, as Perry’s been endorsed by a slew of leading Democrats in Loudoun County and beyond, such as: former Gov. Ralph Northam, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10), VA Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas, VA Sen. Jennifer Boysko, VA Sen. Scott Surovell, VA Sen. Mamie Locke, VA Sen. John Bell, VA Sen. Barbara Favola, VA Sen. Adam Ebbin, VA Sen. Janet Howell, LiUNA, Clean Virginia, Virginia NOW, the Climate Cabinet, etc. As the Loudoun Democratic Senate delegation stated in late January:

“Russet Perry has dedicated her life to serving the people of our region. Through her career as a prosecutor in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties and as CIA officer, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, Russet is the right choice for the 31st District and Commonwealth.”

An attorney and former prosecutor in Loudoun County and a CIA officer; who does that remind you of?  For me, two names immediately spring to mind: 1) Jennifer Wexton, an attorney who served as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Loudoun County before being elected to the State Senate and then to the U.S. House of Representatives; 2) Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer and former federal law enforcement officer (working narcotics and money laundering cases with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service) who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

In Russet Perry’s case, she got her law degree at Georgetown University, then served as a prosecutor in the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney office, where she “successfully prosecuted all manner of charges, including domestic assault, stalking, elder abuse, rape, child exploitation, child abuse, offenses involving firearms, robbery, felony assault, and murder.” Perry “also served as a CIA Officer, receiving multiple awards for her work…protecting American citizens, our nation, and ultimately our democracy.” And unlike the super-wealthy Republican nominee, Perry understands viscerally what it’s like to struggle financially:

As a child, Russet’s five person family struggled financially. Her father was a public school teacher with chronic illness, and her mother was a student, who returned to school after surviving Stage IV breast cancer.  The struggles she encountered as a result of that upbringing made her passionate about issues surrounding the cost of living, families being able put food on the table, having access to affordable health care, and the necessity for excellent and safe public schools with well paid public school teachers.

Last but not least, Perry is strong on the issues:

  • “a strong believer in Women’s Rights and will advocate for the equal treatment of women in every aspect of their lives.”
  • ” believes strongly in equal pay for equal work and the closing of the gender pay gap that continues to exist in Virginia.”
  • “believes that no woman should ever have trouble gaining access to contraception.”
  • “believes in protecting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own reproductive health care…[and]that such decisions should remain between a woman and her doctor.”
  • “believes that commonsense gun safety laws are necessary to help curb the scourge of gun violence facing our Commonwealth.”
  • “believes in creating walkable communities in order to reduce our area’s carbon footprint, in establishing first rate public transportation systems, and providing significant incentives to those who pursue clean energy options as we move toward a clean energy economy.”
  • “will fight to ensure that no person in this Commonwealth is denied access to health care, regardless of economic status, race, creed, gender, or social position.”
  • “believes that no child, no matter their background, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family income level, or social status should be denied the very best education possible.”
  • “believes that teachers should be well paid and significant incentives should be provided to college graduates to pursue teaching our youth.”

All great stuff, and needless to say, the hard-right Republican nominee is pretty much the polar opposite on all of those issues.

The bottom line here is simple: 1) this is a crucial, competitive district that Democrats HAVE TO WIN this November; 2) Russet Perry is by far the best choice to accomplish that goal; 3) she has a highly impressive bio; and 4) she’s right on the issues. So, I encourage everyone to support Russet Perry both for the nomination on June 20 and, of course, this November, when we’re going to need voters in this district to turn out in droves and vote Democratic up and down the ballot. Go Russet Perry!

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