From Del. Rip Sullivan’s Blue Dominion PAC:
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 Flip-A-District Series.
Each year Democrats fight hard to control Virginia’s General Assembly. This year is no different. With newly drawn districts and progressive policies on the line, we are determined now more than ever to take back the majority in the House of Delegates and defend control of the Senate.
We are ready to win in November. And we will continue to defend and expand upon the progressive policies that lift up all Virginians and makes Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
The candidates Project Blue Dominion features in our Flip-a-District series are the Democrats—incumbents and challengers—who Virginians need to elect to gain the majority in the House of Delegates. The stakes are high and the power to elect Democrats lies in your hands. It is the time, donations, and activism of Virginia voters that will determine our future. I hope you will join us in seizing this historic opportunity.
House District 97
Meet the candidate: Michael Feggans
Michael was raised for most of his life in Virginia Beach. A proud product of the Virginia Beach Public School system, he graduated from Tallwood High School and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to pursue a career that would provide him the opportunity to become an innovative leader.
An alumnus of Virginia Tech, Norfolk State, and the University of Virginia, he values and understands the importance of education, both traditional and nontraditional. After 20 years of service in the Air Force, he knew that the best place to retire from the military and start his next phase as a tech entrepreneur was back home in Virginia Beach. With the creation of the new 97th House District, Michael is stepping forward once again to provide a fresh voice and to continue serving the community he loves.
About House District 97:
HD-97 lies completely within Virginia Beach City and is centrally located within the city.
In 2021 HD-97 went 48.4% for McAuliffe and 50.6% for Youngkin, but in 2020 Biden won by 51.6%. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) has rated this race a competitive +2.2 R race and it is considered one of the most competitive races in Virginia and offers a real chance to flip a seat from red to blue and win back the House of Delegates.
About his opponent:
Our opponent is current Republican Delegate Karen Greenhalgh who narrowly beat HD-85 candidate Alex Askew in 2021 by less than 120 votes. Karen is extremely anti-choice and this past legislative session was the force behind legislation that would have banned transgender and non-binary students from school teams that correspond with their gender identity.
House District 20
Meet the candidate: Michelle Maldonado
Michelle Maldonado is a long-time resident of Prince William County and the City of Manassas and has proudly served her first term in the House of Delegates fighting for families, a cleaner and greener economy, accessible and affordable housing, healthcare and reproductive rights, technology and innovation to keep Virginia competitive, and funding for schools and teachers as our students recover from learning loss.
Michelle brings heart, honor, and action to her work because she knows how important it is to be a voice and advocate for all people she represents. She has worked as an entrepreneur, business leader, former tech attorney, mother, wife, and bridge-builder who is running for re-election to represent the new District 20. With a code of strong ethics, compassion, determination and vision, Michelle isn’t afraid to tackle hard issues and to work across party lines to get things done. In her first term, she was named “Rookie Legislator of the Year” by the Virginia Education Association and founded the bi-partisan Virginia Technology & Innovation Caucus.
Michelle has spent over two decades supporting the development and performance of leaders, teams, and communities across industries — ranging from teachers to corporate executives, humanitarian aid workers, military and law enforcement. She is skilled in navigating difficult environments to bring people together to find solutions to the problems impacting our families, communities, and businesses around the Commonwealth.
About House District 20:
Michelle’s new district, District 20, is one of the most diverse districts in Virginia that is comprised of the City of Manassas, Manassas Park and parts of Prince William County. Her district is filled with various communities that are of all income levels and her top priorities are affordable housing, mental and behavioral health, the opioid crisis, and education. She is the main contender for District 20 and will need as many resources to not only support her fellow colleagues and candidates after the primaries as the Prince William County Democratic legislative candidates are one of the many seats/districts that could flip the majority if won in the general election.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 65
Meet the candidate: Joshua Cole
Raised in the HD-65, Josh Cole knows not only what challenges people face in Fredericksburg and Stafford County, but also what it means to truly serve his constituents. Josh is the former pastor of music at Union Bell Baptist, is the former President of the Stafford County NAACP, and works with numerous other local and community initiatives.
In 2019, Josh Cole became the youngest person and the first Black person elected from the Fredericksburg region to the General Assembly. In 2021, he lost the district by less than a 1,000 votes in a difficult off-year election.
In Richmond, Delegate Cole has taken a people first approach to law making. In his first term, he voted to cap out of pocket health care costs on prescription drugs for Virginians with pre-existing conditions, raise the minimum wage, expand voting rights and make community college tuition free.
Delegate Cole has taken on big issues, voting in support of the ERA, protecting workers’ rights, defending a woman’s right to choose, and protecting our environment by standing up to big polluters. He also took the lead on historic legislation, including renaming Jefferson Davis Highway to Emancipation Highway and bringing automatic voter registration to Virginia.
Now, he is running for HD-65 to return to the General Assembly and continue his work on behalf of Fredericksburg area families. He’s continuing to fight for affordable housing and jobs, public education, and transportation.
About House District 65:
Virginia’s 65th district is comprised of three counties located in Northern Virginia: Stafford County, Fredericksburg City, and Spotsylvania County.
This district is home to approximately 87,000 Virginians. Prior to redistricting, this seat was known as HD-28. In 2019, Delegate Cole won HD-28 with 1,040 votes, making him the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1982. Delegate Cole’s win in 2019 helped tip the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates in Democrats’ favor. Despite his close loss in 2021, he is committed to the Fredericksburg area and is running again. HD-65 was won by both President Joe Biden and Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, making it a critical open seat and pick up opportunity this election.
This district is ranked among the top five most competitive races in the state.
What Josh is up against:
Josh’s opponent, Lee Peters, is a Marine Corps veteran and currently a deputy in the Stafford County Sheriff’s department. He has been endorsed by far right extremists, including Governor Glenn Youngkin, Speaker Bill Howell, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Delegate Todd Gilbert. His supporters want to restrict voting rights, eliminate reproductive freedoms, and cut access to healthcare in Virginia. Peters has never held or run for public office before.
Join the campaign here
Contact the campaign: here
House District 5
Meet the candidate: Elizabeth Bennett-Parker
Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker represents the 45th District which includes parts of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax, and she is running for re-election in the 5th District, contained entirely within the City of Alexandria. She serves on the House Finance and Counties, Cities & Towns Committees. During her first term, she passed bills to: strengthen protections for victims of stalking; allow advisory boards to hold electronic meetings; support electric vehicle charging infrastructure; incentivize farmers to donate surplus crops to food banks; protect consumers from deceptive event ticketing websites; and to modernize ABC laws to support the employment of individuals with felony convictions.
Elizabeth has also patroned and co-patroned bills and budget amendments to increase access to mental health care, enact paid family and medical leave, increase access to affordable, quality child care; protect abortion rights; enhance common-sense gun safety measures; protect LGBTQ+ marriage; and more.
Elizabeth was named a Legislative Champion by the Virginia Education Association. She previously served as the Vice Mayor of Alexandria and the Chair of the Operation Board of the Virginia Railway Express. She is a former co-leader of Together We Bake, a nonprofit that provides job training and personal development programs for underserved women. She and her husband welcomed their daughter in May 2023, and they live with their rescue dog and cat in Alexandria.
Contact the campaign: here
House District 29
Meet the candidate: Marty Martinez
A proud Veteran and father of five, Fernando “Marty” Martinez would be the first Latino to represent Loudoun County in the Virginia House of Delegates. Marty’s lifetime of service spans 20 years on Leesburg Town Council and eight years in the United States Air Force, as well as decades of involvement with the Loudoun community as a baseball coach, Boy Scout leader, and community advocate.
As former Vice Mayor and a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates, Marty is focused on uplifting Virginians across the Commonwealth to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. From protecting reproductive freedom to ending the gun violence epidemic, so much is at stake on the ballot this November.
Marty lives in Leesburg with his wife, Doris. He has five children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
About House District 29:
House District 29 is centered around the town of Leesburg, Virginia. The district is the most competitive Delegate’s seat in Loudoun County and one of the most competitive in the entire Commonwealth. Regarded as a battleground district by the House Democratic Caucus, it’s an essential open seat to win in order for Democrats to take back the majority.
Contact the campaign: here
That’s it for Volume I of our Flip-a-District Friday series. We’ll be back next week and every week until Election Day to share more about our great candidates. In the meantime, 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 take back the majority is on.