Home 2023 Elections VA House Democrats Introduce 89-Candidate Slate on Path to the Majority

VA House Democrats Introduce 89-Candidate Slate on Path to the Majority

Of these 89 candidates, "there are 46 women, at least 45 are candidates of color, and at least six candidates who are openly LGBTQ+. There are also at least 10 candidates who have proudly served in the United States Armed Forces."


From the VA House Democratic Caucus:


Democratic Candidates for House of Delegates Reflect Virginia

RICHMOND, VA –  The Virginia House Democratic Caucus is pleased to announce a dynamic slate of candidates who reflect the diversity and the culture of the Commonwealth.These are smart, accomplished and trusted leaders in their line of work and in their service to their community. Each person is incredibly and individually equipped with the expertise to govern on day one of the Democratic Majority in the House of Delegates.

Of the 89 candidates on the ballot, there are 46 women, at least 45 are candidates of color, and at least six candidates who are openly LGBTQ+. There are also at least 10 candidates who have proudly served in the United States Armed Forces. The Virginia House Democratic Caucus is proud to have a historically diverse and service driven membership, and we cannot wait to grow our ranks with candidates who will inspire voters and bring grassroots enthusiasm.

House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring said, “This slate reflects the diversity of today’s Virginia. The stakes in this year’s elections are incredibly high, especially as reproductive rights are on the ballot. Our Democratic candidates are smart and well equipped to help us push back against a dangerous Republican Majority and take back the House this November.”

“We know what to expect from the Republicans,” said Leader Don Scott. “They’re going to give us anti-choice, anti-gun violence prevention, and anti-democracy candidates. That is exactly the kind of leadership that is going to take Virginia backwards. Our candidates are looking to the future. They represent the future of this Commonwealth. They represent excellence. They’ll pave the path to the Majority.”

In addition to representing the diversity of the Commonwealth, the variety of professional backgrounds and personal perspectives that our candidates have, gives them the experience to bring common sense solutions to the real problems facing Virginians.

Our candidates are already trusted leaders in their community. Karen Jenkins (HD-89) serves on the Suffolk School Board and Katrina Callsen (HD-54) serves as the Chair of the Albemarle County School Board. Mike Jones (HD-77) serves the city of Richmond as City Council President and Marty Martinez (HD-29) is the former Vice Mayor of the Town of Leesburg. Mary Person (HD-83) served for eight years as Mayor of Emporia. These leaders know how to govern, create jobs, and have proven records bringing solutions to their communities.

At least ten of our candidates have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces, representing the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. These include: Dan Helmer (HD-10), Marcus Simon (HD-13), Joshua Thomas (HD-21), David Reid (HD-28), Marty Martinez (HD-29), Robert Smith (HD-33), Dr. Jarris Taylor (HD-86), Leader Don Scott (HD-88), Jackie Glass (HD-93), and Mike Feggans (HD-97). Leonard Lacey (HD-64) is a thirty-year veteran of the Virginia State Police.

At least five of our candidates are faith leaders in their communities, including: Luke Torian (HD-24), Rob Banse (HD-30), Leonard Lacey (HD-64), Joshua Cole (HD-65), and Mike Jones (HD-77). At least eight of our candidates are current or former small business owners. This includes: Dan Helmer (HD-10), Holly Seibold (HD-12), Laura Jane Cohen (HD-15), Kimberly Moran (HD-51), Jennifer Woofter (HD-52), Debra Gardner (HD-76), Kelly Convirs-Fowler (HD-96), Mike Feggans (HD-97), and Charlena Jones (HD-100).

At least 11 of our candidates are currently or formerly educators, including Holly Seibold (HD-12), Laura Jane Cohen (HD-15), Robert Smith (HD-33), Katrina Callsen (HD-54), Amy Laufer (HD-55), Rachel Levy (HD-59), Joshua Cole (HD-65), Mark Lux (HD-66), Bilal Raychouni (HD-72), Mary Person (HD-83), and Kelly Convirs-Fowler (HD-96).

At least 22 of our candidates are under the age of 40, including: Adele McClure (HD-2), Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (HD-5), Irene Shin (HD-8), Rozia Henson (HD-19), Joshua Thomas (HD-21), Travis Nembhard (HD-22), Briana Sewell (HD-25), Misty Vickers (HD-40), Lily Franklin (HD-41), Kimberly Moran (HD-51), Katrina Callsen (HD-54), Susanna Gibson (HD-57), Joshua Cole (HD-65), Bilal Raychouni (HD-72), Jessica Rowland (HD-74), Destiny Bolling (HD-80), Kimberly Pope Adams (HD-82), Nadarius Clark (HD-84), Jackie Glass (HD-93), Phil Hernandez (HD-94), Alex Askew (HD-95), and Zach Coltrain (HD-98).

A number of our candidates are parents, many of whom are parents of school-aged children. These include: Patrick Hope (HD-1), Dan Helmer (HD-10), Holly Seibold (HD-12), Laura Jane Cohen (HD-15), Kathy Tran (HD-18), Candi King (HD-23), Briana Sewell (HD-25), Atoosa Reaser (HD-27), Sam Rasoul (HD-38), Amy Laufer (HD-55), Susanna Gibson (HD-57), Rachel Levy (HD-59), Jessica Anderson (HD-71), Kimberly Pope Adams (HD-82), Leader Don Scott (HD-88), Jeremy Rodden (HD-90), and Kelly Convirs-Fowler (HD-96).

Our candidates also have the lived experience that resonates with so many Virginians.

Kim Pope Adams (HD-82) is a skilled accountant who earned her MBA while juggling the responsibilities of working full-time and being a single mom.

While balancing an accomplished career as a family law attorney and child advocate, Karen Keys-Gamarra (HD-7) and her husband currently live in a three-generation household, caring for her aging parents and her children. The reality is that for many Virginians, they are the sole caretakers for sick and elderly family members, while also taking care of children in the home. Democrats like Karen understand the challenges of the “sandwich” generation.

As a young man, Kannan Srinivasan (HD-26), was a victim of an automotive accident and was denied Medicaid assistance, leaving him to pay thousands of dollars for life-saving care. Now he serves as Chair of the Virginia Medicaid Board—appointed by Governors McAuliffe and Northam—and helped to expand Medicaid access to more than 2 million Virginians.

Adele McClure (HD-2) and Phil Hernandez (HD-94) were the first in their families to graduate from college.

Katrina Callsen (HD-54) is the daughter of teen parents who dropped out of high school. She went on to attend Yale University where she worked at a local Waffle House and other jobs to put herself through school. These experiences mirror those of the number of students that attend any one of Virginia’s colleges and universities.


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