From Del. Rip Sullivan’s BLUE DOMINION PAC:
Welcome to the fourth edition of the 2023 Flip and Defend-A-District Series.
Governor Youngkin recently announced a website aimed at encouraging Republicans to register for absentee ballots and vote early in the upcoming Fall election. Ironic–even hypocritical–given that Republican lawmakers have repeatedly and falsely claimed “fraud,” and sought to roll back or eliminate the voter access laws passed by Democrats.
The website is just one step in the Governor’s effort to gain control of the General Assembly. He is raising historic amounts of money, and he will be doling that money out to Republican candidates who we need to beat in November. Already the Republicans are running ads attacking our candidates in the districts most likely to be hotly contested.
It’s only July, but the fight is on. Please take a moment to take a look at this week’s list of terrific Democratic candidates. Donate to them. Knock doors for them. VOTE EARLY FOR THEM!
The candidates Project Blue Dominion features in our Flip and Defend-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 21
Meet the Candidate: Joshua Thomas
Josh Thomas was born and raised in a small town where most folks, including Josh’s family, worked for the airlines. They instilled in him a deep commitment to community service, and his brother, a Marine, showed him the dedication and sacrifice required to serve our nation.
When the tragedy of September 11th shook the world, even Josh’s small town felt the impact. His community’s safety and sense of security were shattered. So, he answered the call to make a difference in the world and joined the Marine Corps, training at Officer Candidates School in Quantico right here in Prince William County. In the Corps, Josh led Marines on tours in Afghanistan and the Middle East. However, his journey wasn’t just about fighting battles; it was about discovering a passion for service that would shape his life.
After five years of serving his country on active duty, Josh traded his combat boots for books and the pursuit of justice. At the College of William and Mary, he learned how to use the law to help small businesses, build homes and defend those that need it most. As an attorney, Josh set his sights on uplifting communities, ensuring affordable housing for all, and helping entrepreneurs and small businesses across Virginia thrive.
When the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into chaos again, Josh refused to stand idly by. He answered the call to serve yet again, joining Virginia’s Medical Reserve Corps to help combat the health and economic impacts of the disease.
Josh continues to fight for us every day by advocating for the rights of Veterans, the LGBTA+ community, and helping to secure asylum for those fleeing from Afghanistan. Josh refuses to back down, relentlessly working to bring about positive change.
Why Josh is Running:
As a United States Marine, Josh knows that teamwork is vital to completing any mission. That’s why he understands that the only way to get things done is by bringing people together, regardless of party affiliation.
He’s running to represent Virginia’s 21st District because he knows that Virginia’s working families need a champion who will fight for their rights and future. Josh is a leader who knows the true meaning of service. He answered the call to fight for our country after 9/11, braved the dangers of the pandemic as a member of the Virginia Reserve Medical Corps, and has fought for the underserved as an attorney. Now his sights are set on a new mission – representing our community in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Just as he did in the Marines, Josh Thomas is ready to stand tall and face challenges head-on. He will both lead and listen to solve the hard economic problems that we face and make Virginia a place where every family can thrive. Josh served his country as a Marine. He served his Commonwealth as part of the Reserve Medical Corps. Now, Josh is ready to begin his second service by serving our community as Delegate from District 21.
About House District 21:
District 21 is located in Western Prince William County, which was redrawn in 2022, and is one of the most competitive and highly targeted districts in this election. The path to flipping the House of Delegates in November runs through District 21.
Who Josh is up against:
John Stirrup is a former Prince William County supervisor best known for being arrested for driving while intoxicated and initiating the controversial 287(g) program. The issue became a source of national controversy, because Latinos in the county and elsewhere feared ethnic and racial profiling, and was met with concerns from law enforcement. John Stirrup has taken very extreme positions on major issues, including reproductive rights, and has accepted endorsements that include a group that has embraced the label of “extremist” when it comes to gun ownership, putting the safety of Virginians at risk.
*HD-21 is one of the most competitive districts and a must win for Democrats to take back control of the House of Delegates.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 18
Meet the candidate: Kathy Tran
Kathy fled Vietnam with her parents as boat refugees when she was just seven months old. Although many other countries offered us asylum, her family waited 13 months for the United States to accept their application. Her family risked everything to come to America because, for her parents, this country has always represented hope, opportunity and freedom. Now, she is a mom of five kids, running to represent the 18th House District and to continue fighting for these values.
From her service in the Virginia House of Delegates to her time as a civil servant at the U.S. Department of Labor to her advocacy work at the National Immigration Forum, she is committed to ensuring all families have opportunities to achieve their American Dream.
As Delegate, she has introduced and supported bills to expand healthcare and reproductive rights, invest in public schools, reduce gun violence, increase affordable housing, expand voting access, support working families, protect the environment, and make Virginia more welcoming and inclusive.
She also serves as Chair of the Virginia Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus. Until 2016, only 3 AAPI men had ever been elected to the General Assembly. In 2017, she was one of the first AAPI women elected to the General Assembly and she is proud to help lift up the priorities of AAPI Virginians, the fastest growing racial or ethnic community in the Commonwealth.
Kathy hopes you will join her movement to boldly center communities of color, immigrants, and women in our fight for justice and equity.
About House District 18:
The new 18th House District is a majority-minority district with large AAPI, Hispanic, and Black populations as well as strong immigrant communities. The district has several Title I schools and nearly 20% of the community are eligible for Medicaid. In her campaign, she wants to make sure we are reaching Virginians who are often underrepresented in the electoral process, including New American voters.
Kathy is focused on winning her race as well as helping candidates across the Commonwealth so that we can win a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates and state Senate. Any support you can give to her campaign would be immensely appreciated!
Who Kathy is up against:
Kathy is running against Republican Ed McGovern. He is an anti-choice, anti-gun safety candidate who wants to use taxpayer dollars to expand charter schools. We can’t let him represent the people of the 18th District.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 22
Meet the Candidate: Travis Nembhard
An attorney, former financial regulator, former administrative law judge, and the husband of a public school teacher, Travis Nembhard is first and foremost a neighbor and father raising his children here in our community. Travis has a track record of working for families and protecting the public. In the Attorney General’s Office, he protected individuals from abusive business practices and labor law violations. As a financial regulator, he investigated white-collar crimes. As a judge, he protected Virginia commuters.
Now, Travis Nembhard is running for Delegate to stand up for Virginia families in the State House.
- Ensure that women have the right to make their own health care decisions.
- Bring costs down for Virginia families.
- Increase funding for educators and first responders.
- Solve tolling and congestion for commuters.
- Stand up to extremist Republicans who want to roll back commonsense gun safety laws, repeal environmental protections to fight climate change, and undermine workers’ right to organize.
What’s at stake:
- Virginia is the last haven in the South for safe and legal abortion, and Virginia Republicans want an extreme abortion ban.
- Control of the Virginia House of Delegates changes often, with Republicans currently holding a four seat advantage.
- HD-22 is a critical pickup opportunity for Democrats to retake the majority and protect voting & LGBTQ rights.
- A record number of retirements could lead to the largest legislative shift since the Civil War.
About House District 22:
HD-22 is a very competitive newly drawn district and is a critical target for House Democrats as they seek to flip the chamber. This district has seen significant growth and diversification since President Biden took office. People of color make up 40% of the district, and recent demographic changes favor Democratic candidates. In Delegate races in 2017, 2019, and 2021, Democratic candidates won in all of the old districts comprising the new HD-22 with an average of 54%. Overall, Democrats have a 50.0% to 48% advantage in elections held between 2016-2021.
Who Travis is up against:
Travis is running against Republican Ian Lovejoy, whose campaign is focused on making life harder for working families while advocating for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Unlike Ian Lovejoy, Travis believes in creating a working econonomy for working families. We can’t let Lovejoy represent the people of the 22nd district.
*HD-22 is one of the most competitive districts and a must win for Democrats to take back control of the House of Delegates.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 28
Meet the candidate: David Reid
Delegate David Reid was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017 representing the 32nd District, which includes much of the eastern portion of Loudoun County. In his first election he defeated a four-term incumbent Republican, earning 59% of the vote. He was subsequently unopposed in 2019, and then won reelection in 2021 with 58% of the vote. Based upon the 2020 redistricting, Delegate Reid will now be running for reelection in the new 28th District.
Delegate Reid currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Privileges and Elections Committee. Additionally, Delegate Reid served as the Chair of the Manufacturing Development Commission and is currently the Co-Chair of the General Assembly Military & Veterans Caucus (GAMVC) where he has focused on developing a strategic plan and key metrics to make Virginia the “Best State for Veterans.”
Prior to his election in 2017, Delegate Reid served 23-years in the US Navy Reserve as a Naval Intelligence Officer, where he retired as a Commander (O-5). Delegate Reid’s professional experience spans over 35-years in the Northern Virginia business community where he worked in banking, computer and network training, graphic arts, financial program management, global telecommunications, counterterrorism, business development, and strategic management.
Delegate Reid earned a BA in Political Science from Northeastern Oklahoma State University located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma where he became the first person in his family’s history to receive a college degree. He then received a master’s Diploma in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC).
Delegate Reid grew up in the mountains of Virginia (Rockbridge County), later moved to the United Methodist Children’s Home in Richmond, and then went to live with foster parents when he was 16-years old. He and his wife of 30-years, Barbara, have lived in Broadlands since 2000 where their two daughters attended Loudoun County Public Schools and also attended college in Virginia.
Who Delegate Reid is up against:
Delegate Reid is running against Paul Lott, whose campaign is focused on Critical Race Theory, banning books, attacking transgender students, and taking away a woman’s right to choose. He is a right-wing extremist who does not represent the values of Loudoun County.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 11
Meet the candidate: David Bulova
David Bulova and his wife, Gretchen, both grew up in Fairfax and met in high school government class. Today, they have three wonderful children; Alex, Josette, and Grayson. Professionally, David works as a senior environmental planner with a passion for protecting water quality and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
First elected to the House of Delegates in 2005, David serves on the General Laws, Appropriations, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources committees. When Democrats were in the majority, he chaired General Laws and was proud to oversee expansion of the Virginia Human Rights Act to protect our LGBTQ+ neighbors and individuals with disabilities. In the House, David has spearheaded efforts to reform our campaign finance system, expand access to career and technical education, and support victims of human trafficking. To combat climate change, he passed the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fun. David believes that education is the most important investment we can make – starting with our littlest learners. He worked with First Lady Pam Northam to expand access to early childhood education by passing the Virginia Early Childhood Care and Education Act.
David is passionate about community service. He serves on several community boards, including the Board of Brain Injury Services. In their spare time, David and Gretchen are avid hikers and David enjoys serving as the co-chair of the General Assembly’s Outdoor Recreation Caucus.
House District 11:
The 11th House District encompasses the City of Fairfax and parts of Fairfax County including George Mason University, the Government Center area, and most of Oakton.
Contact the campaign: Here
That’s it for Volume IV of our Flip and Defend-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.