From Del. Rip Sullivan’s BLUE DOMINION PAC:
Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the 2023 Flip and Defend-A-District Series.
Virginia’s “Red Flag Law” has been an idea near and dear to my heart since I first introduced it in 2017. I knew it would save lives, and since it finally became law when we passed it in 2020, it has indeed been saving lives all across the Commonwealth. In fact, even counties that have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” have used this law to prevent Virginians in crisis from harming themselves or others. Now, in the largest jurisdiction in the state, Fairfax County’s police department is launching a new unit that will exclusively focus on active shooters, bomb threats, and ‘Red Flag’ cases. Read more about it here.
If Democrats do not win back the majority in the House and hold the Senate, our “Red Flag Law” will be repealed. How do I know? Because the Republicans have tried to repeal it every year since we passed it. You can see my latest floor speech on their determined and misguided effort to repeal it here.
Preserving this life-saving law is just one more entry on the long list of cricual reasons we must vote for Democrats, like the ones featured below.
This week we have continued our new look: in addition to candidates running for Delegate, we are featuring candidates running for the Senate in must-win districts. These races are crucial to holding the Senate majority and maintaining that brick wall. I hope you will contribute to these highly competitive races.
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 and hold the Senate. 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.
Senate District 31
Meet the candidate: Russet Perry
Russet’s father was a public school teacher who battled with a chronic illness and Russet’s mom returned to school after surviving stage IV breast cancer. Growing up, Russet was inspired to give back after watching her parents work to make ends meet while paying mounting medical bills and putting food on the table. After graduating from law school, Russet went on to protect her community from violent crime while serving on the domestic violence and sexual assault prosecution team in the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and later as a CIA officer, where she worked to protect our democracy. Now, she’s running for State Senate to protect abortion access in our state and ensure the health and safety of every Virginia family.
Russet is a lifelong public servant who will fight in Richmond to:
- Codify Roe v. Wade and protect abortion rights
- Fully fund our public schools and ensure Virginia students receive world-class education
- Support commonsense gun safety legislation like red flag laws to make our communities and schools safer
- Protect and preserve our environment
About Senate Distict 31:
Senate District 31 includes portions of both Loudoun and Fauquier counties. SD 31 is shaping up to be the most competitive and most expensive in the Commonwealth but is winnable for Democrats if we have the resources to compete. According to the Washington Post, “This will probably be a tipping point seat and could determine which party controls the Senate.”
Who Russet is up against:
Russet is facing a self-funding Republican with millions at his disposal who was handpicked by Youngkin to run for this seat. He’s an anti-choice Republican who could be the deciding vote to restrict abortions in Virginia, putting millions of lives at risk.
Contact the campaign: Here
Senate District 24
Meet the candidate: Senator Monty Mason
Senator Monty Mason is a proud husband and father, a dedicated public servant, and a passionate advocate for students, seniors, and veterans. As a Senator, Monty has a track record of delivering results on the issues that matter to us most—like cutting costs for working families, investing in our education system, protecting reproductive rights, and fighting for gun violence reform. Since being elected to serve in the State Senate, Monty has passed over 90 bills that have been signed into law, making him one of the most effective members of the General Assembly.
A proud Virginian and graduate of William and Mary, Monty lives in Williamsburg with his wife Pamela—who works at the College of William and Mary—and their two daughters, Taylor Anne and Hawley.
About Senate District 24:
The newly drawn 24th Senate District covers York County, Williamsburg, Poquoson, and parts of Newport News and James City County. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) has rated this race as +1.2 R and it is considered one of the most competitive races in Virginia. Youngkin won this seat by 3.4 points in 2021, while Democrat Mark Herring won it by 3.4 points in 2017, making Senate District 24 a crucial seat for Democrats to protect in November.
Who Monty is up against:
His opponent is Republican J.D. “Danny” Diggs, a former York County Sheriff and radical anti-choice Republican. He has vowed to support a new ban on abortion in Virginia, and he could be the deciding vote in the State Senate to roll back reproductive freedom. Diggs also supports putting medical providers in jail for providing lifesaving reproductive health care services, opposes banning assault weapons, and even supported a resolution allowing York County to refuse to enforce state and federal gun safety laws.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 87
Meet the candidate: Delegate Jeion Ward
Delegate Jeion Ward is an accomplished public servant, representing the people of Hampton in the General Assembly since 2004. Currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Democratic House Caucus, she holds key roles on the Commerce & Labor, Communications, Technology & Innovation, and Transportation Committees. Delegate Ward has consistently championed critical issues such as education, healthcare, and social equity.
Her impactful legislative contributions are extensive and diverse. She carried the legislation to raise the minimum wage, created the Virginia Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and has made significant strides in advocating for Small, Women- and Minority-owned Businesses (SWaM). Additionally, Delegate Ward led the charge in establishing the Renter’s Bill of Rights, ensuring protections for tenants and affordable housing.
A true progressive advocate, Delegate Ward has left an indelible mark by establishing Henrietta Lacks Day on October 4th, commemorating Lacks’ contributions to medicine and science. Her legislative accomplishments also include successfully carrying the bill to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee and replace it with Barbara Johns, an emblem of progress and inclusivity.
With an unparalleled dedication to public service and a steadfast commitment to advancing positive change, Delegate Jeion Ward remains a driving force for a brighter and more equitable future in Virginia.
Who Jeion is up against:
There is not much information out on Jeion’s opponent. His website vaguely describes his stances on a few issues. He believes “there is no place in education for shutting parents out of the decisions for their children’s future” and he rejects “efforts to remove the 2nd Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens.”
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 14
Meet the candidate: Vivian Watts
When Vivian came in, there had only been 21 women ever elected to the Virginia House. She met the challenge of being effective and credible and, four years later, was named Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety for her grasp of economics and tax policy. She returned to the House in 1996 and has worked tirelessly to use her depth and breadth of background to help new members. As well as paving the way for women and extending equal civil rights to all, Vivian’s core commitment include mental health, strong public schools, and progressive tax reform. Inspired by her priceless backpacking experiences, Vivian has always gotten top rankings from environmental groups.
About House District 14:
Vivian’s House district is now 5th in ethnic diversity. Well over half the students in 7 of its 11 elementary schools are eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Vivian has found her upbringing in a poor rural area of Michigan and early involvement with civil rights has helped her understand the depth of family challenges, economic aspirations, and cultural strengths of the people of HD14.
Who Vivian is up against:
Republicans fielded Curtis Wells. While Vivian is deeply concerned about the big money that could be directed through him in negative mailers, she is looking forward to having a serious discussion on the need for criminal justice reform with this young Black man who was held in jail on charges that eventually were dropped. She is hoping for much-needed dialogue, as well as sharing her battles as a member of the House Criminal Laws subcommittee with Republican former prosecutors who repeatedly kill Democratic criminal justice reforms.
Contact the campaign: Here
That’s it for Volume XIII 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.