From Del. Rip Sullivan’s
Flip and Defend-A-District Friday:
Welcome to the forteenth edition of the 2023 Flip and Defend-A-District Series.
By the time you read this, early voting will have started. The election is underway.
That is thanks to the Democrats, who passed historic legislation making it easier to safely and securely vote in Virginia.
But it is crucial that we actually exercise that ability to vote. The future of Virginia could very well be determined by just a handful of votes, especially in battleground districts. Every vote counts.
Each week, we feature seats that Democrats need to flip and defend in order to take back the majority in the House, and maintain hold of the Senate. But today through November 7, Virginians are voting in even more localized races including School Board, Board of Supervisor, and Clerk of Court.
These are the candidates who you will reach out to with local community, school, and judicial concerns. And none of them will have “Democrat” or “Republican” next to their name. We encourage you to continue researching candidates up and down the ballot, so you can make an informed vote.
In addition to featuring a delegate candidate in a must-win district, we are excited to feature Dranesville’s School Board, Board of Supervisor, and Senate Democrat candidates this week. These are the folks you need to vote for in this district.
And voting is not all we must do to ensure Virginia’s future. Please contribute, volunteer, and advocate for all of the great Democrat candidates around the state. We highlight this week’s group below.
House District 94
*HD-94 is one of the most competitive districts and a must-win for Democrats to take back control of the House of Delegates.
Meet the candidate: Phil Hernandez
Phil Hernandez is the Democratic Nominee running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 94th District. Phil was born and raised in Hampton Roads by a single mom, attended public schools, and was the first in his family to graduate from college. As a father to two young girls, Phil is invested in making Norfolk a better place to raise a family. Phil has experience as a nonprofit leader, worked in the Obama administration, and has spent his career fighting for public education, promoting clean energy, and securing economic opportunity for all.
If elected, Phil will prioritize protecting women’s reproductive rights, ensuring quality public education for every child, accelerating a clean energy future, and building an economy that benefits all families and communities in Virginia.
Reproductive Rights: Phil will be a champion for reproductive freedom in the General Assembly. Virginia is the last Southern state that has not yet restricted abortion rights. Virginia Republicans have admitted they want to institute a “100 percent ban” which means this November there is much at stake. If elected, Phil will not only tirelessly protect the right to choose, he will work to codify the protections outlined in Roe v. Wade and under Virginia law into the Commonwealth’s Constitution. These decisions should be made by women in consultation with their doctors and their families, not politicians with extreme political agendas.
Education: Every child in Virginia deserves access to a quality education. This is personal for Phil, not only as a parent but as a product of Virginia’s public schools, which gave him the foundation to become the first in his family to graduate from college. That’s why he will advocate for fully funding the Virginia Board of Education’s Standards of Quality, regardless of zip code. Phil will also prioritize increasing pay for teachers and support staff to help attract and retain talent.
Our Environment: In Norfolk, the environment is deeply connected to our regional identity, our local economy, and our way of life. While our region faces challenges due to a changing climate, we also have a clear opportunity to emerge as a national leader on coastal resiliency and clean energy. To this effort, Phil will bring his experience serving in President Obama’s White House Office of Energy & Climate Change. If elected, Phil will support building on the Virginia Clean Economy Act, protecting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which provides millions in funding for coastal resiliency and energy efficiency upgrades, and increasing funding for conserving and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and other local waterways.
The Economy: When individuals and working families thrive, communities thrive. With the right policies in place, Norfolk and Virginia can become an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Phil understands the necessity of creating high-quality, safe jobs in our Commonwealth. If elected, he will support strengthening Virginia’s minimum wage law, champion policies that make life more affordable, including in the areas of housing and life-saving prescription drugs, and fight for targeted tax relief for families through a Child Tax Credit.
About House District 94:
Virginia’s 94th House District is entirely within Norfolk, Virginia, and encompasses the northern half of the City. The district spans Norfolk’s coastline on the Chesapeake Bay and includes the Port of Virginia and Naval Station Norfolk.
Who Phil is up against:
Phil’s opponent does not represent the values of Norfolk or the rest of Virginia. He is an anti-choice, anti-gun safety candidate who supports tax payer’s dollars going toward private schools.
Contact the campaign: Here
Dranesville District- Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Meet the candidate: Jimmy Bierman
Jimmy Bierman is a McLean native, public servant, and local community leader running for the Dranesville seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. His love for the Dranesville community started at an early age when he was first learning to swim at Spring Hill Rec and checking out books at the Dolley Madison Library. After earning degrees at Williams College and Stanford Law School, Jimmy knew he wanted to return to McLean to raise his own family and ensure they were afforded the same opportunities that he was.
Bierman’s commitment to public service includes working as an attorney for the Department of Homeland Security and as chair of the Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel. Jimmy is a proud Democrat and has served as the Chair of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee where he worked to mobilize volunteers and educate voters on the issues impacting our community. He lives in McLean with his wife and son.
Jimmy is running to protect the progress we have made and expand opportunities to everyone in our community. He is ready to stand up for the values of our community and to fight for positive change on education, housing, the environment, public safety, transportation, and more.
About the Dranesville District:
Dranesville District includes McLean, Great Falls, Herndon, and some areas of Vienna and Falls Church. It runs from the Arlington border to the Loudoun County border along the Potomac River. The Dranesville District is the home of Glenn Youngkin who is eyeing the local races to implement his agenda. Jimmy is vying for the open seat on the Board of Supervisors after current Supervisor John Foust has decided not to run for re-election.
Who Jimmy is up against:
Jimmy is up against a failed Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate who is trying to rebrand himself as a centrist and hide his extremist views. His opponent believes guns save lives and previously touted his pro-gun support at a time when people want to feel safe in public spaces in their community.
Contact the campaign: Here
Dranesville District- School Board
Meet the candidate: Robyn Lady
Robyn Lady began her 27-year career in FCPS as a School Counselor at George C. Marshall High School, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, and McLean High School. Last summer, she retired from FCPS after 15 years of service as the Director of Student Services (DSS) at Chantilly High School. In this role, she collaborated with counselors to provide a comprehensive program of services addressing the academic, career, emotional, and social development of each student. Additionally, she supervised the Performing Arts Department, the Advanced Academics Coordinator, and the Test Assessment Coach.
Robyn has also held leadership roles in professional organizations, including serving as the President of the Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) and as a board member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), which boasts over 27,000 members. Her contributions to the field were recognized when she was named the Virginia High School Counselor of the Year in 2011 by PCACAC and received the Director of Student Services of the Year award for Fairfax County from FCPS School Counseling Services in 2015.
Robyn is an experienced educator ready to be an advocate for student achievement:
● Address the teacher and staffing shortage by fully funding competitive salaries, improving the onboarding process for new hires, and recruiting a diverse workforce
● Ensuring our schools remain safe and an inclusive learning environment
● Preparing every student for their future with career pathways through electives and assistance for students navigating the college admission process
● Investing in early education and providing the necessary resources to improve literacy and numeracy gaps
● Prioritizing the social and emotional well-bring of our students by increasing mental health resources
Who Robyn is up against:
Her Republican opponent has zero experience working in FCPS or any school system. His mantra to “stop the ideological madness” indicates that instead of focusing on positive student outcomes, he is in lockstep with Gov. Youngkin’s disastrous attack on our public schools. Fairfax County Public Schools cannot afford to have a dysfunctional School Board that focuses on ideological fights rather than tackling the important issues facing FCPS.
Contact the Campaign: Here
Senate District 38
Meet the candidate: Senator Jennifer Boysko
Senator Boysko is running to represent the newly formed 38th District in the Virginia State Senate. SD 38 covers the communities of Herndon, Reston, and McLean. Senator Boysko currently represents the 33rd District in the Virginia Senate where she have served since January 2019. Prior to that, she served in the Virginia House of Delegates for three years. During her time in Richmond, she focused on economic and progressive causes, while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility.
She has carried and passed a number of bills that haved expanded access to universal broadband, protected workers, and increased access to affordable higher education. She was the original author of and co-chaired the recommendation committee for the 2021 History and Social Studies SOL recommendations that would have included the complete history of Virginia and our nation and would have included the stories of our newest Virginians and Americans. She also worked to protect abortion care, to prevent gun violence in Virginia, to stand up for our LGBTQ community, to increase education around hazing prevention, and has carried many other bills to protect our most vulnerable Virginia residents.
Senator Boysko believes that there is so much important work to complete in the General Assembly. These elections will determine the direction we will take in Virginia. She is a Democrat committed to preserving the full scope of reproductive care including abortion access. Virginia is the last state in the South without a ban on access all the way to New Mexico, she is committed to doing more to prevent gun violence in our communities, fighting to protect and improve our public education system so that every student learns to think critically, solve problems and communicate effectively so that they can take on the 21st-century jobs. She remains committed to preserving a clean environment and advancing a renewable energy economy, And, she will continue working to make Virginia a safe and healthy place where all are welcome and can find success.
Senator Boysko is the fundraising chair for the Senate Democratic Caucus, in which capacity she is fundraising for Democrats in targeted races across the commonwealth to ensure Democrats hold on to our Blue Brick Wall in the Senate that prevents the Governor from repealing all of the progressive policies Democrats have implemented in Virginia.
Contact the campaign: Here
That’s it for Volume XIV 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.