From Del. Rip Sullivan’s BLUE DOMINION PAC:
Welcome to the sixteenth edition of the 2023 Flip and Defend-A-District Series.
Incompetence, or purposeful? Either way, the bombshell news this week that the Youngkin administration had been found by a Virginia court to have illegally purged qualified voters from the voting rolls–in the middle of an election that is already underway— is, as Virginia Democrat Chair Susan Swecker correctly observed, an “affront to the basic foundations of democracy and further underscore the ways in which MAGA Republicans are working to subvert the functions of our democratic process.”
This is just the most recent in a long history of Republican efforts to suppress voting. This election is going to be close, and the fact that eligible voters have been tossed off the rolls–and may not even know it–could tip the outcome. Which of course the Republicans know.
This is yet another reminder that Democrats are the party of voting rights–and of preserving our Democracy–while Republicans are actively trying to undermine the voting process in Virginia and all across the country.
Don’t give them the chance to continue. Vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. And help the candidates highlighted here in any way you can.
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.
House District 86
Meet the candidate: Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, Jr.
Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, Jr.’s campaign theme is Service Before Self. He is a Veteran, Educator, and Leader who is ready to serve all the residents of the 86th District. He retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service (1985 – 2005). He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Air Force in the Obama Administration (2009 – 2017). He is the Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute at Hampton University.
His five Campaign Priorities are the following:
- Healthcare (reproductive rights)
About House District 86:
House District 86 is comprised of parts of the city of Hampton and York County and all of the city of Poquoson.
Who Jarris is up against:
His Republican opponent won by just 94 votes in 2021. Jarris can win this race!
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 36
Meet the candidate: Randall Wolf
Randall is running for delegate after a lifetime as a newspaper journalist. He grew up outside of Philadelphia on a small farm. He is an avid bike rider and bike advocate. As a journalist, Randall loved to cover local issues to help people understand the problems so solutions could be found. He believes finding a human story to help explain an issue was always the best way for others to understand the effects of a problem.
He is running because of the division in his rural area and the rest of the nation. He considers himself a pragmatic progressive, he wants to move things forward for people, but realizes that we must move forward at a pace others can adapt to. He witnessed this first hand by climbing Denali– a rope team moves at the pace of its slowest climber, not the fastest, so the slowest climber is always within their safe zone and not pushed to their limits.
Based on the conversations he is having with his community, these are the issues he will prioritize as delegate: education, lowering taxes, Ag issues, industrial solar, the environment, affordable housing, mental healthcare, personal freedoms, I-81 safety and expansion, and abortion.
In addition, as delegate he would like to instate a 30 percent excise tax on the sale of guns and ammunition. The money from this tax would only be used to combat gun violence and save lives.
About House District 36:
This rural district sits in the central Shenandoah Valley and includes, the small cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and Southern Augusta and Northern Rockbridge counties. The mix is about 65% GOP and 35% Dems based on past elections.
Who Randall is up against:
His opponent is Del. Ellen Campbell, who won a special election in January to replace her husband Ronnie Campbell, who passed away. Ronnie Campbell was a very conservative Republican, with his main priority being the “God given right to bear arms.”
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 91
Meet the Candidate: Delegate C. E. Cliff Hayes, Jr.
Delegate Hayes is fortunate to represent the area where he grew up, attended school, worshipped at church, played sports, and later volunteered as a mentor and a coach. Cliff’s roots run deep in Chesapeake and Portsmouth, and he is humbled to be in a position to make a positive difference in the lives of the people and places he has known and cared about his entire life.
After serving on Chesapeake City Council for eight years, Cliff was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he has served for seven years. His current committee assignments in the House of Delegates include Appropriations, Commerce & Energy, and Health, Welfare & Institutions. Additionally, he is Chair of the Joint Commission on Technology & Science and the Virginia Data Advisory Commission.
Some of Cliff’s most noteworthy legislative accomplishments include increasing the penalty for recklessly leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of a minor; allowing individuals with communication impairments, such as autism, to note the disability on their vehicle registration to alert law enforcement prior to traffic stops; authorizing the development of offshore wind off the coast of Virginia Beach; and crafting the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act which became the model legislation used by other states across the nation.
Additionally, Cliff has been able to secure funding for many initiatives benefiting Hampton Roads, some of which include funding to establish the Center for African American Public Policy at Norfolk State University, the first in the nation at an HBCU; funding to assist Chesapeake Regional Health Center to add beds for inpatient mental health care; and funding to conserve 88-acres of land in the Elizabeth River watershed which is now Newton Neck Park in the City of Chesapeake.
Cliff is proud to have served as a past Chairman of the Chesapeake Democratic Committee and has been an active member in the local committee throughout his political career. Cliff has continued his commitment to democratic values in the Virginia House of Delegates and was humbled to have been elected Deputy Policy Chair by his peers in the House Democratic Caucus. There is still much to do to change and keep seats Blue in the Commonwealth, and Cliff is energized and ready to work with his fellow democrats to make it happen.
About House District 91:
The 91st House District includes 19 precincts along the northern border of the City of Chesapeake and 4 precincts along the southern border of the City of Portsmouth.
Who Cliff is up against:
The Republican candidate running against Cliff in the 91st House District is using the same talking points as other Republican candidates running throughout the Commonwealth.
Contact the campaign: Here
House District 53
Meet the candidate: Sam Soghor
Sam is an active member of his community and is now running as the Democratic candidate for delegate in House District 53. As an Amherst County Public Schools dad, he participates in almost every County Board of Supervisors meeting and County School Board meeting, advocating for better schools and more funding for teachers. He has many volunteer roles in his community – trash pickup with the Sheriff, working in the school cafeteria so underpaid teachers can get a lunch break, and doing genealogic research at the Historical Society. Now he is running to represent the people in his rural community who are under-resourced.
His call to run for delegate stems from his belief that we need to come together as a community and show the rest of the country and the world that we are unified. He is not running to toe party lines, he is running to represent the best interests of his rural community in House District 53. He vows to bring more money and resources from Richmond into his community without raising taxes. He will prioritize improving schools, increasing access to healthcare, being a champion of abortion rights, taking measures to protect the environment, and working to end police brutality and the gun violence epidemic.
About House District 53:
House District 53 encompasses all of Amherst County and parts of Bedford, and Nelson counties, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This district represents approximately 80,000 people and has historically been a very red area. However, Sam believes he is the candidate to bring unity and common-sense solutions to his district, but he cannot do this without your support.
Who Sam is up against:
Sam’s Republican opponent faces skepticism on whether he is even qualified to run for Delegate in HD 53 based on his residence among other disturbing allegations. He does not represent the values of HD 53 or the rest of Virginia.
Contact the campaign: here
That’s it for Volume XVI 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.