From Del. Rip Sullivan’s BLUE DOMINION PAC:
Welcome to the eighteenth edition of the 2023 Flip and Defend-A-District Series.
We are in the home stretch, and the Republicans are reverting to their typical playbook: fear-mongering and misinformation. Their attack ads are untethered to reality, making outrageous claims about our candidates’ positions on everything from abortion to education.
Let’s set the record straight: Democrats want our children to feel safe and cared for, in an inclusive school environment. Democrats want our students to be critical thinkers and unafraid to ask questions of teachers who are unafraid to answer them. Democrats understand that reproductive rights are human rights, and that politicians should stay out of our bedrooms. Democrats understand that you can’t address crime without addressing guns, and want common-sense gun laws like the “Red Flag Law,” which has been proven to save lives.
Democrats want to make Virginia the best place for people to live safely and thrive. Help the Democrats like the ones below — give, knock, call, write, vote! Or contribute to Project Blue Dominion, and we’ll make sure the money gets where it needs to go in this crucial stretch drive.
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 13
Meet the candidate: Lashrecse Aird
*SD-13 is one of the most competitive districts and a must-win for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate.
In 2016, Lashrecse was sworn into the Virginia House of Delegates as the youngest woman ever elected to that body. Her desire to run then was as it is now; to use her lived experience to advocate for real problems being felt by every voter in her district. As a mother of school-age boys, a wife and working families’ champion, she maintained her commitment to our most vulnerable. This passion wasn’t taught to her or learned about, it was felt and developed from a childhood experiencing every reality of income inequality and the innate hardships of living in an impoverished community, like many she sees in pockets throughout Senate District 13.
Lashrecse’s lived experience is intrinsically linked to her candidacy, the type or representative she has been and will continue to be if elected. During her 6-years in the legislature she advocated for social, racial, economic and environmental justice. Most notably, her legislation resulted in our nation’s first Breonna’s Law, prohibiting the use of no-knock search warrants; making Virginia the first southern state to declare racism a public health crisis; declaring access to water a human right; imposing a ban on facial recognition technology, expanding access to college admissions and employment by removing questions about criminal history (ban-the-box) and establishing the state’s first certification and reimbursement policy for doulas, to combat maternal and child mortality.
As an effective coalition builder on the Appropriations Committee, she also secured historic investments over $10-million in one of the most economically distressed Black communities in the Commonwealth, laying the foundation for its financial transformation; championed millions towards wage increases for our Home Care Workers during the pandemic and was a lead advocate for unprecedented levels of funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
During these turbulent political times, she commits to being accessible, responsive and to prioritize the issues she has achieved results on in the past, like improving our schools, making our communities safer, increasing access to high-paying jobs and ensuring affordable access to healthcare. Our families deserve an elected leader that will truly advocate for the issues that will improve their lives and stand with them on working family priorities and that is what she will be.
About Senate District 13:
Newly drawn Senate District 13 SD-13 is a combination of urban, suburban and rural communities that stretch as far north as Eastern Henrico and as far south as Surry County, specifically consisting of Eastern Henrico (Varina, Highland Springs and Sandston), Prince George County, Petersburg City, Hopewell City, part of Dinwiddie County, Sussex County, Charles City County and Surry County. The population of the district is 213,623 people. There are 140,496 registered voters in the district.
This district is about 49.7% African American, 39.9% White, 6.0% Hispanic or Latino, 5.5% Multiracial, 3.8% other and 1.1% Asian. The district falls completely within Virginia’s 4th Congressional district and contains portions of HDs 83, 82, 81, 80, and 75.
Senate District 13 is a winnable seat, as it leans slightly Democratic. However, there is significant Republican presence in the more rural parts of the district and is critical for keeping the Capitol region blue.
Who Lashrecse is up against:
Lashrecse is facing Republican Eric Ditri in the November General Election. If elected, Ditri has vowed to be a rubber stamp extremist for Governor Youngkin, putting our access to reproductive health care in jeopardy.
Contact the campaign: here
Senate District 3
Meet the candidate: Jade Harris
Jade Harris is a 9th generation resident of the Shenandoah Valley, local author, and former vice mayor of her hometown of Glasgow, VA. She’s also a longtime community advocate, substitute teacher, and small business manager. Jade is running for state senate to improve our roads and bridges, fully fund our public schools, and provide mental healthcare access to anyone who needs it. She’ll bring her small town, local government experience to the General Assembly to deliver results for her rural community.
About Senate District 3:
The 3rd Senate District comprises the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Rockbridge, portions of Augusta and Roanoke Counties, the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro, and two voters in Bedford County. The district stretches from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the West Virginia border and is approximately the size of Puerto Rico.
Who Jade is up against:
Jade’s opponent is current Delegate Christopher Head (R), whose notable acts in the General Assembly include copatroning 2012’s transvaginal ultrasound bill, killing the repeal of the same sex marriage amendment in the Virginia Constitution, and denying school children the ability to play sports based on their parent’s inability to pay lunch debt.
Contact the campaign: here
Senate District 20
Meet the candidate: Victoria Luevanos
Victoria Luevanos has called Hampton Roads home since she was stationed here in 2011, has two children in Virginia Beach Public Schools, and is a life-long volunteer serving organizations like the USO, CHKD, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The Boys & Girls Club. Originally from Piru, CA, a largely immigrant rural community, Victoria faced childhood homelessness, food instability (often relying on free school meals and food pantries), lack of access to healthcare, generational substance use disorder, domestic violence, generational poverty, and gang violence. After becoming a teen mom, Victoria found herself living in a garage at one point and was determined to change the trajectory of her life. Victoria became the first in her family to graduate high school, the first to join the military, the first to attend and graduate college, and the first to become a homeowner; she has happily provided her children with an environment she never had. She gives much credit to the social programs that gave her family access to food, housing assistance, and medical coverage when she was a child and later on as an adult when she was laid off.
In the Navy, Victoria served as an ABH aboard the USS Roosevelt and USS Bataan, deploying in 2014. Upon leaving the service, Victoria received her bachelor’s in Political Science and Speech Communications from UMGC. She worked as a DoD contractor at NAS Oceana as an Administrator for Naval staff/student/foriegn Pilot Officers and as a KM Analyst at NS Norfolk. Victoria is currently attending Grad School at Old Dominion University for International Studies.
Victoria knows firsthand the challenges and circumstances of families in poverty, families living paycheck to paycheck, and the economic reality that younger generations feel that the American Dream is no longer attainable. She joined this fight to represent the working class, advocate for our children, fund our schools, stop book bans, separate church and state, and defend all rights.
About Senate District 20:
The new Senate District encompasses all of the Eastern Shore, Northern Virginia Beach, and the Bayview, East Ocean View, Little Creek, Tarrallton, and Third Presbyterian precincts of Norfolk.
This new seat moved two incumbents into one, Sen. Bill DeSteph and Sen. Lynwood Lewis, but Sen. Lewis decided not to pursue another term leaving Sen. DeSteph the incumbent and Victoria as his challenger. Needless to say, this is an intimidating district for established Democrats but that challenge did not sway her because she is focused on the people.
Who Victoria up against:
Victoria’s opponent is current Sen. Bill DeSteph, who many voters have pointed out since being in office, is a licensed arms dealer, an obvious conflict of interest during gun safety sessions. He recently made news again over another conflict of interest when he purchased public land at a fraction of the originally purchased and current valued cost and is seeking to lease it to Dominion Energy which will further enrich the Senator. Dominion Energy has contributed more than $100,000 to DeSteph’s campaigns over the last decade, and DeSteph also owns more than $250,000 of stock in Dominion Energy. Obvious situations of enriching yourself as a public servant are why Virginians have zero faith in the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council and want corporate-backed politicians out.
Contact the campaign: here
Senate District 1
Meet the candidate: Emily Scott
Emily Scott grew up in Woodstock and graduated from Central High School and Randolph Macon Women’s College. Just out of college, Emily worked for the Recreation Department in Shenandoah County and two Virginia newspapers. In the late 90’s, Emily moved to Michigan and was employed in the tech industry. She returned to Woodstock and is currently employed by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen in Front Royal. Emily is a member of the Edinburg Lions Club, as a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church serves on the Finance Committee, and is a member of the Board of the Woodstock Museum. Now, Emily is running for senate to improve the lives of Senate District 1. Senate District 1 encompasses Winchester, Strasburg, Front Royal, and New Market.
Emily’s main priorities:
A decent working wage
Safe and uncongested roads
A strong education system
Broadband internet access
Common sense gun safety laws
Affortable and accessible healthcare
Clean air and water
Who Emily is up against:
Emily’s opponent believes our education system is being run by “liberal special interest agendas” and that the “liberal agenda” releases violent criminals. He is anti-choice and opposes Red Flag Laws. His extreme conservative views do not reflect the views of Virginia.
Contact the campaign: here
That’s it for Volume XVIII 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.