From the DLCC:
RELEASE: To Defend Our Democracy, Ensure Our Votes Count, and Defeat MAGA Extremism, We Must Win the Virginia Legislative Elections
Virginia Republicans will jeopardize voting rights and fair and free elections if they secure a trifecta in Virginia.
WASHINGTON – In the final week leading up to the election, it’s important to remember that Republicans on the ballot in Virginia pose grave threats to democracy. Make no mistake about it: Defending our democracy for 2024 starts in Virginia next week.
MAGA extremist Virginia Republicans have consistently fought against expanding the basic right to vote and spread doubt over the fundamental results of our elections. Of the 116 Republicans running this year in Virginia, the DLCC has identified over 80 candidates who are threats to democracy for supporting anti-democracy legislation that would restrict access to voting, opposing measures to expand voting, or spreading conspiracy theories around election fraud and January 6th.
If Republicans gain a trifecta in Virginia next week, the basic tenets of our democracy are at stake. Will Republicans certify the 2024 election results? Will Glenn Youngkin continue to purge lawful voters? Will Republicans push through anti-democratic legislation? Everything is on the line as we head towards these elections next week.
A reminder below on where Virginia Republican candidates stand on issues related to our democracy:
Del. Nick Freitas (HD-62), on his podcast, spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, including about his own race, and encouraged his followers to continue “investigating to ensure the integrity of our elections.”
Del. Karen Greenhalgh (HD-97) claimed “we really don’t know what happened” in Virginia Beach during the 2020 election, and spread doubt about election security in attempts to recruit “election integrity” volunteers.
Geary Higgins (HD-30) encouraged his followers on social media to attend a November 2020 rally to protest the “stealing of the election.” According to local reports, Higgins also spoke at a different November 2020 “Stop The Steal” rally that was reportedly live-streamed on an Oath Keeper’s YouTube channel.
Philip Andrew Hamilton (SD-11) posted YouTube videos showing that he was in Washington D.C. on January 6th, 2021, where he climbed the steps of the Capitol and moved beyond the barricades.
Matt Lang (SD-38) in a YouTube video, when asked if he believed voter ID laws were racist or discriminatory, said “I don’t think it’s racist at all, or discriminatory, I think that having an ID in your pocket, or in your wallet, or anywhere is a pretty common thing.”
Michael Van Meter (SD-33), on his podcast, made claims that the 2020 election was “an absolute sham,” and said there was “no way” he would believe Trump didn’t win. In another podcast episode description, Van Meter said he didn’t trust that it was an “honest election,” and claimed that election data was “hacked,” “manipulated,” and was hopeful Trump would “work hard to correct this wrong.”
Baxter Ennis (HD-89), on Facebook, said of the 2020 election that he didn’t “believe for a minute that this election is over.” Ennis also stated that he will “vote for and defend Voter ID laws,” and is “ardently opposed to ballot harvesting and will fight to never allow that disastrous practice to be allowed” in Virginia.
Steve Harvey (HD-55) lists “Election Integrity” as a priority issue on his campaign website, claiming “Cheating in Virginia has never been easier,” and that Virginia “has become the least secure state in the nation.” Harvey also claims that he “has been notified” of “election thieves” who he claimed had a process for stealing votes.
Paul Milde (HD-64) spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election on social media, sharing an article called “The Statistical Case Against Biden’s Win,” and encouraged U.S. Senators to “stand your ground” and “object to the fraudulent ‘results’ of the 2020 election.”
Matt Waters (HD-70) called January 6th a “false-flag,” claimed “not one police officer died that day,” and called to “shut down the FBI” while amplifying a claim that the FBI altered evidence in a trial involving Proud Boys who were at January 6th.
Del. Wren Williams (HD-47) was a member of Trump’s legal team that attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Wisconsin, and boasted that he traveled the country to help “President Trump fight for election integrity in the courtroom.” Williams amplified election fraud conspiracies on social media, claiming that the 2020 election “had serious, extensive and legitimate fraud,” and posted a 22-tweet thread on “election integrity.”
Jim Wright (HD-88) posted on Facebook that he was in D.C. on January 6th, 2021, and was “very close to the Capitol,” and posted a video describing his experience. Wright also amplified election fraud conspiracies on social media, posting on Twitter that Trump was “such a winner,” and that there was “clear fraud.” Wright also posted on Facebook over a month after the 2020 election, claiming, “This is a fraud election on so many levels,” and that “this election is not over, far from it.” Wright claimed “Trump will be reelected.”
Christie New Craig (SD-19), in a Facebook post, said that one of the first bills she would introduce would be to “bring back ID Voting in Virginia,” “change early voting from 45 days to 2 weeks,” and “repeal same day registration and voting in Virginia.”
Greg Moulthrop (SD-32) claimed that Georgia election workers were “corrupt” and spread claims that they were feeding the “same ballots through machines numerous times.” Moulthrop also claimed the 2020 election was “rigged” and said Mitch McConnell had a “vested interest in turning a blind eye to the fraud in the election.”
Julie Perry (SD-36) spread conspiracy theories about election fraud on social media, including promoting the election conspiracy movie 2000 Mules, saying the movie “proved that the Democrats stole the 2020 Presidential Elections.” Perry alleged “non-profit organizations helped Democrats cheat with drop boxes,” and claimed “lots of dead people and former tenants” voted for Democrats in Virginia. Perry also said she was “glad that Kari Lake is planning to contest” her 2022 loss and that it was “very clear that there needs to be a redo of the Arizona elections.”
William Carroll Woolf (SD-30) said he had “concerns with the amount of early voting that’s going on,” and claimed “we have made it so easy to vote,” asking “why do we need to create a system that is inherently set up for fraud?”
DLCC Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:
“Our democracy is on the line in Virginia. Republicans have proven that they are more than willing to restrict access to the ballot box, question election results, or even try to overturn the will of the people. This isn’t what Virginians stand for. Fundamental freedoms, including the right to have your vote counted, are on the line in Virginia. We cannot stand by and watch Republicans chip away at democracy, Virginians must make their voices heard and show up to vote.”
The DLCC is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures. Last year, the DLCC defied the odds by not losing any state legislative majorities, flipping four key chambers, and creating four new Democratic trifectas – the best midterm year for the party in power since at least 1934. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and pass the policies that have the biggest impact on Americans’ day-to-day lives.