Weekly Recap: A majority of Virginia voters want Democrats to control legislature, Rep. Elaine Luria raises money for Va. Democrats, GOP Sen. Chase planning to run for Governor…

A majority of Virginia voters want Democrats to control legislature, CNU poll finds (Washington Post)

RICHMOND — By a hefty margin, Virginia voters favor having Democrats take control of the General Assembly in November elections over leaving it in GOP hands, according to a poll released Monday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

Fifty-three percent of likely voters say they want the Democrats to lead the legislature, the poll found, compared to 37 percent who’d like to keep Republicans in power.

The GOP is defending slim majorities in the state Senate (20–19) and House of Delegates (51–48), with one vacancy in each chamber. All 140 seats are on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Voters sided with Democrats on a range of issues on the front burner in Richmond this year, including gun control, with 83 percent saying they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors requiring background checks for all gun purchases and 67 percent saying the same about banning assault weapons.

Seventy-six percent said they would be more likely to vote for someone who supports ratifying the federal Equal Rights Amendment, while 66 percent said they would be inclined to back a candidate who supports a $15 minimum wage.

But the poll showed markedly little appetite for the “Medicare for All” healthcare plan embraced nationally by some leading Democratic 2020 presidential contenders. Fewer than 4 in 10, 36 percent, of likely voters said support for that plan would make them more likely to vote for a candidate, and 50 percent said it would turn them off.

While Supreme Court Hears Major LGBTQ Rights Case, Virginia Republicans Already Support Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

RICHMOND, VA — In what will be one of the most consequential decisions of the Supreme Court’s term, the Justices today began considering cases that will determine whether federal discrimination laws protect gay and transgender workers. Earlier this year in Virginia, Democrats pushed for bills that would strengthen employment protections and prevent LGBTQ Virginians from being fired or denied housing based on their sexuality or gender identity.

But Virginia Republicans killed those bills without a hearing or vote, ensuring Virginia remained one of the states in which anti-LGBTQ discrimination is perfectly legal. While the Supreme Court is still determining whether firing someone for their gender identity or sexuality is legal, Kirk Cox and other Republicans in the General Assembly have already decided where they stand on the issue.

Click here to read the full press release.

Democrats winning fundraising battle as election nears (Chesterfield Observer)

Heading into November’s election, a majority of Democratic candidates for Virginia’s General Assembly continue to outraise their Republican opponents in Chesterfield, some by two and three times as much.

On Sept. 15, the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project published candidate fundraising figures for July and August, showing that Democratic enthusiasm has yet to wane three years after the election of Republican President Donald Trump. In a county where many of its districts recently became bluer through a redrawn legislative map, Democrats are hoping that gains made in Chesterfield will help them flip both houses of the General Assembly.

In the race for Virginia’s 10th state Senate District, Democrat Ghazala Hashmi outraised Sen. Glen Sturtevant: $269,710 to his $138,127. In Virginia’s 27th House District, Democrat Larry Barnett raised more than three times what Republican Del. Roxann Robinson did in the two-month span: $158,989 to her $44,677.

Republican Speaker Kirk Cox, running for reelection in Virginia’s 66th House District, narrowly outperformed Democratic challenger Sheila Bynum-Coleman, raising $390,453 to her $330,347. “These are unusually strong numbers for challengers,” says Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington. “Challengers usually find it difficult to compete with incumbents when it comes to raising money, but [in] the Barnett/Robinson and the Cox/Bynum-Coleman races, you see that those challengers are doing what few challengers do: raise money in amounts comparable to incumbents.”

Click here to read the full article.

Rep. Elaine Luria raises money for Va. Democrats running for legislature after GOP group runs impeachment ads (Washington Post)

After a national Republican group began targeting Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) over her support for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, she is pushing back in an unusual way.

Luria, who represents the swing district of Virginia Beach, created a fundraising committee to raise $228,000 not for her own 2020 reelection campaign, but to help elect Democrats to competitive seats in Virginia General Assembly races next month.

The dollar amount matches what she said the Republican National Committee spent on ads that say Luria “broke her promise.”

Luria’s reelection bid is far from assured. She helped Democrats take control of the U.S. House last year when she unseated Republican Scott Taylor, but Virginia’s 2nd District voted for Trump in 2016 and is expected to be among the most competitive in the nation next year.

Her pledge to refuse corporate tax dollars makes her own fundraising efforts all the more challenging.

“Most people are focused on their own races and their own victory, but I think it takes all levels of government to get a win for our constituents,” Luria said in an interview Monday. “I want to make a difference where I can as quickly as possible, and I’ll have time to focus on [my race] as well.”

Click here to read the full article.

Abandoning Her Constituents, Extremist Republican Amanda Chase Launches New Campaign For Governor (DPVA)

Link to press release here.

Republican Senator Amanda Chase has always been more concerned with building her own profile than representing her constituents in the General Assembly. From inviting pro-Trump celebrities to campaign with her to fostering a reputation as a gun-toting extremist, Chase has always put her political brand above the needs of her district.

Now it’s clear why. In an interview with the Chesterfield Observer, Chase announced that she will run for Governor in 2025. “I’m planning to run for governor in 2025. I am. I’m doing it,” she said, shortly after being kicked out of the Chesterfield County Republican Party.

Her extremism and self-promotion even have Republicans worried they’re in danger of losing what they imagined was an easily winnable race. Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson recently told the Chesterfield Observer that he’s worried Chase is sinking their chances of maintaining control of the Senate. “All of a sudden what was a very safe seat becomes competitive,” he said, complaining that Chase’s behavior would force the party to “take resources away from other seats that we knew were competitive.”

Chase has been running a campaign built around her political brand, not the issues. And her new campaign for higher office is just another sign that she’s more concerned with advancing her career than advancing the interests of the people she represents. Meanwhile, her Democratic opponent Amanda Pohl has been focusing closely on key issues like affordable health care, and is set to launch the first TV ads in the race next week.

“Amanda Chase will be following the Virginia Republican tradition of failed extremists launching a losing campaign for statewide office. But for someone who claims to be an outsider, she’s acting a lot like the politicians she claims to oppose. The people of the 11th district deserve a Senator who prioritizes fighting for them, not advancing her own political career,” said DPVA Press Secretary Grant Fox.

Chairwoman Swecker on the Trail

Over this past week, our chairwoman, Susan Swecker, spoke at multiple events supporting our Democratic candidates as we get closer to Election Day!

Upcoming Events

To get your event added to the DPVA website and the newsletter, email digital@vademocrats.org with event details!

10/10 Virginia Beach Strategy Meeting

10/10 Strategy Sessions for Delegate Kelly Fowler

10/10 Strategy Session for Missy Cotter Smasal, Karen Mallard, Kelly Fowler, and Len Myers

10/10 Belle Haven Get Out The Vote Volunteer Meeting

10/10 Onancock Get Out The Vote Volunteer Meeting

10/10 Norfolk Get Out The Vote Volunteer Meeting

10/13 Take the Majority House District 84 GOTV Training

10/16 Norfolk Democratic Committee Monthly Business Meeting

11/2 Norfolk Democratic Committee Monthly Breakfast Meeting

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Democratic Party of VA

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Official Medium account of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

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