Early voting in Virginia is in full swing and Election Day is a week from Tuesday— ten days from now.
ABC News just reminded folks that these elections for Virginia’s legislature may be the most important races of 2023. In the last set of elections, the Republicans won the governorship and the House of Delegates.
They mean to hold onto their 52-48 House majority and win the state Senate, which is all that’s standing in the way of the GOP banning abortion and putting a right-wing set of policies into action. The Democrats have a 22-18 majority in the Senate. Polling shows an even split between the two parties.
Presented as an axiom, ABC insists that “Low turnout is a given, but who shows up will matter.” One of the races Blue America is involved with— Jessica Anderson’s attempt to dislodge conservative Republican Amanda Batten— has the highest early voting in the state. Jessica’s hard on-the-ground work is paying off in a district that has tilted slightly red. These legislative elections usually have low turnout which means that “a surge in Democratic or Republican turnout could have an outsized impact on the results.” That’s what Jessica has been working on since the summer— and she’s not stopping.
I spoke with two candidates in races that could presage a good night for Democrats on the 7th, Jessica and Victoria Luevanos, a candidate in a red-leaning Senate district in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area. If she beats MAGA Republican Bill DeSteph, it’s game over for the Republicans.
“We’re less than two weeks out,” she told me on Friday, “still have thousands of voters to remind to return their mail-in ballots, persuade undecided voters to show up, connect with independent or on the fence voters, and we need a little bit more help with campaign signs. If we can raise an additional $1,000 we can get 50 barn signs to put out in the Eastern Shore, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.”
We’re asking Blue America contributors to dig deep for Virginia. Even $10 and $20 contributions go a long way at the end of a campaign like this.
I spent some time talking with Jessica Anderson yesterday. She wanted to remind me that
“the November 7 election will determine Virginia’s path forward over the next two years. Amanda Batten, my Republican opponent, is seeking to pass an extreme abortion ban from the moment of conception. She has already tried to defund our public schools by voting to send our taxpayer dollars to elite private schools. Her campaign is largely funded by corporations, not by the people she represents, showing who she prioritizes in office. I believe that our district deserves a leader who will protect our reproductive freedoms, prioritize the needs of our public education system, grow our economy by bringing jobs to our region, and if I’m elected, I will fight for affordable housing and living wages. The success of every person in our community is my priority.”
But what can a candidate do with $1,000 ten days before the election? Is it too late? Not at all. Victoria and Jessica were on the same page about that. Last minute money is going to help turn out voters. “Contributions now,” said Jessica, “will help us get over the finish line with sending out our final mailers, increasing our online ad presence, purchasing door hangers and helping pay staffers who are working nonstop to get out the vote.”
She has a small, dedicated campaign staff, “all local to the district who know the community and are incredibly detail-oriented and data-driven. We design all of our mailers, literature and ads in house and have made sure every dollar is spent effectively. I also have three William and Mary fellows on staff who are motivated and excited about this campaign. They’ve been amazing knocking doors, organizing volunteers and helping design ads and getting people registered on campus”
Jessica also wanted to make sure everyone knows what’s on the line this election!
“If Republicans win this one, our voting rights will be rolled back, our reproductive access will be stripped, our progress on gun safety and any hopes of strengthening that will be lost and we cannot afford to turn Virginia into Florida. If we do not flip this seat in the 71st and the entire House of Delegates along with maintaining the Senate in Virginia we will find ourselves in the wrong side of history… [O]ur district deserves a leader who will protect our reproductive freedoms, prioritize the needs of our public education system, grow our economy by bringing jobs to our region, and will fight for affordable housing and living wages. The success of every person in our community is my priority.
Victoria wanted to thank “everyone from the Blue America community for the help so far… You guys were my first support system and Howie, Jacquie, Digby and John always gave me great opportunities and advice to connect with you. The support we’ve received all year shows such inspiring commitment to the growing progressive cause in Virginia, the mission of a better way of life for the working class, and motivated me to reach the finish line.”
Both of our candidates are being outspent by Republicans. A last minute push is going to make a real difference. Please contribute here.
Thanks for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team