- The Magazine
With less than a week to go before Tuesday’s election, the campaign for control of the General Assembly in Virginia is reaching its climax.
Amid the hundreds of candidates for state senate, House of Delegates, and local office, Equality Virginia PAC — the political arm of the state’s top LGBT organization — has given the nod to several candidates who have demonstrated a willingness to advance LGBT rights. In total, EV PAC has thrown its support behind 13 candidates for state senate and 26 for the House of Delegates.
Equality Virginia executive director James Parrish says the process for obtaining an endorsement — part of which included responding to the organization’s questionnaire — was made clear to all candidates. He says that EV PAC’s advisory board spent time going through each of the candidates stances, but also took into account factors like the amount of money raised and whether candidates have been running effective campaigns.
“We wanted to make sure they were in line with issues that we are working on and in the approaching General Assembly session,” Parrish says. “Those that met that criteria and had some viable path to a competitive race were considered for an endorsement.”
But Parrish also noted that the organization has posted all the questionnaire responses it has received on its website, so that voters have the opportunity to read the candidates’ responses and make informed decisions about where a candidate stands on issues such as employment nondiscrimination, youth conversion therapy and protections for LGBT people in public accommodations.
Although all of this year’s candidates are registered Democrats, Parrish stresses that Equality Virginia is a bipartisan organization. In fact, some incumbent Republicans who have either been endorsed by EV PAC in past election cycles or have pro-LGBT voting records in the General Assembly — such as Del. Joseph Yost (Blacksburg), Del. Ron Villanueva (Virginia Beach) or Sen. Jill Vogel (Upperville) — did not return completed questionnaires. As such, it was impossible for them to obtain an official endorsement this cycle.
EV PAC’s endorsed candidates for General Assembly offices are listed below.
For the State Senate:
-Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News, Williamsburg, Hampton)
-Gary McCollum, Democratic Senate candidate for District 7 (Virginia Beach, Norfolk)
-Don McEachin (D-City of Richmond, Ashland, Charles City)
-Dan Gecker, Democratic Senate candidate for District 10 (City of Richmond, Chesterfield, Midlothian)
-Dr. Jill McCabe, Democratic Senate candidate for District 13 (Leesburg, Purcellville, Ashburn, Gainesville)
-Sen. Rosalyn Dance (D-Petersburg, Hopewell, City of Richmond)
-Jeremy McPike, Democratic Senate candidate for District 29 (Manassas, Manassas Park, Dale City)
-Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria, Arlington, Belle Haven)
-Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington, McLean, Potomac Falls)
-Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg, Sterling, Herndon)
-Del. Scott Surovell, Democratic candidate for District 36 (Mount Vernon, Woodbridge, Quantico)
-Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke, Centreville, Annandale)
For the House of Delegates:
-Josh King, Democratic candidate for District 2 (Woodbridge, Triangle, Quantico)
-Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke)
-Don Shaw, Democratic candidate for District 13 (Manassas Park, Sudley, Bull Run)
-Sara Townsend, Democratic candidate for District 31 (Woodbridge, Montclair, Catlett)
-Elizabeth Miller, Democratic candidate for District 32 (Potomac Falls, Ashburn, Broadlands)
-Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-McLean, Great Falls, Wolf Trap)
-Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax, Braddock, Centreville)
-Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church, Lake Barcroft, Annandale)
-Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale, Kings Park, North Springfield)
-Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield, Fairfax Station, Burke)
-Del. Mark Sickles (D-Franconia, Rose Hill, Lorton)
-Paul Krizek, Democratic candidate for District 44 (Mount Vernon, Fort Hunt, Hybla Valley)
-Mark Levine, Democratic candidate for District 45 (Alexandria City, Arlington, Belle Haven)
-Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington)
-Del. Rip Sullivan (D-McLean, Arlington)
-Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington, Bailey’s Crossroads, Seven Corners)
-Del. Marcus Simon (D-City of Falls Church, Merrfield, Pimmit Hills)
-Lashrecse Aird, Democratic candidate for District 63 (Petersburg, Hopewell, Dinwiddie)
-Del. Betsy Carr (D-City of Richmond, Chesterfield)
-Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-City of Richmond, East Highland Park)
-Mike Heretick, Democratic candidate for District 79 (Portsmouth, Norfolk)
-Jennifer Boysko, Democratic candidate for District 86 (Herndon, Sterling)
-John Bell, Democratic candidate for District 87 (South Riding, Sterling, Gainesville)
-Del. Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg, Jamestown, Newport News)
-Shelley Simonds, Democratic candidate for District 94 (Newport News)
-Marcia Price, Democratic candidate for District 95 (Newport News, Hampton)
Equality Virginia PAC previously endorsed McCollum, Gecker, McCabe, and McPike because of the importance of their races. If two of the four are successful, Democrats could win back control of the Virginia Senate — which would mean that pro-LGBT bills would not only be considered, but would receive committee and floor votes, giving them a better chance of passage.
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