Virginia’s political landscape over the past several years has been the story of progressive change that we are working to see replicated at the national level. It’s an inspiring story that People For the American Way has been, and remains, deeply invested in helping to shape alongside our network of committed Virginia activists.
The example set in Virginia for other states – especially other southern states – shows just how much state elections matter. Since flipping from red to blue and only a year and a half ago, Virginia has abolished the death penalty, legalized cannabis, made great strides in protecting health care for its residents, and so much more. Virginians’ lives have been improving across the state with progressives in office, and we are committed to ushering in this positive change not just in the state, but nationwide.
Virginia is a crucial bellwether state, vital to America’s political landscape in so many ways. Its state elections this year will have a serious impact on the 2022 national midterms. People For has been hard at work building out our activist infrastructure in the lead up to the midterm elections, when we are likely to see harsh blowback from the Far Right after the progressive wins of the 2020 election cycle.
Before we even get to the midterm election cycle, however, we are coming up on the most important election in 2021: this year’s statewide elections in Virginia, which will have tremendous national consequence. We were proud to announce our endorsement of frequent Next Up Victory Fund endorsee Stephanie Morales in this year’s election for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Portsmouth Virginia. And in the biggest race on Virginia’s ballot – the race for governor – we’ve enthusiastically endorsed a true progressive champion, Jennifer Carroll Foy, in the Democratic primary.
The election for Virginia’s governor is our first chance to hold the Far Right’s pro-Trump insurrectionists accountable at the ballot box. A significant number of people who made up the insurrectionist mob on January 6 – including extremist public officials – hail from nearby Virginia. And the expected front-runner for governor in the Republican field is a far-right extremist, Amanda Chase, who supports the Capitol insurrectionists and is endorsed by the Trump crony and conspiracy theorists’ darling Michael Flynn.
In addition to keeping insurrectionists out of our government, electing progressives is the only way to maintain safeguards against the far-right legislative attacks on the American Way that we are seeing in other states, including laws that enable voter suppression, attack LGBTQ+ people, and enact disastrous environmental policies, to name just a few.
The organizing work and voter outreach we do in Virginia this year, especially around an exciting candidate like Jennifer Carroll Foy – who would be Virginia’s first woman governor and our nation’s very first Black woman governor of any state – could help us flip as many as two Republican U.S. House seats from Virginia in next year’s midterms. And that could make the difference in our ability to prevent the Far Right from taking control of the U.S. House via their aggressive gerrymandering in other states.
Stay tuned to People For’s channels for more ways to help us keep moving progress forward in Virginia. As we work together to rebuild our country and our communities after four years of Trump’s disastrous presidency, it is more important than ever that we rebuke the Far Right by holding up the former seat of the Confederacy as a continued example of progress, equality, and justice for all.
Let’s win Virginia – again!