Today Priorities USA and EMILY’s List announced a new partnership focused on flipping the Virginia General Assembly from red to blue and increasing the number of pro-choice, Democratic women serving in the House of Delegates and state Senate. Following the historic victories in 2017, Democrats broke the Republican supermajority in the House of Delegates and came within two seats of taking control of the chamber by electing a record number of women. In 2019, Virginia has state elections again and both chambers of the General Assembly are up for election. The partnership will include a $600,000 digital campaign focused on voter persuasion and mobilization in key districts throughout the state to ensure Democrats take back both chambers ahead of the 2020 Census and redistricting when new congressional and legislative maps will be drawn.
“Women made history in 2017 when they were elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in record numbers, helping break the Republican supermajority,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “This year, with both chambers up for election, redistricting around the corner, and ongoing Republican attacks on women and families, the stakes could not be higher, which is why EMILY’s List is doubling down on its effort to turn the Virginia Assembly blue by making our largest-ever investment in a state legislative effort. Our 36 endorsed women leaders are well-positioned to tip the scale in favor of Democrats this November, who are just two seats away from regaining control of both chambers. It’s more important than ever to ensure these pro-choice, Democratic women leaders are elected to defend the rights of all Virginians, and EMILY’s List is proud to stand with them as they bring change to Richmond.”
“In Virginia and across the country, women are setting records by running and winning at every level of the ballot, but the work to expand economic opportunity and protect the right to choose is just beginning. That is why we are committed to supporting even more women who are running for office to turn the Virginia General Assembly blue,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “The stakes are higher than ever, and we are proud to be working with EMILY’s List to elect Democratic, pro-choice leaders who will fight for Virginians’ rights in Richmond.”
State legislatures are on the front lines of legislative issues that directly affect working families every day such as access to health and reproductive care, quality education, good-paying jobs and more. This new partnership comes as Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country advance extreme, anti-choice policies through their gerrymandered majorities, and after a legislative session in Virginia where Republicans derailed commonsense legislation to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, expand access to the ballot box, and strengthen gun safety protections. In 2019 alone, nine states have passed laws limiting women’s access to safe and legal abortion care.
This cycle EMILY’s List has endorsed 36 pro-choice, Democratic women for the General Assembly: Jennifer Carroll Foy (HD-02); Wendy Gooditis (HD-10), Danica Roem (HD-13), Kelly Fowler (HD-21), Elizabeth Guzman (HD-31), Kathleen Murphy (HD-34), Kaye Kory (HD-38), Vivian Watts (HD-39), Eileen Filler-Corn (HD-41), Kathy Tran (HD-42), Charniele Herring (HD-46), Hala Ayala (HD-51), Lashrecse Aird (HD-63), Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD-66), Karrie Delaney (HD-67), Dawn Adams (HD-68), Betsy Carr (HD-69), Delores McQuinn (HD-70), Nancy Guy (HD-83), Karen Mallard (HD-84), Martha Mugler (HD-91), Jeion Ward (HD-92), Shelly Simonds (HD-94), Marcia (Cia) Price (HD-95), Mamie Locke (SD-02), Cheryl Turpin (SD-07), Missy Cotter Smasal (SD-08), Jennifer McClellan (SD-09), Ghazala Hashmi (SD-10), Amanda Pohl (SD-11), Debra Rodman (SD-12), Amy Laufer (SD-17), L. Louise Lucas (SD-18), Barbara Favola (SD-31), Janet Howell (SD-32), and Jennifer Boysko (SD-33).