Virginia House District 66 Profile: With No Incumbent, Mike Cherry Must Keep Katie Sponsler from Flipping the District

Virginia Republicans only need to flip six seats to retake the majority in the House of Delegates, but to do that, they must protect a handful of vulnerable Republican districts like House District 66. Former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is retiring after assuming office in 199o, and the urban, suburban, and rural district leans Democratic. It’s one of a handful of seats that survived Trump-era Democratic waves in greater Richmond in 2017 and 2019. GOP candidate Mike Cherry is running against Democrat Katie Sponsler in a battle of turnout and name recognition.

“This is an open seat so for the first time in decades, voters have the opportunity to learn about and choose between two new candidates, without the weight of incumbency skewing the election,” Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Chair Sara Gaborik told The Virginia Star.

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CNU/Wason Center Poll: Virginia GOP Statewide Candidates Making Gains Among Independents

Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe

A new Christopher Newport University Wason Center poll released Friday found GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin slightly behind Terry McAuliffe, 49 percent to 45 percent, which is nearly in line with the Real Clear Politics current polling average placing McAuliffe ahead by 3.5 percentage points. Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding got one percent, with five percent undecided.

The poll also included the lieutenant governor’s race, which hasn’t seen as much polling, and found that Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) leads GOP candidate Winsome Sears 48 percent to 44 percent.

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Qualified Immunity Becomes One of the Deciding Factors of 2021 Virginia Elections

The rise in violent crime across Virginia combined with increases in law enforcement officers leaving the field have started to raise questions from voters about the once-popular push from Leftist activists and Democrat lawmakers to “reimagine policing” and essentially end qualified immunity, a legal protection mechanism for law enforcement officers.

Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin told The Virginia Star “absolutely, without a doubt” that Democrats’ threats to end qualified immunity are affecting law enforcement’s ability to keep and retain officers. He spoke at length about how law enforcement would be negatively affected if Virginia Democrats were to end qualified immunity. He discussed these protections are in place to protect law enforcement who are trying to follow the law.

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Virginia GOP Lieutenant Governor Candidate Winsome Sears Fires Majority of Staff

The Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-Norfolk), fired a majority of her staff on Wednesday evening. Multiple outlets report that Sears did this as more of a “course correction” to complete her campaign. 

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Texas Abortion Law Pushes Pro-Life vs. Abortion Debate into Virginia Campaigns

pregnancy

Voting in Virginia begins in less than two weeks, and abortion law is taking center stage in Virginia’s statewide races. Democratic candidates are highlighting a controversial Texas law as an example of what Republicans would push for, while Republicans point to a late-term abortion bill that Virginia Democrats pushed for in 2019. On Friday, GOP lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears said on Newsmax that she would support a heartbeat bill in Virginia.

Sears said, “Here’s the thing: when did it become the wrong thing for us to support the babies in the womb?”

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Virginia Gubernatorial Update: Youngkin Spends on More Down-Ballot Races, Competing Ads on Crime, Two New Polls Released

Glenn Youngkin is touting third wave of funding from his down-ballot-focused Virginia Wins PAC, which has supported 73 candidates and disbursed almost $250,000, according to a Youngkin press release. The funding has gone to candidates for General Assembly, local boards of supervisors, city councils, and Commonwealth’s attorney.

“With Virginia Wins, we will bring an entire crop of leaders to take back our Commonwealth and support conservative solutions so that when I’m governor we can deliver strong results for the people of Virginia,” Youngkin said in the release. “Republicans in my beloved home state have been overwhelmed by outside money from George Soros and others backing left-liberal candidates. So now we’re fighting back and investing in building our team for the long haul. Together, we can elect a wave of Republicans, bring common-sense values back to our school boards and city councils, and begin the work of making Virginia the best place in America to live, work, and raise a family.”

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Twitter Temporarily Locks Winsome Sears’ Account; More Gubernatorial Debates and Ads

Twitter locked the account for GOP nominee for lieutenant governor Winsome Sears over the weekend. Staff said they were unable to log in for a 72-hour period starting Friday, and visitors to her page received a warning message before being given a link to visit the page.

“We didn’t tweet anything controversial, we haven’t said or done anything, except go to bat for the people of Virginia,” Sears spokesperson Michael Allers told The Virginia Star. “I tried to log in, I was blocked. Another person tried to log in, they were blocked. And we lost access to the account for 72 hours.”

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Biden Stumps for Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe

ARLINGTON, Virginia – President Joe Biden joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Lubber Run Community Center on Friday evening. Biden, McAuliffe, and leading Virginia Democrats hyped progress made under their administrations and repeatedly linked GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin to former President Donald Trump.

“Terry and I, we share a lot in common. I ran against Donald Trump, so is Terry,” Biden said to laughter and applause. “And I beat Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry.”

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Governor’s Race Draws Record-Breaking June Fundraising; McAuliffe Out-Raises Youngkin

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin

Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe have already raised a combined $40 million, according to new finance data through June, reported by the Virginia Public Access Project. A VPAP graphic shows that previous years through 2001, previous fundraising through June never reached $20 million. The June period is the first reporting period after the parties nominated their candidates.

Due to $12 million in personal loans, Youngkin out-raised McAuliffe in the January through May period. But McAuliffe’s June fundraising beat Youngkin. McAuliffe raised about $7.5 million in June, while Youngkin raised about $3.6 million.

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Youngkin Nearly Tied with McAuliffe in New Poll; DPVA and RPV Attack Each Other’s Candidates

The Virginia gubernatorial race is neck-and-neck, according to a new poll. 46 percent of respondents support former Governor Terry McAuliffe and 42 percent support GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, with a 4.2 percent margin of error. The phone poll of 550 likely voters was conducted by JMC Analytics from June 9-12, and was commissioned by CNalysis with funds from 141 donors.

House of Delegates races are even closer. The poll found that 44 percent would support a Democratic candidate for House and 43 percent would support a Republican candidate. Democrats have stronger leads in the Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor elections.

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Michael Bills and Clean Virginia Biggest Losers in Virginia Democratic Primary

Democrats nominated former governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor respectively. Progressive candidates lost both in those races, and down-ballot in the House of Delegates.

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Virginia Democratic Ticket for November: McAuliffe, Herring, and Ayala

Former governor Terry McAuliffe will again be Virginia Democrats’ nominee for governor, according to the Virginia Public Access Project which called the race on Tuesday evening. Incomplete unofficial results showed McAuliffe soundly beating all four of his challengers.

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Primary Day: Democrats Pick Their Ticket, GOP Watches House Primaries in Districts 9, 83

Virginia Democrats have been voting for months, but Tuesday is the final day of voting in the Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor. The races have highlighted a contrast between progressive and establishment wings of the party, with battles over identity, past scandals, and private versus corporate campaign funding. But Tuesday’s voting includes both Democratic and Republican primaries for House of Delegates districts across the state.

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Ayala Takes $100,000 from Dominion Energy After Taking Funds from Clean Virginia

Dominion Energy gave lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) $100,000 at the end of May, according to new campaign finance reports published by The Virginia Public Access Project. That angered anti-utility activist group Clean Virginia which had contributed $25,000 to Ayala’s campaign; Ayala had committed to not accept money from the utility.

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Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Starts Podcast Series on 2021 Candidates and Healthcare

Set up of podcast with microphone and desktop computer with editing software.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) have announced a podcast series focusing on the 2021 candidates for office and their stances on healthcare. The series features statewide candidates from both parties addressing the healthcare issues of the Commonwealth. 

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Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Groups Support Two Bills Focused on Fetal, Infant and Maternal Health Data

Republican and Democratic legislators don’t often find common ground on pro-life issues in Virginia, but two pro-life bills passed the House of Delegates with unanimous support, and are likely to pass out of the Senate. HB 1950, introduced by lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) would develop a plan to create a Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team in Virginia to collect better data about fetal and infant survival rates. HB 2111, introduced by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), is similar, and establishes a task force to collect data to help create policies focused on improving maternal care. Both bills are now in committee in the Senate.

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New Virginia Law Bars Debt Collectors and Creditors from Taking or Garnishing Emergency Relief Payments

Thanks to a recently implemented law from the Virginia General Assembly, emergency relief payments from the federal government to Virginians will be protected from being seized or garnished by debt collectors and creditors.

The new law, stemming from House Bill 5068, comes as Virginians and Americans from across the country are starting to receive a second round of relief payments relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Delegate Mark Levine Announces Run for Lieutenant Governor in 2021

Virginia State Delegate Mark Levine (D-Arlington) announced last Monday that he was officially running for lieutenant governor and joining the crowded contest.

Levine, 54, is the 12th contender to enter into the race so far and, if elected, he would become Virginia’s first openly gay statewide elected official. 

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Delegate Hala Ayala Hopes to Bridge the Divide Between Politicians and the People in Virginia as Lieutenant Governor

Virginia Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) wants to be a bridge between lawmakers and Virginians throughout the Commonwealth and offer a new perspective in state politics if her bid to become the next lieutenant governor is successful. 

Ayala, 47, entered Virginia’s 2021 lieutenant gubernatorial election on July 14th, and was one of the first candidates to enter into the race that now features a dozen Democratic and Republican hopefuls. 

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Elizabeth Guzman Says She Will Bring a Progressive Voice to the Senate as Virginia Lieutenant Governor

State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) is determined to bring a fresh progressive voice to the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate and advocate for the Commonwealth’s working class if elected as lieutenant governor next November.

Guzman, who has represented the 31st House of Delegates District since 2018, announced her campaign for the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election at the beginning of October.

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Puneet Ahluwalia Wants to Bring Pro-Business Leadership Back to Virginia as Lieutenant Governor

Northern Virginia lobbyist and consultant Puneet Ahluwalia is running for lieutenant governor to offer a fresh perspective in state politics and provide a pro-business mindset to help Virginians overcome the current economic challenges. 

Originally from India, Ahluwalia announced his bid for the 2021 Republican lieutenant governor  nomination in September and is one of many people who started campaigns for the position in the last couple months. 

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Delegate Sam Rasoul Announces Run for Lieutenant Governor, Joins Crowded List of Hopefuls

Democratic House of Delegates member Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) announced his bid for the lieutenant governor position earlier this week, officially entering the 2021 race.

Rasoul, who has served as a state legislator since 2014, made the announcement Tuesday morning through a video posted to twitter.

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Lance Allen Wants to Bring a Fresh Approach to Virginia Politics as Lt. Gov.

Virginia lieutenant governor candidate Lance Allen is determined to bring a new approach to state-level politics in the Commonwealth and offer Virginians with something that has been lacking: a politician who will listen to their problems. 

Allen formally announced his entrance into the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election back in August, joining a handful of other Republican hopefuls in a pursuit to become the second-highest-ranking government official in the state. 

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