On Saturday evening, I was honored to join hundreds of Democrats at the Unity Rally/JJ Dinner in Richmond to celebrate our statewide candidate team and their primary challengers, to introduce Attorney General Mark Herring, and to speak to the House Democratic efforts. I was back in Richmond as Democratic Leader and as your candidate for Delegate because of the support I received from so many of you in this community. I want to thank each of you for participating in the Democratic primary last Tuesday. Throughout this race, we remained focused on positive initiatives, discussing what we have accomplished and what we can do in Richmond to improve our Commonwealth and communities.
Tom Perriello has been especially eloquent in discussing the importance of unity and encouraging his supporters to engage this fall for the Democratic candidates. He is 100 percent behind the Democratic ticket and we can look forward to seeing him throughout the state this fall campaigning for our team and helping us with the House of Delegates elections.
I am so proud of my team, who remained focused on the positive throughout, and of the countless friends and neighbors who stepped forward to offer their support. As long as I serve in this office, I remain committed to engaging and listening to the broadest cross-section of this district and throughout the Commonwealth, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives, to build support for our values in Richmond.
I also want to offer my congratulations to the Democratic primary candidates for Charlottesville’s local offices. They ran robust campaigns and our community is better off for their efforts.
All Hands on Deck
I received a gracious concession call from my primary opponent on Tuesday evening, and I am hopeful that he and his supporters will bring their incredible passion and energy to help the Democratic ticket win this November. We need all hands on deck this fall, and I hope all Virginians can put the primary contest behind us and focus on the future. A Republican governor with a Republican state legislature would lead to a dramatic lurch to the right that could easily surpass what has happened in North Carolina. To sit on the sidelines is to play into the hands of the right.
Democrats are Motivated
Democratic turnout in the primary (both locally and statewide) was unprecedented, which bodes well this fall, especially in the House races. There are 17 districts in the House of Delegates presently occupied by Republicans, which were won by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in 2016; if flipped to Democrats, these seats would get us a majority in the House of Delegates. Turnout will be important; four years ago, we picked up seats in the House, and were very close in a number of contests. As an example, an 800-vote swing across 5 House districts held by Republican incumbents would have brought those seats into the Democratic column. If turnout increases even by a small amount, we win those seats. If we can increase it even more—something within our reach in the era of resistance to President Trump—unprecedented change can occur.
I am deeply honored to have been chosen as the Democratic nominee for this fall’s election, and to continue to serve as the Democratic Leader in advancing our efforts to elect more Democrats to the House of Delegates. As always, I so appreciate your help and support, and will ask for it again during the summer and fall.