Flip-a-District Friday VOLUME V
Welcome to Volume V of the 2019 Flip-A-District Friday series. With barely over 100 days until Election Day on November 5th, it's full steam ahead from canvassing to fundraising to phone-banking to make sure we seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to flip the General Assembly.
Meet the candidate: Martha Mugler
Martha has lived, worked, and raised a family in the 91st District. She's a native of Hampton and lived in Poquoson where she attended middle and high school.
Martha was elected to the Hampton School Board in 2008, and is currently serving her third term. She served as Chairman of the Board for four years from 2012 through 2016. She received her B.A. in Communications from Radford University and is an Executive Assistant for Business Development at Old Point National Bank. She previously worked in university admissions, public, community and media relations.
Martha is a member of the Virginia School Board Association, the Council for Urban Education, the National School Board Association and the Woman’s Club of Hampton, Inc. She has served as an appointed member of the Virginia School Board Association Legislative Positions Committee and is currently serving on the WHRO Hampton Roads Education Telecommunications Association, Inc. Education Advisory Committee. She is a Governor McAuliffe appointee to the Virginia 529/Able Now Board.
Martha is a member and Sunday school teacher at First Presbyterian Church, and assists in serving hot lunches to children during the summer through No Kid Hungry and the USDA.
Deeply committed to children and her community, Martha has served on the Boards for Downtown Hampton Child Development Center, Star Achievers Academy and the Virginia Living Museum. She is the past President of the Junior Woman’s Club of Hampton, Inc. and S.P. Langley Elementary School PTA. In addition, Martha is a past member of the Junior League of Hampton Roads and served for many years as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader. She has been recognized by the Barrett-Peake Foundation for her contributions to the Peninsula and by the Coalition for Justice for Civil Rights for outstanding service to the community.
She is the proud mother of three children, Chandler, Will and Anne-Logan, and "Granmommie" to four-year-old Devon and one-year-old Will. Martha is married to the Honorable Ross A. Mugler.
House District 91:
The federal court-ordered redistricting makes the 91st District a top target for Democrats on November 5th. The 91st is an open seat, since incumbent Delegate Gordon Helsel (R) will retire at the end of the year. The Republican running to replace him is Colleen Holcomb. Martha is taking no chances even given the district's new makeup, and has out-raised Holcomb 5-to-1 (and that's WITH a $5,500 infusion from Holcomb's own law firm) as of the last reporting period.
The 91st District includes parts of Hampton City, Poquoson City, and York County. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why we cannot let Holcomb win:
It is hard to find a more extreme new Republican candidate this cycle than Colleen Holcomb, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Republican National Coalition for Life.
Let's take a look at some of Holcomb's antiquated and occasionally offensive views:
- In opposing the ERA, she recommended emphasizing to legislators that passage would "put same-sex marriage and abortion into the US Constitution."
- "Colleen Holcomb, executive director of the anti-immigrant Eagle Forum, insisted there is 'no Biblical mandate for amnesty.' She noted that Leviticus 19:33 contains a mandate to treat the sojourner and stranger kindly — a mandate she argued applies to individuals, not the government. 'As a person of faith,' she said, 'I get profoundly offended when faith leaders imply that there is some sort of Biblical mandate' to pass immigration reform."
- Holcomb wrote (see page 124) that "marriage is the solution to poverty and the greatest indicator of prosperity. It limits the need for things like special education, need for prisons, drug abuse, law enforcement."
- Holcomb deleted this section from her "On The Issues" page of her website, but she initially listed one of her top priorities to be to "[d]efend human life, and vigorously fight the recent efforts to legalize infanticide."
- Holcomb, in another deleted section, wrote that she would "[f]ight against efforts to infringe on our right to bear arms by opposing any legislation in Richmond that diminishes those [sic] our Constitutional rights."
Holcomb is as bad across the board as it gets. We must defeat her in November and elect Martha Mugler.
Contact the campaign here.
Meet the candidate: Kevin Washington
Kevin was raised in Richmond, VA. His mother was from Tampa, FL, and his father, from Nashville, TN. Kevin's father was in the United States Air Force, which allowed Kevin to grow up in various parts of the world. When it came time for his father to retire in early 2000, his parents selected Virginia as a location central to both sides of his family. Virginia has since been Kevin's home. There, he met his wife LaToya, a Richmond native, and they have been married for 14 years. They have three children: Christopher (20), Na’Zyia (14), and Malachi (9).
Kevin had the pleasure of serving in the United States Army, where he was proud to provide his family with many of the same opportunities that his father gave him. Kevin's family got the chance to experience different cultures and see the world. He completed a combat tour in Iraq during OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom).
During his time in the military, Kevin completed his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degrees. He developed a passion for the Information Technology work he performed in the Army and continued in that industry after he retired. Kevin now continues to serve the DoD as a Cloud Architect.
Kevin is grateful for the opportunity to run for Delegate in the 97th District.
House District 97:
The 97th District is light red, but Republicans in the area have been in total disarray in recent months. Incumbent Delegate Chris Peace (R) lost a contentious and ugly Republican nomination battle to Hanover County Supervisor Scott Wyatt. Peace eventually dropped out of the race and Wyatt secured the nomination, but bad blood still exists between the various Republican factions.
In a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch article, reporters recounted that Republican legislative district committee representative "John Hubbard indicated the wounds created by the five-month nomination battle are more than skin-deep as he entered the meeting. 'If they do what I think they are going to do, I know of 2,400 97th District Republicans who won’t be voting for Scott Wyatt,' he said, referring to the voters who cast ballots for Peace at the June 1 primary."
Located northeast of Richmond, the district encompasses parts of Hanover, New Kent, and King William Counties. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why we cannot let Wyatt win:
Wyatt is a known quantity, despite having not served before as a Delegate. On every issue, he has found a way to be more extreme than most Republicans in Virginia. Wyatt announced that he would challenge Chris Peace because of Peace's vote in favor of Medicaid expansion (which Virginia Republicans favor by 58 percent). After his initial announcement, his Facebook posts continued down a similar path:
- "I am and always have been pro-life. I annually attend the March for Life in Washington D.C."
- "If elected, you can count on me to be a STRONG supporter of all of our rights--especially the 2nd Amendment."
- "Wyatt is a dedicated conservative who will uphold the Constitution if elected, and FreedomWorks for America is proud to support him in Saturday’s Convention." FreedomWorks is a corporate-backed, DC-based, hyper-conservative advocacy group.
It's clear what kind of Delegate Wyatt would make -- an intransigent, dogmatic partisan who would worsen Richmond's already frustrating gridlock.
Contact the campaign here.
Meet the candidate: Phil Hernandez
Born and raised in Hampton Roads, Phil went to public schools and received a Gates Millennium Scholarship, enabling him to attend the College of William & Mary. He studied abroad at Oxford University, and ultimately became the first in his family to graduate from college.
Phil met his wife, Sara, at William & Mary, and they married in 2015. Sara works to increase access to quality, affordable health care, with a special focus on preventive care.
Determined to use his education to serve others and help solve social problems, Phil worked as a Senior Policy Analyst on President Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council. He partnered with leaders across the country to promote clean energy, fight for clean air and water, as well as help coordinate the response to the worst oil spill -- Deepwater Horizon -- in American history.
While in law school, Phil took time to represent low-income families facing eviction. He also developed legislation aimed at preventing unwarranted homelessness, then shepherding that bill -- AB 2819 -- through the California legislature. A year later, it was signed into law and is now protecting tens of thousands of families annually.
More recently, Phil worked as an attorney for a nonprofit organization, advocating for the rights of working people. Now having stepped up to serve the Eastern Shore and Norfolk in Virginia’s 100th District, Phil is listening to people from all walks of life and differing party affiliations -- from employees to owners, to people who have been through the criminal justice system, to concerned parents who want the best future for their children -- all in the name of creating more and better economic opportunities for everyone.
House District 100:
The 100th District is light blue, having shifted to the left due to this year's redistricting, and is a must-flip if Democrats want to secure a solid majority in the House. The district is currently represented by incumbent Delegate Rob Bloxom (R), who is being seriously out-raised by Phil Hernandez, $36,169 to $193,404.
The 100th includes parts of Accomack County, Norfolk City, and Northampton County. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why Bloxom needs to go:
Rob Bloxom is entirely in the pocket of the NRA. Some of you may remember the closed-door "town halls" on gun control hosted by Republicans before the Gun Safety Special Session called by Governor Northam, but did you know that the NRA appointed their trusted friend Bloxom to run one of them? Kevin Washington, whom we spotlighted above, and his wife tried to attend one of these "town halls," and was denied entry and firmly told to leave.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, even Bloxom admitted it wasn't so much a town hall as a "'[g]et organized and get out the vote for Second Amendment proponents’ (meeting).'” Quite the presumptuous take from a lawmaker who "said he hasn’t seen all of Northam’s eight proposals."
In a truly revelatory quote, Bloxom showed his cards, stating, “I feel the need to do something, but to do something that doesn’t fix a problem is really wasting time and effort." He clearly recognizes that gun violence is a crisis, but hasn't taken the "time or effort" -- as he would put it -- to even attempt to formulate potential solutions.
Bloxom certainly hasn't offered any of his own remedies throughout his tenure as Delegate. It's time for new leadership in the 100th District.
Contact the campaign here.
Meet the candidate: Darlene Lewis
Darlene Lewis is a 20-year resident of Roanoke County and a small business owner. She and her husband started a moving company with just an S10 Pickup truck. As their determination and hard work grew into more trucks and more employees, Darlene remembered one of the many valuable lessons of the Bible: Luke 12:48 says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Her heart led her to open the doors to The Hope Center in northwest Roanoke City in November of 2015.
The Hope Center is a local non-profit organization that responds to many of the most basic needs of the community, like providing after-school programs, a food pantry, and a resume-writing service for those seeking employment. While Darlene has served as Assistant Director and part-time Director, she sees her assignment as just keeping the doors open.
Darlene is a wife, a mother, and an ordained minister. She has spent the last four years of her life talking and listening to people, helping them find employment or a place to live, and finding ways to keep their bills paid. She has held hands, hugged people, and helped them navigate through their pain and loss – the loss of a job, a home, or a loved one. Darlene has spent countless hours trying to provide support and comfort to people in their greatest time of need, whether in their home, the hospital, or at the funeral home.
Darlene has served the community by seeing and meeting need with love, respect, and action. During this volatile time in Virginia's history, she sees many needs in the community and believes that the best way for her to address these issues is by entering the political arena.
She therefore took great joy in announcing her candidacy to represent the 8th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Darlene is not running to build her resume or to climb another rung on the career politician’s ladder. She is running to serve.
Darlene looks forward to listening to the cares and concerns of the people living in the 8th District and looks forward to helping her neighbors understand that it is not what she feels is important but rather what they feel is important that should matter in Richmond. She will work tirelessly to see that the people of the 8th District’s needs are fully met.
House District 8:
The 8th District leans red. The district, west of Lynchburg, includes parts of Roanoke County, Salem City, Montgomery County, and Craig County. Incumbent Delegate Joe McNamara (R) has represented the 8th District since a special election to replace retiring Delegate Greg Habeeb (R) in 2018. Click here for more district details.
Just one example of why McNamara has to go:
McNamara appears fairly uninterested in helping the residents of the 8th District. In his first session (this year), he introduced a whopping five bills -- this while other members scrambled to get down to the 15-bill limit imposed on "short sessions" in the House of Delegates.
In Roanoke County, the largest of the counties and cities in the 8th District, the medium household income is about $6,000 less than the statewide average for Virginia, and employment has suffered. In Salem City, the next largest entity in the 8th, the percent average of those with a bachelor's degree or higher drops 10 points lower than Virginia's on the whole. In Montgomery County, 23 percent of the population lives in poverty, compared to 10.6 percent in Virginia. In Craig County, 5 percent more of the population under 65 lives with a disability than in the rest of the Commonwealth, and just 60.3 percent of the population has access to broadband internet.
Now let's look at McNamara's bills. One bill was a small tax-related bill that went nowhere in committee. Another -- which became law in large part due to its lack of consequence -- requires that on any ballot, "all offices to be elected shall appear before any questions presented to the voters." Another was related to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation's ability to issue cease-and-desist notices. The fourth, which also went nowhere, would have allowed "a locality that participates in the Virginia Retirement System to opt out of the group insurance program and instead establish, either by self-funding or purchasing insurance, local life insurance coverage or accidental death and dismemberment insurance."
The fifth bill was vetoed by Governor Northam for creating burdensome restrictions on small businesses.
The 8th District deserves better than this.
Contact the campaign here: email@example.com
That's it for Volume V of our Flip-a-District Friday series. I encourage you to review this email and future editions to find a candidate or candidates whom you would like to support with your time or financial resources.