Upcoming Elections

Many Virginia cites and towns will be holding elections for Mayor and Council Offices on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The filing deadline for candidates has passed and the candidate lists are available up on the Virginia Department of Elections website. Most localities do not require party affiliation, so most all of these candidates are running as independents, with the exceptions being Democrats in Roanoke, and a few Republicans in Lynchburg and Crewe. The full list of cities with contested mayoral races is pretty short, just Fairfax, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Hampton, and Norfolk. There are a good number of smaller towns holding elections as well, where most incumbent mayors are running unopposed, and there are a few non-incumbents running unchallenged as well. Please note that 'no qualified candidates' on the list indicates that locality will hold their elections during the general this November: Narrows (Giles county), Monterey (Highland), Manassas, Toms Brook (Shenandoah), Honaker (Russell), Clinchport (Scott), Newsoms (Southampton), St. Charles (Lee), and Buchanan (Botetourt.

Following in June will be primaries for the House of Representatives. Things have really been shaken up with the redistricting of the 3rd, represented by Bobby Scott (D). In January, The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district was illegally packed with African Americans, and that the lines need to be redrawn between the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th districts. Around the same time, Rep. Scott Rigell (R), of the 2nd, announced that he had accomplished his goals in Congress and would not be seeking re-election. That lead Rep. Randy Forbes (R), of the 4th, to switch districts, calculating that it would be too difficult to win his own redistricted 4th, instead choosing to seek Rigell's vacant seat in the 2nd. Unfortunately for him, he faces two other primary challengers, Pat Cardwell and Scott Taylor. Of the 8 Virginia Congressional Districts though up for grabs this cycle, only 3 are being contested: the 2nd, with the 3 aforementioned Republicans in a primary battle to see who will run against the Democratic candidate, Shawn Brown; the 4th, with Republicans Michael L. Wade (no relation) and Jackee Gonzalez, and Democrats Donald McEachin and Ella Ward squaring off on either side; and in the 6th, where Republican Harry Griego is trying to primary incumbent Bob Goodlatte for the seat.

Generally speaking, we're seeing a continuation of the incumbency trend in Virginia. Most elected officials are not even challenged in elections. We saw it last November during General Assembly elections, when not a single one of the 100 House of Delegates reps nor the 40 State Senators running for re-election lost their seat. Most ran unopposed, and there were only 3 seats that actually changed party affiliation, and that was due to an open seat changing hands. The situation was similar for those State Senate seats that were up for grabs. This trend is bad for Virginia. A number of our representatives are not responsive to the wishes of their constituents, and are instead beholden to their corporate donors and party ideology. And with important issues like Medicaid expansion, tax breaks for coal companies, clean energy implementation and pollution of the Chesapeake Bay watershed being fought over in the State Legislature, we can't afford to let these seats go unchallenged. We need Democrats to fight against the Republicans throughout the state. To that end we're keeping our eye not just on this year's May and November elections, but to 2017, when elections for all 100 House of Delegate seats will occur. Also up next year will be races for Virginia's Governor, Lt. Governor, and Commonwealth Attorneys offices.

Anyone interested in helping with this fight can sign up on the site here at ForVirginia.org. Anyone interested in writing about races in their area should contact me via the comments below and I will reach out to you personally. Feel free also to drop any links to news articles regarding any of these upcoming elections.