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Stories about Virginia

All candidates for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

All three of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District — incumbent Rob Wittman (R), Herb Jones (D), and David Bruce Foster (I) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office. 

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of October 20th, 2022, Democrats hold a 220-212 advantage in the U.S. House with three vacant seats. Virginia’s current congressional delegation consists of 9 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?                                

Wittman:       

“Since 2007, I have been focused on strengthening our military and supporting veterans, promoting economic development through fiscal responsibility, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, increasing access to high-speed internet, conserving our environment and protecting our wildlife and public lands and waters, and promoting workforce development through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs.”

Jones:       

“-Being a veteran myself, I am particularly focused on veterans’ issues.

-Being a small business owner and a former county treasurer, I am also focused on fiscal responsibility

-Being a dad, uncle, and grandpa, I am also focused on leaving a clean and inhabitable environment for our children and grandchildren.”

Foster:

“We keep hearing from the corrupt political base that we are a Nation of Law and Order. Great, but what use is it when the Rule of Prosecution is left out for the Elites who literally are getting away with Murder! America is done, finished with this Quid Pro Quo Political Ideology. November 8th, 2022, is America’s last chance to Save Herself. We have to come together from all sides now because the Elites do not have our best interests as a priority when making important life decisions.”

Click here to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



The top 10 Virginia candidates raised 71 percent of all donations

In Virginia politics, state-level candidates and officeholders raised $34.6 million between Jan. 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022. More than $24.6 million, or 71 percent, of all donations reported by candidate committees were raised by the 10 individuals at the top of the list.

Top 10 Virginia candidates (1/1/2022 – 6/30/2022)

Here are the 10 Virginia candidates and officeholders who have raised the most money so far in the 2023 election cycle, according to campaign finance reports submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections:

Rank Candidate/Officeholder Name Total Donations
1 Glenn Youngkin $22,548,063
2 Jennifer Carroll Foy $321,768
3 Jason Miyares $284,575
4 Dick Saslaw $270,240
5 Eileen Filler-Corn $230,453
6 Don Scott $229,199
7 Jennifer McClellan $201,513
8 Danica Roem $185,312
9 JD Danny Diggs $185,196
10 Tina Ramirez $182,167

The list of Virginia candidates and officeholders includes anyone with a candidate PAC that filed campaign finance reports during this time period, which may include former candidates or current officeholders who are not running in this cycle. PACs not associated with a candidate are not included in the values above.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Political expenditures that are not controlled by candidates or their campaigns, known as satellite spending, are not included in candidate totals. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies.

Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports. Data from additional reports due in between the deadlines below are published along with the reports listed here.

Report Name Report Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual 1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual (and Post-Primary) 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual 1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Virginia education agency proposes policies to clarify approaches to transgender students in public schools

The Virginia Department of Education proposed new policies on September 16, 2022, that aim to provide guidance to the state’s public schools on the Youngkin administration’s preferred approaches to transgender students. 

The new policies depart from former Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s administration guidelines, which encouraged schools to let students use names and pronouns aligning with their gender identity without formal documentation. Titled 2022 Model Policies On The Privacy, Dignity, And Respect For All Students And Parents In Virginia’s Public Schools, the new education policy mandate the following approaches:

  • Transgender students must use the bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their assigned sex at birth
  • The legal name and sex of a student cannot be changed even with written instruction from a parent or student unless official legal documentation or a court order is presented
  • Teachers and school officials are only allowed to refer to a student by the pronouns associated with their sex at birth
  • Teachers are not required to use a student’s preferred name regardless of written instruction if they believe doing so would violate their constitutionally protected rights

The Virginia Department of Education stated that the policy “reaffirms the rights of parents to determine how their children will be raised and educated. Empowering parents is not only a fundamental right, but it is essential to improving outcomes for all children in Virginia.”

In response to the policy proposal, Mike Mullin, a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, tweeted, “Trans kids deserve to learn and thrive in an environment free of bullying, intimidation, and fear. That means being addressed as who they are and supported for who they will be. Especially from their teachers and their administrators.”

The general public will be allowed to comment on the proposed policy using the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website. 

Additional reading:



All candidates for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

All three of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District —incumbent Don Beyer (D), Karina Lipsman (R), and Teddy Fikre (I) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of September 26, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacant seats. Virginia’s current congressional delegation consists of 9 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?                            

Beyer:       

“Don’s passions and key legislation are focused on climate change and the environment. In Congress, he is the leading voice on fusion energy and carbon pricing, leading the charge in working to take carbon out of the atmosphere.”

Lipsman:               

“As your congresswoman, I will engage with you directly and represent your interests and put solutions for our district before partisan politics. I will advocate for common-sense policies that fight crime, modernize immigration, reduce inflation and improve the educational standards and opportunities for our children.”

Fikre:

“My number one priority when it comes to policies is ensuring that the needs of workers and small businesses are placed ahead of the needs of Wall Street and the billionaire class. It is immoral and deeply offensive that someone like Jeff Bezos pays less in marginal taxes than teachers, janitors and veterans who came back from overseas broken by wars.”

Click here to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



Abigail Spanberger and Yesli Vega are running for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on Nov. 8

Incumbent Abigail Spanberger (D) and Yesli Vega (R) are running in the general election for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Spanberger was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent David Brat (R) 50.3% to 48.4%. Before that election, a Republican had represented the 7th District since 1971. According to various estimates, the district became more Democratic as a result of redistricting. The Cook Partisan Voting Index score for the old district was R+2, while the score for the new district is D+1. According to data from Daily Kos, voters in the redrawn 7th District supported Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R) 52.6% to 45.8% in the 2020 presidential election.

Before she was elected to Congress, Spanberger worked in federal law enforcement and was a case officer in the CIA. In June 2022, Spanberger said, “My strength and what I endeavor to do every day is to listen to voters and to be responsive to the needs that people are facing. And I don’t just talk about problems such as inflation or the cost of prescription drugs or the challenges that our communities are facing. I endeavor to hit them head-on.”

Vega, who has a background in local law enforcement, was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in 2019.

Vega’s campaign website says, “Yesli looks forward to fulfilling Congress’s responsibility of being a check and balance on the woefully inept Biden administration. She will be a strong advocate for the timeless American ideals of freedom, limited government, and restoration of the rule of law.”

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this election. The DCCC designated Spanberger as a 2022 Frontline Member, providing her campaign resources meant to help her win re-election and maintain a Democratic majority. The NRCC included this district in its list of Democratic-held target seats and named Vega as an “On the Radar” member of its Young Guns program.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election.

Additional reading:



These 10 Virginia donors gave over $21.3 million

In Virginia politics, state-level candidates and political action committees have received $54.2 million in total donations between Jan. 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022. The 10 largest donors gave more than $21.3 million, or 39 percent of all contributions.

These are the top 10 individual donors to Virginia state-level candidates and political action committees (PACs) in the 2023 election cycle, according to campaign finance reports submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections:

Top 10 Virginia Donors (1/1/2022 – 6/30/2022)

Rank Donor Name Total Donations
1 Glenn Youngkin $20,000,000
2 Michael Bills $390,000
3 Sonjia S Smith $193,000
4 Ronald D Abramson $162,667
5 Charles Hobbs $100,125
6 Chris Perry $100,000
7 Tiffany Brooks $100,000
8 Paul B Manning $90,119
9 Leonard A Bennett $81,000
10 Timothy Chapman $75,000

The list of Virginia donors in this time period includes more than 622 individuals identified by name in the Virginia Department of Elections’s public records.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies.

Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports. Data from additional reports due in between the deadlines below are published along with the reports listed here.

Report Name Report Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual 1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual (and Post-Primary) 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual 1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Virginia Board of Education postpones public hearings for proposed history curriculum standards

The Virginia Board of Education has announced that they will delay voting on new statewide history curriculum standards, following opposition from the Youngkin administration regarding some of the proposed changes. The proposed changes that have received pushback from Gov. Youngkin (R) include removing “references to George Washington as ‘the father of our country’ and James Madison as the ‘father of the Constitution’” and using the word succession instead of secession. A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Education has said that those changes were made in error.   

The state board is responsible for updating the state’s curriculum standards every seven years. The board establishes required curriculum standards that local districts must adhere to. 

In response to the board’s decision to delay the public hearings and vote on the standards, Gov. Youngkin said, “I was pleased that the State Board of Education stepped back, granted additional time for further review before these most important history curriculum standards are released for public comment. We’re doing our work. That’s why Virginians granted us the license to lead last year. We are in fact going to do the work and make sure that we have the best history curriculum in the nation,” according to ABC 7 News

Atif Qarni (D), Virginia’s former Secretary of Education, spoke about the delay in voting on the proposed changes. Qarni contended, “I would just really encourage the board when they meet in September to go ahead and pass them. I realized they were technical edits, which I’m really surprised because we’ve had eight months under the Youngkin administration to get these rolled out. I was disappointed the governor took that [SOL errors] and politicized that even though it’s his Department of Ed, which made those technical edits and how to spell secession versus succession,” according to ABC 7 News.

The board was set to vote on the new history curriculum standards in August but announced that they will delay the vote until the fall. Public hearings on the new standards will begin in September. 

Additional reading:



Virginia senate president raises $21,336 this election cycle

According to campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears has raised $21,336 and spent $156,689 between Jan. 1, 2022, and Jun. 9, 2022. Earle-Sears currently serves as the president of the state senate.

Earle-Sears is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2022. In Virginia, the president of the senate is one of the roles of the lieutenant governor.The primary job of a state senate president is to preside over legislative sessions and ensure that members of the chamber abide by procedural rules. Earle-Sears’ current term ends in 2026.

Earle-Sears’ reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2021-2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Earle-Sears

Of the $21,336 already reported in the current election cycle, $18,836 came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Earle-Sears (1/1/2022 – 6/9/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$5,000.00Michael BarleyIndividual
2.$2,467.86Aggregated Unitemized Cash Contributions*Individual
3.$2,381.00Richard NormanIndividual
4.$2,116.67Eberle CommunicationsEntity
5.$2,000.00Black American’s PAC Bampac FederalEntity
6.$1,000.00Irfan K AliIndividual
7.$1,000.00Jack HughesIndividual
8.$1,000.00Laurie AvilaIndividual
9.$1,000.00Stephen ClouseIndividual
10.$870.93Mdi Imaging & Mail LLCEntity
*Total of all cash donations below threshold requiring a detailed, itemized campaign finance report entry. 

Expenditures by Earle-Sears

Earle-Sears reported $156,689 in expenditures, with $135,897 going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Earle-Sears (1/1/2022 – 6/9/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$54,404.49Winsome PACEntity
2.$17,392.75Cnt LLCEntity
3.$12,447.02Winsome SearsIndividual
4.$12,197.08Camp Strategic LLCEntity
5.$11,045.0040 Acres and Mule 15 LLCEntity
6.$6,869.70Red Curve SolutionsEntity
7.$6,650.00Tracey TempleEntity
8.$6,481.67Janel SearsIndividual
9.$4,350.00Ashby Law PLLCEntity
10.$4,059.10Beacon Hill Group LLCEntity

State senate presidents across the United States

Across the U.S., 30 senate presidents are members of the Republican Party and 19 are members of the Democratic Party, with one vacancy. The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the senate in 25 states. In other states, the president of the senate is a state senator chosen by the members of the chamber. 

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Pre- Primary6/13/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Yesli Vega wins Republican primary in VA-07

Yesli Vega defeated Derrick Anderson, Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, and two other candidates in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on June 21, 2022. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is running for re-election in the redrawn 7th District. Vega had 29% of the vote to Anderson’s 24%, Reeves’ 20%, and Vanuch’s 17%.

At the time of the primary, Vega served on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and worked in law enforcement. Her campaign website detailed a platform that included advocating for the “conservative values of freedom, limited government, the rule of law, and a firm reliance on our Creator.” Former U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who lost to Spanberger in 2018, endorsed Vega, along with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Anderson served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army. After retiring from active duty, he received a J.D. from Georgetown University. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Anderson listed his three priorities as “standing up for our veterans, keeping our country and communities safe, and stand up for our conservative values.” Based on fundraising totals reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April 2022, Anderson led the field in fundraising and spending. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Greene County Supervisor Davis Lamb endorsed Anderson.

Reeves was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2011. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Prince William County Police Vice/Narcotics Bureau. Reeves raised and spent the second-most of the six candidates based on FEC reporting. Reeves campaigned on his legislative record and his history of winning in what he called “Democrat districts,” citing victories in 2011 and 2019. U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and state Del. Nick Freitas (R) endorsed Reeves.

At the time of the primary, Vanuch served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and worked in the healthcare field helping individuals with terminal or chronic illnesses find affordable treatment. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Vanuch listed her three priorities as decreasing government spending, defending law enforcement, and supporting the right of parents to make decisions for their children. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) endorsed Vanuch.

The general election is expected to be competitive. Three independent forecasting outlets rated the general election as Toss-up, Lean Democratic, and Tilt Democratic. Nathan Gonzales of Roll Call said that President Joe Biden (D) would have won the district by seven percentage points in the 2020 presidential election and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) would have won the district by six points in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Spanberger defeated Brat by two points in 2018 and Freitas by two points in 2020.

Also running in the primary were Gina Ciarcia and David Ross.



Virginia attorney general raised $7.4 million in 2021 election

According to campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares raised $7.4 million and spent $6.9 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2021. Miyares ranked fourth in state-level donations in the 2021 election cycle.

Miyares is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2022. In Virginia, the attorney general is an elected position. The primary job of a state attorney general is to serve as chief legal adviser to the agencies and legislative organs that make up his or her state’s government, in addition to the citizens residing within the state. Miyares’ current term ends in 2025.

Miyares’ reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2016-2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Miyares

Of the $7.4 million reported in the 2021 election cycle, 58.5 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Miyares (1/1/2022 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$2,600,000.00Republican Attorneys General Association FederalENTITY
2.$785,059.00Republican Party of Virginia IncENTITY
3.$266,000.00Dominion Energy Inc PAC – VirginiaENTITY
4.$205,000.00Haulover Creek Development Company LLCENTITY
5.$119,500.00Jason MiyaresENTITY
6.$105,000.00Richard Baxter GilliamINDIVIDUAL
7.$75,000.00Virginia Wins PAC IncENTITY
8.$50,000.00Ads IncENTITY
9.$50,000.00New Dominion PACENTITY
10.$50,000.00Tiger Lily Capital LLCENTITY

Expenditures by Miyares

Miyares reported $6.9 million in expeditures, with 88.5 percent going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Miyares (1/1/2022 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$4,928,773.32On Message IncENTITY
2.$305,050.00Republican Party of Virginia IncENTITY
3.$181,540.00Creative Direct LLCENTITY
4.$135,568.80The Coefficient GroupENTITY
5.$119,500.00Jason MiyaresENTITY
6.$109,190.59Bay Armoury LLCENTITY
7.$88,889.45Fp1 Strategies LLCENTITY
8.$84,655.00Christina M HeathINDIVIDUAL
9.$81,696.95Msp Design GroupENTITY
10.$78,212.46Klarke KilgoreINDIVIDUAL

Attorney general elections in 2022

Across the U.S., 27 attorney generals are members of the Republican Party and 23 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the attorney general in 43 states, while they are chosen by a state government organ in the other seven. In 2022, 30 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.