RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Democrats sent a memo to donors describing Virginia’s 2023 state elections as “a battle between extremism and commonsense.”
The four-page memo obtained by 8News – first reported by The Hill – was sent out on Oct. 9 by the Virginia House and Senate Democratic caucuses and the Majority Project, a Democratic-led campaign to boost early voting.
The memo claims Republicans would ban abortion, try to make voting harder and ease the state’s gun laws if they take control of the Virginia General Assembly.
With all 140 state legislative seats on the ballot (some candidates are running unopposed), both parties are vying for control of the General Assembly to help pass their agendas next year.
In the memo, Democrats warned that control over the legislature is a toss-up as both parties have paths to win majorities in both the Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate.
The Democratic memo framed the elections as a clash between “common-sense” Democrats and Republicans controlled by right-wing hardliners.
“The MAGA Republican party wants to take total control of state government, re-electing their majority in the House and flipping control of the Senate – putting extremism in control of our Commonwealth,” the memo reads.
“It’s not theoretical. The threat is real. We’ve seen the extreme policies they’ve put forward in the past and know, if elected, they will do everything they can to ban abortion, weaken gun safety laws, and put middle class families at risk,” the memo continued. “This is a battle between extremism and commonsense.”
“Imitation is the highest form of flattery. That’s our framing,” Zack Roday, the coordinated campaign director for Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC, said in a statement about Democrats describing Republicans as extremists. “The Governor has used it for a long time and that’s how our PAC has consistently framed the choice in this race.”
Republicans have coalesced around Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions, calling Democrats’ stance “extreme.” Republican campaigns and candidates have accused Democrats of lying about the party’s abortion stance.
Democrats have said on the campaign trail, in political advertisements and in the memo that Republicans are covering up their plans for abortion, pointing to candidates sharing support for further restrictions and Youngkin saying he would sign any bill to “protect life.”
The Democrats’ memo also claimed that Republicans would look to relax Virginia’s gun laws, citing the party’s opposition to red flag laws and other gun restrictions.
On voting rights, the memo pointed to Republicans’ failed efforts to limit early voting and stop the use of ballot drop-off boxes.
“Standing up for drug dealers over victims makes no sense. Putting big tech ahead of kids makes no sense. And fighting for no limits abortion over a consensus position (protecting lives at 15 weeks with exceptions) is certainly not common sense,” Roday added. “The progressive liberal left is out of touch with what Virginians are discussing at the kitchen table, that’s why they are running the most dishonest campaign in memory.”
Pointing to how President Joe Biden fared in the 2020 election in the state’s new legislative districts –2023 is the first time the General Assembly elections will be under the new districts after redistricting — the memo states that Biden won 24 of the 40 Virginia Senate districts and 60 of the 100 House districts.
The memo adds that Democrats will succeed in the Nov. 7 elections if voters are aware of Republican policies and if Black, Latino, young and suburban, specifically suburban women, head to the polls.
“In order to win these critical races, Virginia Democrats need to turnout from NOVA to Richmond to Virginia Beach. With just one month to go, there is so much on the line and Virginians need to get out the vote, turn out, and stop the MAGA extremists from taking control of our Commonwealth,” the memo concludes.