RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is pouring more than $2 million into Virginia’s crucial state elections, targeting key battleground races expected to decide which party controls the General Assembly.
All 140 seats in the House of Delegates and state Senate are up for election this year (some candidates are running unopposed), putting the balance of power in the legislature on the line and bringing a flood of political money to Virginia.
The DLCC, through the Legislative Majority PAC, contributed $850,000 to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus and $700,000 to the Virginia House Democratic Caucus in September, bringing the DLCC’s total donations to the political party committees this year to over $2 million.
“Virginia is our top priority in 2023,” DLCC spokesperson Abhi Rahman told 8News in a phone interview, adding that the latest contributions would help boost Virginia Democrats’ get-out-the-vote efforts.
The DLCC said it was the first national organization on the ground in Virginia, bringing volunteers and resources to the commonwealth in January, with the goal of helping Democrats keep a majority in the state Senate and flip the House of Delegates to win control of the Virginia General Assembly.
“We invested early and have kept up the pace because the stakes are so high. Democrats must win in November to protect Virginians’ fundamental rights and to advance an economic agenda to grow the middle class,” interim DLCC President Heather Williams said in a statement. “If we fail, Virginia will fall into the hands of unchecked Republican power and their extreme MAGA agenda will set Virginia back decades.”
The DLCC is focusing on several key races in Virginia’s 2023 state elections with the funding. The committee’s target map for the Nov. 7 state elections — obtained by 8News — includes the following races:
- District 22: Democrat Aaron Rouse – Republican Kevin Adams
- District 30: Democrat Danica Roem – Republican Bill Woolf
- District 16: Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg – Republican Siobhan Dunnavant
- District 24: Democrat Monty Mason – Republican Danny Diggs
- District 31: Democrat Russet Perry – Republican Juan Pablo Segura
- District 27: Democrat Joel Griffin – Republican Tara Durant – independent Monica Gary
- District 17: Democrat Clint Jenkins – Republican Emily Brewer
Virginia House of Delegates
- District 97: Democrat Michael Feggans – Republican Karen Greenhalgh
- District 84: Democrat Nadarius Clark – Republican Michael Dillender
- District 21: Democrat Joshua Thomas – Republican John Stirrup
- District 65: Democrat Joshua Cole – Republican Lee Peters
- District 57: Democrat Susanna Gibson – Republican David Owen
- District 82: Democrat Kimberly Pope Adams – Republican Kim Taylor
- District 89: Democrat Karen Lynette Jenkins – Republican Baxter Ennis
- District 22: Democrat Travis Nembhard – Republican Ian Lovejoy
- District 30: Democrat Robert Banse – Republican Geary Higgins
The DLCC also hopes to counter the record-setting fundraising haul from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC, which is transferring millions to help Republican candidates.
On top of the DLCC’s investment, the Democratic National Committee will give the Democratic Party of Virginia an additional $1.2 million — adding to the $300,000 it already contributed — at President Joe Biden’s direction.
Republicans hope to flip the Virginia Senate to give the party the power to pass their legislative agenda, including Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to enact a 15-week abortion ban with exceptions, next year.
Democrats want to flip the House to block those efforts and get their own priorities passed, although Youngkin has veto power.
Early voting in Virginia started Sept. 22. Election Day — when polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. — is Nov. 7.