Today, we are thrilled to announce our first wave of 2019 endorsements. Supporting these 10 incredible candidates helps us achieve two of our strategic goals: flipping chambers blue, and making inroads into badly gerrymandered states.
We have matched each of our 75+ volunteer teams to at least one candidate for support throughout the entire campaign cycle. Our teams are already getting to work with fundraising to provide critical early money. We are also working with campaign staff so that our volunteers can start phonebanking, textbanking, writing postcards, and canvassing for their candidates as soon as possible. We will be able to announce additional races as filing deadlines and primary elections pass.
Karen Mallard — House of Delegates District 84
Josh Cole — House of Delegates District 28
Phil Hernandez — House of Delegates District 100
Hala Ayala — House of Delegates District 51
Shelly Simonds — House of Delegates District 94
Larry Barnett — House of Delegates District 27
Alex Askew — House of Delegates District 85
2019 is a thrilling year for Democrats in the Commonwealth — just one seat down in the state Senate and two down in the House of Delegates, the party is poised to take control of the General Assembly and turn Virginia into a trifecta for the Democrats. New, court-mandated lower chamber district maps more fairly represent Democratic voters in Virginia, which means more Republican-held districts are now in play. And, these are all “Last Chance” races: the legislators elected in 2019 will be serving during the 2021 redistricting process.
In 2017, Virginia was one of the first states to hold a general election during the Trump presidency, and the historic “blue wave” of Democrats who won office was widely considered a bellwether of the Trump “resistance” movement. Sister District supported 13 races in Virginia in 2017, and we are thrilled to return to the Commonwealth in 2019 and help finish the job of flipping the legislature blue.
2019 is a big year for Mississippi. Long seen as a conservative stronghold, the state is a Republican trifecta — Republicans control the Governorship and both chambers of the legislature. But the entire state legislature is up for election in 2019, and they are all “Last Chance” races — the legislators who are elected in 2019 will draw district lines during the 2021 redistricting cycle. Additionally, the current Governor is term-limited in 2019, and the Democratic candidate, state Attorney General Jim Hood, is viable and well-liked.
The South is rising, as evidenced by the Doug Jones victory in Alabama, and the near-wins of Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida, and, of course, Mike Espy in Mississippi — all propelled by people of color, women, and young people. But painful voter suppression laws, including strict voter ID requirements and permanent felon disenfranchisement, have helped Republicans unfairly maintain power.