House Democratic Caucus announces a $90k digital campaign in the newly drawn 66th and 76th House districts
RICHMOND – The Virginia House Democratic Caucus announced an initial $90k digital campaign, beginning on Tuesday, in HD-66 and HD-76, in coordination with the Take the Majority 2019 campaign. The ads will reach new voters in the districts, which were redrawn earlier this year by a federal court after Virginia’s legislative map was ruled to be racially gerrymandered. The Republican incumbents in the two districts, Speaker Kirk Cox and Appropriations Chair Chris Jones, were the chief defenders of the racially gerrymandered map and have also been the most affected by the court-ordered redistricting. HD-66 became 32 percent more Democratic and HD-76 became 27.4 percent more Democratic.
“After our 15 pick-ups in 2017, Democrats are poised to win the majority in the House of Delegates for the first time in 20 years, and this time, Republicans can’t hide behind their racial gerrymandering,” said House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Trevor Southerland. “With our early investment, we will be able to communicate to the new voters in HD-66 and HD-76 their incumbent representatives’ history of blocking access to affordable healthcare and suppressing voting rights.”
The initial round of ads will focus predominantly on Cox and Jones’s consistent opposition to the Affordable Care Act, including their 2017 votes to repeal Virginia’s conformity with the ACA, which would have allowed health insurers to once again deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits like maternity and mental health care. Cox and Jones also have long records of voting to block women’s access to reproductive health care.
The ads will also introduce residents in the districts to the Democratic nominees. Sheila Bynum-Coleman, running in HD-66, is a native of Chesterfield County who has run several small businesses and was appointed by former Governor Terry McAuliffe as the first African American woman to the Board of Contractors. The mother of a gun violence survivor and a child with special needs, Bynum-Coleman is a “mom on a mission” whose campaign is receiving national attention from Vanity Fair and Elizabeth Warren.
In HD-76, Army veteran Clinton Jenkins is running to invest in public education, protect access to affordable healthcare, and support working Virginians. A native of Suffolk, Jenkins is a community leader who has been active in civic leagues, the faith community, and the Boy Scouts. His wife, Karen, serves on the school board.
“Virginia House Republicans are out of touch, and their leadership is to blame,” continued Southerland. “Cox and Jones need to be held accountable for their roles in blocking access to affordable healthcare and voting rights. This year Democrats are going to flip the House, and it’s strong candidates like Sheila and Clinton who will help lead the charge. The House Democratic Caucus is here to support them.”
The digital campaign is a joint effort of the House Democratic Caucus and Take the Majority 2019, the coordinated campaign run by the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses, the Democratic Party of Virginia, the Way Ahead PAC, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Beyond this initial announcement, the House Democratic Caucus intends to invest additional funds to flip HD-66 and HD-76 through the election.