An organization that is encouraging first-time candidates to run for the General Assembly in Virginia issued seven endorsements Tuesday and promised to raise money for those candidates in the November races.
The candidates are all Democrats under the age of 35. Amanda Litman, who founded Run for Something after the November presidential election, said several of the candidates, whether part of a wave of women or other newcomers, are long shots.
Some of the districts have not had a contested race in years; others pit the newcomers against veteran incumbents. “I think it’s going to be tough, but that’s where our money and support will make a difference,” Litman said.
The endorsements include:
● Danica Roem, a former journalist who is transgender and who faces longtime Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) in Prince William County’s District 13.
● Chris Hurst, a former television broadcaster who was motivated to run after the on-air slaying of broadcaster Alison Parker, his girlfriend, in District 12, near Blacksburg. He is running against Del. Joseph R. Yost (R).
●Joshua Cole, a minister, who is running in District 28 in Stafford County, an open seat being vacated by outgoing House Speaker William J. Howell (R). His Republican opponent is Robert Michael Thomas Jr.
●Donte Tanner, an Air Force veteran and small-business man, who is challenging Del. Timothy D. Hugo, chairman of the Republican caucus, in Fairfax County’s District 40.
●Kellen Squire, an emergency room nurse, who is running against Del. Robert B. Bell (R). Bell has been uncontested for the past two election cycles in Albemarle County’s District 58.
●Schuyler VanValkenburg, a public school teacher, who is running for an open seat against Republican Eddie Whitlock in the Richmond suburbs of District 72. Del. Jimmie Massie III (R) did not seek reelection.
●Jennifer Carroll Foy or Josh King, who are in a recount in the race for the Democratic nomination in Prince William and Stafford counties’ District 2. The winner will face Republican Laquan Austion. Del. L. Mark Dudenhefer (R) is not seeking reelection.