VI R G I N I A Miyares – page 5 The New 17 – page 6 THE NEW TIM ANDERSON JASON BALLARD ELIZABETH BENNETTPARKER MIKE CHERRY NADARIUS CLARK AC CORDOZA TARA DURANT KAREN GREENHALGH MICHELLE MALDONADO MARIE MARCH ANNE FERRELL TATA BRIANA SEWELL PHILLIP SCOTT IRENE SHIN KIM TAYLOR OTTO WACHSMANN WREN WILLIAMS Winter 2022
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Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 3 Winter 2022 Volume 28 Number 1 • Editor-in-Chief –Bonnie Atwood • Managing Editor –McClain Moran • Assistant Editor–Cierra Park • Publisher –David Bailey • Art Director –John Sours School Distribution –firstname.lastname@example.org • Advertising –Ads@CapitolSquare.com • Printer –Wordsprint • Virginia Capitol Connections Quarterly Magazine (ISSN 1076-4577) is published by: Virginia Capitol Connections • 1108 East Main Street • Suite 1200 • Richmond, Virginia 23219 • (804) 643-555 • Copyright 2021, Virginia Capitol Connections, Inc. All rights reserved. The views expressed in the articles of Virginia Capitol Connections Quarterly Magazine, a non-partisan publication, are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. C O N T E N T S VIRGINIA CAPITOL CONNECTIONS QUARTERLY MAGAZINE On The Web vacapitolconnections.com 5 Jason S. Miyares 6 The New 17 10 Virginia’s Election Results Reflect Dissatisfaction— with the Democratic candidate as much if not more than with the party 11 What Can We Expect From The Youngkin Administration? 12 The Democratic Electoral Decline of 2021 15 Opinion: Our Stormy Election 16 Redistricting in Virginia: Insanity 101 17 Thanksgiving for Redistricting Reform 19 Striving toward “We the People” 20 Virginia Introduces Its Twenty-Sixth State Forest 22 Alice’s Adventures in Park Land 23 Virginia Construction Subcontractors Want to Stop Financing Construction 24 Virginia State Veterans Cemeteries 26 Teaching Future Teachers 27 Virginia ACTE, Connecting Education and Careers Policy Issues and Solutions 2021-2022 28 Counselors Bridge the Gap 29 Unsung Heroes of Education: Speech-Language Pathologists 29 How did I become a “Senior” so fast? 30 Association and Business Directory page 10 BELL page 15 LIGAMFELTER page 11 BOLLING page 17 GREEN page 12 FARNSWORTH page 19 page 16 RUSH UNDERWOOD
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Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 5 My story doesn’t start in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but in Havana, Cuba when a scared 19-year-old girl got on an airplane, penniless and homeless, with no idea where her next meal would come from. That was my mother, Miriam Miyares. My mother raised my brothers and me with a deep love and respect for democracy and the country that gave our family a second chance. Nearly 56 years to the day that she fled communist Cuba, my mother was able to vote for me to be the first Hispanic elected statewide in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to be the first son of an immigrant Attorney General. That’s what I like to call the American Miracle, and it’s proof that we are still the “Last Best Hope on Earth.” It will be the biggest honor of my life to serve as your Attorney General. I look forward on day one to ending the criminal first, VCCQM welcomes our Attorney General Elect, Jason S. Miyares. A brief biography is included here. In future issues we will feature other statewide office holders. JASON S. MIYARES victim last mentality in Richmond and making sure that Virginia is the best place to live, work and raise a family. V Preparing for the 2022 Inauguration Jason Miyares’ story is a dramatic one. His mother, Miriam Maria Miyares, fled Cuba in 1965, with almost no possessions. As a legal immigrant, her goal was to raise her family in a land of freedom and democracy. She impressed these values upon her three sons. The family lived in Virginia Beach, and Jason Miyares attended public schools. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from James Madison University, and then graduating from the College ofWilliam & Mary School of Law, where he served on the Honor Council. He performed well in school, working his way up to become Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach. In the fall of 2015, Miyares won the race for the 82nd District of the House of Delegates. The election made history in that he was the first Cuban-American elected to the General Assembly. When he takes the oath to become Attorney General, he will be the firstVirginia Attorney General in 225 years to be the child of an immigrant. Miyares is firm in his stand as a conservative, fighting for fiscal discipline and government transparency. As a delegate, he served on three committees: General Laws, Courts of Justice, and Transportation. Miyares has received a number of prestigious awards and held offices, including: • “Champion of Free Enterprise,” by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce • Past President of Cape Henry Rotary, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow • Past Chairman of the Hampton Roads Young Republicans • Founding Member of the Hampton Roads Federalist Society • Member of the Virginia Beach Bar Association • Member of Galilee Episcopal Church • Service on the Virginia Board of Veterans Services • Chairman of the Commission on Equal Opportunity for Virginians in Aspiring & Diverse Communities • 2018, 2019 “Legislator of the Year,” by the College of Affordability and Public Trust • 2018, “Legislator of the Year,” by Hampton Roads Military Officers Association • 2019 “Action Award,” by the Safe House Project Miyares is married to Page Atkinson Miyares, who works in real estate. They have three children. Admiration for Reagan, Freedom motivate Attorney General Elect QM STAFF REPORT V
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 6 TIM ANDERSON TimAnderson is a highly respected attorney and small business owner who has calledVirginia Beach home for over 25 years. He has been awarded Pro-Bono Attorney of the Year and is a two-time winner of the Legal Elite Award from Virginia Business Weekly during his law career. In addition, Tim serves as a Board Member of the Tidewater Bankruptcy Bar, a member of the Davis Corner Rescue Squad, and is a former Cub Scout Den Leader. Tim has always prioritized community service, having been part of the UpCenter mentor program and has been an active participant in the grassroots community. Being the Delegate Elect for the 83rd District, Tim aims to fulfill his campaign promise of campaign finance reform. For far too long, we have seen out-of-control spending by out-of-state and out-oftouch special interest groups that aim to essentially “buy influence” in the Virginia General Assembly. This must come to an end. JASON BALLARD Jason Ballard is a husband, father, Veteran, attorney, and lifelong Virginian. Jason was born in Giles County in the town of Pearisburg. He graduated from Concord College with a BA in Political Science and BS in Management, and then he attended West Virginia University for law school, where he also met his future wife, Catherine. Jason currently serves on the Pearisburg Town Council. While earning his law degree, the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 unfolded. Jason felt the call to serve his country more than ever, so he joined the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps upon graduation. He began his military career with the historic 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and went on to serve as the Senior Defense Council at Fort Knox, command the JAG School’s Student Detachment in Charlottesville, and became a ELIZABETH BENNETT-PARKER Elizabeth has served as the Vice Mayor of Alexandria since 2019, and is the youngest woman elected to City Council in Alexandria’s history. Born in Alexandria to two Naval officers, Elizabeth is dedicated to serving her community. She is one of the co-leaders of Together We Bake, a nonprofit that provides job training and personal development programs for underserved women. She is the founder of Fruitcycle, a social enterprise fighting food waste and hunger. Elizabeth currently serves as the Chair of the Operations Board of theVirginia Railway Express, the 13th largest commuter rail system in the country, and is a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. She has served on the Community Criminal Justice Board, the Commission on Employment, and the UnitedWay Regional Council. Elizabeth is ready to bring her experience as a nonprofit leader, small business creator, and local government official to the House of Delegates. In Richmond, she will work to expand access to child care, ensure equitable education opportunities, fight climate change, and build an economy that works for all of our residents. MIKE CHERRY Mike Cherry is an educator, veteran, pastor, and Delegate-elect for the 66th district. Mike was born and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. After high school, he joined the United States Air Force as a Loadmaster on C-141B and C-17A aircraft. During his 20 years on active duty, Mike continued to work on his education. He holds two Associate Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University. After retiring and beginning his career in education, he transferred to Regent University where he completed Masters in Education and Educational Specialist degrees. Currently, Mike is a Staff Pastor at Life Church and is Head of School at Life Christian Academy, a growing, thriving, fully accredited school in South Chesterfield and Colonial Heights. Mike is married to his high-school sweetheart Teresa and has two adult children. The Cherrys reside in Colonial Heights. As a longtime educator, Mike is very passionate about our education system. During the COVID shutdown, he saw firsthand the disparity for people that did not have school choice. If we are going to have true educational equity and equality, school choice THE NEWEditor’s Note: Virginia Capitol Connections Quarterly Magazine welcomes all of the new and returning legislators. We are especially pleased to greet the newly-elected. VCCQM invited each of them to submit a short autobiography or biography about themselves. Here, in alphabetical order, are the responses: member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), famously known as the “Night Stalkers.” Jason is a decorated Veteran having earned the Bronze Star, 4 Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency, as well as the Pathfinder Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. Jason also completed SERE school, which is widely regarded as one of the most physically and mentally challenging schools offered by the Department of Defense. Jason has since left active duty but continues his call to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is a trial lawyer and owner of his own firm. Additionally, he spends his spare time volunteering to coach youth basketball, football, baseball, and golf. He is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, and the Night Stalkers Association. Some of Jason’s issues of interest: healthcare, law enforcement, economic growth, broadband, and education.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 7 NADARIUS CLARK Nadarius Clark is a progressive community activist, organizer, and Democratic delegateelect in the 79th district. He comes from a military family with a background in business entrepreneurship. Nadarius grew up in a strong faith community and his family attends Holy Light Church of Deliverance in Portsmouth. Born in Norfolk, he attended I.C. Norcom High School in downtown Portsmouth. He worked his first job at the age of 14 at his local 7-Eleven. After a house fire destroyed his family home in 2013, he went on to college and graduated from Virginia Union University, an HBCU in Richmond. In 2016, after a KKK march disrupted classes at VUU, Nadarius co-founded the charter chapter of Generation Now Network, an organization committed to faith based activism, advocacy, and education. As a student leader at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in 2017, Nadarius rallied with leaders of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and he went on to lobby in Washington D.C. for comprehensive expansion to Medicare and Medicaid. Nadarius has organized to elect Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover, with the non-profit Virginia For Our Future, and the Virginia Democratic Party to help elect Congressman Bobby Scott, Senator Tim Kaine, and President Joe Biden. AC CORDOZA A resident of Hampton, AC Cordoza is a proud air force veteran who works in the engineering department at the shipyard maintaining network security. AC’s priorities inRichmond include: making our communities safer, improving opportunities for good paying jobs, and expanding education programs for Hampton youth. TARA DURANT Tara resides in Stafford county with her husband and three children. Tara is an educator, and will be focused on education, transportation issues, jobs and the economy, and health care. She is looking forward to get to work for the people of the 28th District. KAREN GREENHALGH Karen founded and developed Heritage Woodworks Inc., a highly successful custom cabinet manufacturing facility, which has spawned several growingVirginia Beach businesses. Karen knows how to make businesses grow. She knows what it’s like to be an employer and an employee. After selling Heritage Woodworks, Karen devoted herself to community service. She chose to volunteer as a counselor for local crisis pregnancy centers, where her mother had been a volunteer. When Karen’s business acumen was discovered, she was asked to join the staff as manager. While she streamlined the business operations and improved patient care, Karen continued to serve as counselor. The most rewarding aspect of her service was found in helping women who faced an unplanned pregnancy—for most women a crisis situation—by helping them make an informed decision and offering support no matter what they ultimately decided. It was a difficult but rewarding responsibility which created lifetime bonds with clients and shaped Karen’s empathy for thousands of women inVirginia Beach. Managing the medical centers included meeting regulations like HIPAA that mandate the privacy and security of patient information. Karen recognized the growing need for addressing privacy and cybersecurity risks in healthcare and started Cyber Tygr. In her continuing education, Karen earned three certifications: Health Care Information Security Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP)–ISC2 Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)–HCCA Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)–HCCA Karen’s business quickly became a success and Cyber Tygr now supports leading edge organizations like Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She often travels the US sharing cybersecurity best practices at national and regional healthcare conventions on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services Cybersecurity Work Group. As a parent, Karen has experience with public, private and homeschooling. Karen was one of the first homeschoolers in Virginia with Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV). Both of her children attended universities and graduated with honors. Karen is not a politician. She has real world experience in creating jobs and solving problems. She has demonstrated a deep compassion for the most vulnerable in our community. Karen always exceeds expectations. Karen gets things done. See The New 17, continued on page 8 is the only way. Parents should have the right to choose what educational model is best for their student. Whether public, private, or homeschooled, the parents are the first line advocate for their student and should be given the means through vouchers or tax credits to choose the education model that is best for them. Mike also believes every child deserves a strong education regardless of zip code. As Delegate, he will continue to fight for our schools to get the resources they need and will prioritize legislation addressing the learning losses that our children have faced during the pandemic. He believes we should be giving every student the opportunity to reach his or her maximum potential. MICHELLE MALDONADO A long-time resident of the Manassas area, Michelle Maldonado is an entrepreneur, business leader, mother, wife, and bridge-builder who represents the people of the 50th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. With a code of strong ethics, determination and vision, Michelle has spent over two decades supporting the development and performance of leaders across industries—ranging from teachers to corporate executives to law enforcement. She has worked in difficult environments to bring people together in order to achieve solutions for the greater good, including with partners such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership and agents as well as United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian aid workers. Michelle grew up in Massachusetts, Virginia and Texas and is the product of a family of firsts and of service as the daughter of educators and with every branch of our nation’s armed forces represented. Michelle is not a career politician, yet she understands the issues impacting families around our Commonwealth. She knows how to work together to get things done. She knows what it means to support and take care of our community—especially during difficult and uncertain times.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 8 PHILLIP SCOTT First and foremost, I am a Christian, a husband, a father, and a business owner. I am not just any dad; I am a dad to all girls, and this is an extra special blessing. I love spending time with them. I am a devoted husband to my beautiful wife, Elisabeth. She is my support and reason. Elisabeth gives me the encouragement I need to keep pushing forward and wisdom when facing challenging decisions. I am a Virginian at heart, our great commonwealth will always be my home. I ran for delegate because our government has gotten away from the fundamentals and has had misguided priorities in recent years. We have a constitutionally mandated responsibility to provide a highquality public education to our children here in Virginia. In the past year, many localities fell down on the job and didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. All Virginians deserve access to high-quality healthcare, this issue is personal for me. My daughter, Brianna, faces severe health challenges and requires significant medical attention. I know how important it is to provide access to these critical services. At the same time that I am fighting to restore the government’s end of the bargain on these necessities, I will stand as a brick wall against tax increases, working to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your own pocket. BRIANA SEWELL As the Chief of Staff to the Chair AtLarge of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Briana has worked closely with all levels of government to facilitate an equitable vaccine distribution process across the 51st district. She will work to secure funding at the state level to establish a Prince William Health Department to better protect and inform residents and will strive to build back better after COVID-19. Briana understands that reducing unemployment, supporting our small businesses, increasing access to healthcare, and making reliable internet more accessible for everyVirginian are the keys to rebuilding our economy and community after the pandemic. IRENE SHIN Delegate-elect Irene Shin represents the 86th District, which covers Herndon, Chantilly, Reston, and Sterling. Irene has been a longtime activist and advocate for policies that build a more representative and inclusive democracy. She is the daughter of Korean immigrants, and grew up in Burbank, California. She went to the University of California, Riverside as a Chancellor’s Scholar and paid her way through college by waiting tables. Irene has the great privilege of serving as the executive director of a nonprofit dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voting accessibility, particularly amongst BIPOC communities, in Virginia. Irene is most excited to be bringing back thoughtful, community-centered representation for the 86th District. She looks MARIE MARCH In addition to helping Governor-elect Youngkin get CRT out of our schools and breaking down other socialist, big government programs designed to control and manipulate rather than empower, I have my own list of agenda items: • Passing school choice legislation. Parents should have a significant say in what their children are taught and where they go to school, and tax dollars should follow the student. • Passing a Constitutional Carry law and repealing red flag laws. The 2nd Amendment gives all law abiding citizens the clear right to bear arms, and it is unconstitutional to allow a government official to confiscate guns without due process. • Defund Planned Parenthood and pass pro-life legislation. • Election integrity. • Limiting bureaucracy improves oversight on government functions. fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government. Tax money should stay in the communities, not go to special projects benefiting a few select friends of career politicians. • Protecting individuals and businesses from politically driven emergency orders mandating mask mandates, forced inoculations, and discriminatory practices. • Passing “Right to Try” legislation giving individuals more control of their medical treatment options. • Increased funding for law enforcement, and providing lifetime hunting and fishing licenses to volunteer firefighters, emergency responders, law enforcement, and veterans. • Repealing minimum wage laws in favor of free enterprise determining appropriate wage rates. • Mandatory drug testing for recipients of entitlements funded with tax dollars, and creating a task force to investigate and eliminate fraud in such programs. • Ensuring landlords are never put in a position where tenants don’t have to pay rent but the landlord still has to pay the mortgage. • Locally, I will help our District with funding for roads and infrastructure and investments to help guarantee local produce and meat to market. I, like the majority of voters, believe in free enterprise over socialist programs that seek to control. Fiscal responsibility and accountability for the government. Expecting the government to respect Constitutional limitations and freedoms. Pray for peace, but understand that peace is best preserved through a strong national defense. And, of course, faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of this great country. I look forward to carrying these efforts forward in January as your representative. from page 7
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 9 KIM TAYLOR I’m a mom and a small business owner, not a professional politician. As a small business owner, I have operated two successful businesses for seventeen years. I’m proud that we support 18 Virginia families. I understand what it takes to build and support the economy by job creation and bringing needed services to a locality. I know what it means to sign both the front and back of a paycheck and the struggle of small businesses that are the backbone of the Virginia economy. In my business, I’m accountable to customers and employees and daily tackling problems to create successes for both. I will be accountable and accessible to constituents in the 63rd when I’m elected as their next representative. I’ma proudmomof a public school student, who will soon graduate from a Virginia public university. Whether it’s academic performance or a state-mandated curriculum, I understand the concerns of parents who have trusted their students to a failed public school system. From K-12 and higher education, I have navigated the public school system and successfully raised a child who will soon start her post-graduate career.We need accessible representation who understands the realities of life in Virginia, who will truly represent the values of the constituents of the 63rd. The great folks in the 63rd want a representative who cares about them and who will vote in their best interests. They don’t want someone who votes according to their own agenda and partisan politics that produces empty policy and legislation with no real results. OTTO WACHSMANN Otto Wachsmann was raised and continues to live in Sussex County while proudly representing those in the 75th District. He gained his pharmacy license upon graduating from the Medical College of Virginia-VCU School of Pharmacy in 1986 and later received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in 2001. He has practiced in community pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and academia. In 2003 he purchased Stony Creek Pharmacy from his father, which he owned until 2019. He presently lives on the family farm and works periodically as a relief pharmacist for a local community pharmacy. Otto and Judy, his wife of 29 years, have two daughters and one grandson. Otto is interested in increasing opportunities in rural Virginia to include, but not limited to, better access to quality healthcare, education, jobs and recreational activities for our youth. WREN WILLIAMS Wren Williams ran for office because he was tired of seeing communities in Southwest Virginia be forgotten by Richmond and Northern Virginia. His top priorities in Richmond include banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory from Virginia’s public K-12 schools, securing Virginia’s elections by passing voter-ID and other common-sense reforms, and standing up for his community’s conservative values on 2ndAmendment and Prolife issues. Williams is also concerned about improving the qualityof-life for the residents in his district—through bringing in more jobs and economic development, improving healthcare options (Wren’s home county of Patrick currently has no hospital or emergency room), and expanding broadband and cell coverage for residents. Prior to running for the House of Delegates,WrenWilliams served as chair for the Patrick County Republican Committee. He revived it from being defunct to having over 100 members and becoming one of the most active Republican Committees in the Commonwealth, earning the Republican Party of Virginia’s “Unit of the Year” award. Williams fundraised and spearheaded the effort to flip Patrick’s board of supervisors and school board to Republican control during the 2019 election. And in 2020, he traveled to Wisconsin to help the Republican National Committee (RNC) and President Trump fight for election integrity in the courtroom. Outside of politics, Wren Williams lives in Stuart, VA, with his wife, Britt, where they own and operate Schneider &Williams Law Firm.V ANNE FERRELL TATA Delegate Elect Anne Ferrell Tata and her husband, former Naval officer Bob Tata, raised their four children in Virginia Beach. She understands the importance of plentiful job opportunities and pro-business policies that make the region’s economic engine thrive. Anne Ferrell believes in putting people ahead of politics and is committed to leadership that listens to the voter and taxpayer. As the daughter of an Army Chaplain and a school teacher, Anne Ferrell knows the importance of high academic standards in our schools and is passionate about promoting the safe quality of life in Virginia Beach by supporting law enforcement in their efforts to keep us all safe. forward to defending the progress that’s been made in Richmond and plans to champion working families like hers so that everyone can have a seat at the table. Her priorities include public education, caring for the most vulnerable in our communities, and ensuring that we are building a truly inclusive democracy that remains accessible to all Virginians.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 10 A lot of ink has been spilled trying to parse the results in the weeks since the Virginia gubernatorial election. Explanations for the drubbing the Democrats took range from public dissatisfaction with Democrats nationally, to the Republican Party of Virginia’s more disciplined approach to candidate selection, to the failure of Congress to pass the infrastructure bill in a more-timely manner, to an outsized role for parental anger, to the fact that Glenn Youngkin ran a nearly flawless campaign while Terry McAuliffe’s campaign strategy was… well, what was it exactly? Put me in the camp that believes that as much as the political headwinds were against the Democrats, the results equally reflect a lack of enthusiasm among Democrats and independents for former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s candidacy. Republican voters inVirginia were fired up to vote in 2021. Meanwhile, while anti-Donald Trump sentiment fueled Democratic and independent voters’ energy over the last four years, their enthusiasm waned without Trump himself on the ballot. Overcoming Democrats’ and independents’ flagging enthusiasm required a candidate that gave them affirmative reasons to turn out to vote. In that respect, McAuliffe himself was part of the problem. He entered the Democratic primary months after the other candidates—all African American elected officials—had already begun to campaign. Accused of suffering from the “white savior complex”1 his late entry alienated some number of Democratic voters, who felt that McAuliffe had had his chance to govern and needed to make room for new, more diverse voices. Once nominated, McAuliffe’s campaign did the Democrats no favors. It focused too heavily for too long on Northern Virginia. It failed to coordinate with other state and local campaigns and often ended up competing with them for volunteers and information. It spent extraordinary resources trying to tie Youngkin to Trump, rather than giving voters any clear, affirmative reason to vote for McAuliffe. One of my neighbors summed all of this up in a social media discussion of the election results, writing: “My own lackluster vote for McAuliffe reminded me of voting for John Kerry against Bush way back when. I did it, but meh. I would’ve knocked doors for Jennifer McClellan.” Voters were not only less excited about McAuliffe than they were about Youngkin but they were also less excited about McAuliffe than they were about the other Democratic candidates for statewide office. Indeed, both the candidates for lieutenant governor and for attorney general—Hala Ayala and Mark Herring, respectively—won more votes than did McAuliffe. This reflects a pattern I have noted before in the pages of this magazine: Virginians do not simply reward copartisans at the top of the ticket for having been nominated. Instead, when they dislike the nominee, they simply tend not to vote in that race. Consider: • In 2005, only 912,000 voters selected Republican Jerry Kilgore as their choice for governor, while 979,000 voters selected Republican Bill Bolling as their choice for lieutenant governor, and 971,000 voters selected Republican Bob McDonnell as their attorney general. • In 2009 Democrat Creigh Deeds won 861,700 votes for governor, while 903,850 voters selected Democrat JodyWagner to be lieutenant governor and 874,603 voters selected Democrat Steve Shannon to be attorney general. Virginia’s Election Results Reflect Dissatisfaction— with the Democratic candidate as much if not more than with the party By LAUREN C. BELL • In 2013, in McAuliffe’s first campaign for governor, he won the gubernatorial election with 1,069,789 votes—fewer votes than Ralph Northam won for lieutenant governor (1,213,155) or than Mark Herring won in his first bid to be attorney general (1,103,777). Likewise, Republican candidate for governor Ken Cuccinelli won fewer votes (1,013,354) than Republican candidate for attorney general, Mark Obenshein (1,103,612). • In 2017, Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie, won 1,175,731 votes. But Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jill Vogel garnered 1,224,519 votes, while voters awarded Republican candidate for attorney general, John Adams, with 1,209,339 votes. The act of deliberately failing to vote at the top of the ticket—what political scientists refer to as intentional undervoting—has not been studied as much as the related phenomenon of ballot roll-off, where voters cast votes at the top of the ticket and then fail to vote further down the ballot. Ballot roll-off results from declining levels of information about candidates farther down the ballot from the race at the top of the ticket, which causes voters to skip those races because they lack the information to make an informed vote choice. Thus, all else equal, we should expect to see more votes cast in the gubernatorial election than in the elections for lieutenant governor or attorney general. And yet, as the data above make clear, in Virginia we often see the opposite, especially in the case of the party that loses the gubernatorial election. Moreover, intentional undervoting tends to reflect specific dissatisfaction with the candidate at the top of the ticket. The post mortem on the 2005 gubernatorial election noted that Republican Jerry Kilgore ran a tactically-flawed campaign.2 In 2009, it was a lackluster campaign by Democrat Creigh Deeds that turned many voters off. In 2017, Republican nominee Ed Gillespie tried to capitalize on Trump’s 2016 coattails by taking a hard turn to the right, but in doing so he alienated more moderate Virginia Republicans and independent voters. This year, a lack of enthusiasm about McAuliffe likely suppressed votes at the top of the ticket. McAuliffe supporters will counter that he won more votes for governor than any previous Democratic candidate. But that can both be true and miss the point. The results in the lieutenant governor and attorney general races demonstrate that there were more voters out there willing to vote for a Democrat—but who weren’t willing to vote for McAuliffe. To be sure, it’s difficult to know exactly who the undervoters were with the exit poll data we have available, since we don’t know exactly who failed to vote at the top of the ticket or whether some voters simply split their tickets—although ticket splitting is less and less likely as levels of partisan polarization continue to climb.3 But studies that have explored intentional undervoting in the presidential election context have found that those who intentionally neglected the topline race were more likely to be independents and to come from racially-minoritized groups. Interestingly, McAuliffe did less well with both independents and African Americans in 2021 than Ralph Northam did in 2017, according to the exit polls from both years. Taken together, the data—both from the 2021 election itself as well as the comparative results over the last several gubernatorial elections—offer some interesting insights into the ways in which partisanship and candidate emergence may affect election outcomes in Virginia. Even in a hyperpartisan, nationalized election context, partisanship may not be sufficient to induce voting when the candidate at the top of the ticket fails to excite the voters. Who the candidates are at the top of the ticket and what kind of campaigns they run, still matter. And in a close race, intentional undervoting can make the difference between winning and losing.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 11 Both parties would do well to consider these lessons as the 2022 congressional midterms—and the 2024 presidential election—approach. 1See: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/terry-mcauliffe-spopularity-virginia-dims-some-democrats-hopes-first- n1266722. 2The campaign was described in this National Public Radio story: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5005315. 3See, for example: https://www.wvtf.org/news/2021-10-27/is-virginias-habit-of-ticketsplitting-a-thing-of-the-past. 4See, for example: TomW. Smith. 2005 “Intentional Undervotes in Presidential Elections, 1972-2000.” GSS Topical Report No. 39.; Stephen Knack and Martha Kropf. 2003. “Roll-Off at the Top of the Ballot: International Undervoting in American Presidential Elections.” Politics and Policy 31:4 (575-94). Lauren C. Bell is Professor of Political Science and Dean of Academic Affairs at Randolph-Macon College. On November 2nd, the people ofVirginia sent a message—they want a change in the direction of their state government. There are many reasons why Glenn Youngkin won the governorship over former Governor Terry McAuliffe. First, Youngkin proved to be a great candidate who ran a very good campaign. He kept his focus on the big issues facing families and businesses, and he worked incredibly hard. And amazingly, he kept the diverse base of the Republican Party united behind his candidacy. Second, McAuliffe did not run a good campaign. He did not give Virginians a reason to return him to the Governor’s office, and he failed to enthuse the Democratic voter base, especially Black voters. And he served up the issue of the campaign to Youngkin when he made that unfortunate statement about parents not being able to tell schools what to teach. Third, with President Biden’s approval ratings coming down like leaves in the fall, the national political mood was in the Republicans favor. But Younkin’s success did not just have its origins in 2021. In fact, his success had their real origins in 2019. In 2019, Democrats gained control of the entire leadership structure of our state government. They controlled the Governor’s office and had majorities in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly. They thought they had been given a mandate to enact liberal policies in Virginia, and they did just that. They raised taxes. They enacted liberal release policies at the Virginia Parole Board. They embraced the cancel culture and praised violent rioters. Some even talked about defunding the police. And they opened the door for liberal indoctrination in the public schools by advancing Critical Race Theory and transgender policies that offended fair mindedVirginia patents. The problem is that Democrats did not have a mandate to turn Virginia into eastern California. In 2019 they were given the chance to lead responsibly, in large part because voters felt that Republicans had failed to do that at the national level. But they failed to lead responsibly, and the very voters that gave them power in 2019 took it away in 2021. There is in this an important lesson for GlennYoungkin andVirginia Republicans. You have not been given a mandate either! You have been given a chance to lead responsibly. Voters will expect and support center right policies from Youngkin and the reclaimed Republican majority in the House of Delegates, but they will not accept far right-wing policies anymore than they accepted far left-wingpolicies. In short, ifRepublicans overplay their hand, their success will be equally short lived. This will create challenges for Youngkin. The base of the GOP will expect him to pursue an aggressive conservative agenda. He will not. He will pursue a mainstream agenda. He will do so because it is who he is, because he knows it is what Virginians want, because it is the right thing to do, and because it is all he can achieve with a Democratic majority in the State Senate. The question is, will the political ideologues and purists in the Republican Party be satisfied with a center right Governor? They should be, but will they?Youngkin masterfully held together the various factions in the GOP during the campaign, but he will have to work even harder to hold them together as he endeavors to govern. So, what can we expect Youngkin to accomplish, especially given the fact that Democrats still control the Senate of Virginia, at least for the next two years? During his campaign for governor, Youngkin talked a lot about his Game One Game Plan. There are certainly parts of this “game plan” that could receive bipartisan support. This could include: • EliminatingVirginia tax on groceries • Providing a onetime tax rebate to citizens • Increasing the standard deduction on income taxes • Increasing funding for law enforcement • Raising teacher pay to the national average …..and more. These are issues that many Democrats could also support. There are also things that Youngkin can accomplish over time through his executive appointment powers, such as: • Replacing the Virginia Board of Education • Replacing the Virginia Parole Board • Reducing “job killing” regulations …..and more. These are the issues Youngkin will likely focus on. Even though Terry McAuliffe tried to make voters believe that Glenn Youngkin was the political reincarnation of Donald Trump, he is not. Youngkin is more of a center right Republican. An establishment Republican. A proven business leader. His focus will be on making government work better for families and businesses. But there are also things that Youngkin cannot accomplish, either because he does not want to expend the political capital these issues would require; or because he knows he cannot successfully advance these issues through the Democratic controlled state Senate. No leader wants to spend time pursing things he knows he cannot accomplish. That does not build a solid resume. Issues such as: • Preventing local governments from increasing property taxes without voter approval • Creating new charter schools • Allowing educational funding to follow students to private or parochial schools • Restoring photo ID requirements to vote • Changing Virginia’s current laws regarding abortion, same sex marriage, etc. What Can We Expect From The Youngkin Administration? By BILL BOLLING See What Can We Expect From The Youngkin Administration?, Continued on page 13 Continued from previous page V
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 12 The Democratic Electoral Decline of 2021 By STEPHEN J. FARNSWORTH, STEPHEN HANNA, AND CASSANDRA ATKINSON Virginia Democrats know how to get voters to the polls, as they did for every election after Donald Trump won the presidency. But in 2021, the first post-Trump election, the party failed to get its voters to turn out with comparable enthusiasm, costing the party losses in all statewide contests and control of the House of Delegates. Over the four years of the Trump presidency, and the year before that when Trump was first a candidate, Virginia Democrats were on a roll, winning the Commonwealth’s Electoral College votes twice, coasting to two easy wins in U.S. Senate elections, securing control of the Virginia House of Delegates and even winning a majority of Virginia’s gerrymandered congressional seats on the strength of exceptional turnout. Virginia Republicans were shut out in every statewide election between 2009, when the party won all three contests, and 2021, when the party next won Virginia’s statewide trifecta. Compared to Ralph Northam’s 2017 victory, the 2021 gubernatorial election demonstrated the extent of the Democratic Party’s decline. Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe secured a greater percentage of the vote in only three Virginia jurisdictions: Isle of Wight County, Emporia City, and Williamsburg City. Republicans gained ground in every other jurisdiction in Virginia, including reducing Democratic margins in the large population Northern Virginia counties of Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun. Republicans also gained ground among voters in suburban Richmond, and in most of the political subdivisions of the Hampton Roads area. While Democrats continued to win some of the largest urban and suburban cities and counties, they did not win most of them by margins anywhere near that of four years earlier. Among the three big population centers of Virginia, McAuliffe fared far worse in the Hampton Roads area than he did in Northern Virginia or in the Richmond region. McAuliffe’s support was 5 to 7.5 percentage points lower than Northam’s in the jurisdictions of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Hampton. The largest declines—those of 10 points or more—included Bath County and Radford City along the conservative Interstate 81 Cartogram of Gubernatorial Election Voting Trends: 2017 - 2021 less than 2.5% decline increase (0.1% to 7.4%) greater than 7.5% decline 5.0% to 7.5% decline 2.5% to 5% decline for Democratic Candidates Change in Support for Source: Electoral data are from the Virginia State Board of Elections website (https://www.elections.virginia.gov/2021-election-results/). Map by Stephen P. Hanna, UMW Geography Department. Counties and independent cities are scaled by the number of votes cast in 2021. For example, Fairfax County (436,108 votes) is a little more than three times the size of Henrico County (135,771 votes). HANNA ATKINSON FARNSWORTH
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 13 corridor and Charles City County, located between Richmond and Jamestown. To examine Republican Glenn Youngkin’s statewide win visually, consider the cartogram, a special illustration that adjusts the sizes of political jurisdictions to account for the number of voters cast within them, that accompanies this column. The deep red of the rural counties showed where The Republican gained the most ground compared to the 2017 gubernatorial contest. The pinkish counties show modest gains, while the rare spots of blue show those few places where Terry McAuliffe secured a higher percentage of the vote than Ralph Northam did. Clearly the McAuliffe campaign’s Youngkin-equals-Donald Trump strategy failed to excite Democratic voters, thus ensuring that huge margins the first-time candidate received in rural areas would not be offset by losses in northern Virginia, the Richmond suburbs, and in some parts of the Hampton Roads area. The bleak Democratic results of 2021 are also revealed in a comparison with the presidential election of 2020, where Joe Biden easily captured the Commonwealth’s Electoral College votes. While off-year election turnout is always lower than that of a presidential year, the decline in the number of Democratic votes in the larger electorates of northern Virginia was much steeper than the decline in votes cast for Republicans. McAuliffe won Fairfax County, but he received 123,000 fewer votes than Biden did a year earlier. In contrast, Youngkin’s vote total in Fairfax was only 10,000 less than Trump’s. Similar trends occurred in the Richmond suburbs. Republicans picked up Chesterfield County, where McAuliffe received about 37,000 fewer votes than Biden did. But Youngkin’s vote total there only declined by 17,000 from Trump’s total count. Statewide, McAuliffe received about two-thirds the number of votes that Biden did. In contrast, Youngkin received more than 80 percent of the votes Trump received in Virginia a year earlier. This victory demonstrated the wisdom of Youngkin’s decision to campaign as a largely generic pro-business Republican – not too pro-Trump but not opposed to him either. But the Youngkin strategy may be hard to replicate in the future, as most Republicans likely to run in upcoming elections will have more of a pro-Trump record than did this successful first-term candidate. And future Democratic candidates have time to develop a more compelling response to the Critical Race Theory political messaging appeal than McAuliffe’s response. Stephen J. Farnsworth is a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington, where he directs the Center for Leadership and Media Studies. Stephen P. Hanna is a professor of geography at UMW. Cassandra Atkinson is a political science major at UMW.V V What Can We Expect From The Youngkin Administration? from page 11 VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS AND SUPPLIER DIVERSITY More than 99% of Virginia’s businesses are small. We are your economic development agency, helping you grow and prosper through increased revenue and job creation. What we offer… • Virginia Small Business Financing Authority providing access to capital; • Business Development and Outreach providing education and outreach to assist small businesses with strategic growth and development; • Certifications to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM and DBE qualified businesses. • Sourcing and Compliance Division is advancing equity and maximizing participation of SWaM certified businesses. For further information about services offered, please visit us at www.sbsd.virginia.gov or call (804) 786-6585 These issues are off the table. And this is where Youngkin could encounter problems with the Republican base, many of whom unrealistically expect change in these areas. They will be disappointed, and Youngkin must figure out how to manage their expectations and their disappointment. Otherwise, they could turn on him, just like they turned on Eric Cantor, Denver Riggleman, Chris Peace and others. I have great hopes for a Youngkin administration. If Youngkin keeps his focus on the issues families and businesses care most about, and I think he will; and if he avoids the controversial issues that divide Virginians, and I think he will; he could find broad bipartisan support for a mainstream agenda that will truly move Virginia forward. Bill Bolling served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 20062014. He now teaches government and politics at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2022 15 Opinion: Our Stormy Election By SCOTT LINGAMFELTER Last week I was at our river place—pronounced “riv’ah if you hail from Virginia’s Northern Neck — when a nor’easter struck with a vengeance. I stood by watching helplessly as the waves and wind whipsawed our pier, tearing away most of its decking, tossing it into the waiting swells of the Potomac River. The “river of swans”—as translated in the Algonquian tongue—had become a roiling river of swells. When the storm passed, the river was serene again, permitting me to see the damage clearly and to begin assessing the next steps. That’s the lot of pier owners, who must anticipate the day when they will survey the skeletal remains of a structure on which a grandchild fished or an old man sat reflecting on life while watching the days come and go. It strikes me that this is no different from watching an election. Elections can be storms, political ones where emotions, promises, half-truths, and accusations combine in a tempest before people go to the polls and settle the matter, once and for all. At least for a season. And once the election is concluded, the losers are left to lick their wounds while the victors lick their chops in anticipation of attaining power. The rest of us are then left wondering, “how long will the calm last?” It won’t last long. In a flash, political sides will divide and draw up in ranks to do battle over this or that policy. After all, we are a very divided nation and political battles will pierce the calm as surely as a storm can rise out of nowhere to float a pier away. Nonetheless, the calm is good, no matter how short-lived. It provides time for reckoning and reconsideration. Maybe even reforming. The fortunes of political parties rise and fall like the tides. But unlike the tides that are a function of nature, the ebb and flow of political tides are a function of temperaments and actions. If a party in power fails to do what people believe is in the best interest of all, it will be turned out and dispatched to the sidelines. We saw that in Virginia this week. Democrat James Carville diagnosed his party’s problem aptly. “What went wrong is stupid wokeness. Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Washington. I mean this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this takes Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools, people see that. And it really has a suppressive effect all across the country on Democrats. Some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something.” Virginia voters are sending them there. They revolted against what they found to be revolting. There are few mistakes a political party can make that are worse than assuming that, when in power, they have the right to cement that power by any means. That’s not how republics work. The people will have their say, regardless of rogue school boards that insist on silencing the voices of outraged parents. The result? In Virginia, voters ushered in a new Governor and flipped control of the House of Delegates. It was a political tempest. Republicans are the latest beneficiary of changing political fortunes havingwon impressively thisweek across theCommonwealth of Virginia. Once thought a certified “blue” state controlled by Democrats, Virginia flashed “red” this week, signaling that change has arrived as suddenly as a pier swept from its moorings. But there are storms ahead, ones that could threaten this new Republican majority as certainly as they dislodged Democrats. Every party thinks that with victory they have the power to govern as they see fit. But therein lies the challenge. While parties must be mindful of what they have promised to do, they must do so wisely. In that regard, both the victor and vanquished should take the time to enjoy the calm and dispassionately survey the damage done in the most recent gale. In doing so, they will likely find a poignant lesson in avoiding the overreach that sets aflame the passions of voters against those in power. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, also known as Lord Acton, put it best in 1887. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The same is true of political parties that overreach. The art, therefore, is to keep one’s promises without being washed away by a storm of one’s own making. How? First, continue to dialogue with voters. Second, check in with them, humbly asking “do we have this right?” Third, avoid self-righteous actions that come with the power to settle political scores. If it feels really good, beware. You are about to be swept to sea or at least referred to a detox center. Scott Lingamfelter is a retired Virginia delegate who represented the 31st District from 2002-2018. He was an officer in the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of colonel. BERNIE HENDERSON President Emeritus Funeral Celebrant Phone: (804) 840-8586 Bernard.L.Henderson@gmail.com Parking available adjacent to building Phone: 804-644-1702 FAX: 804-644-1703 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.whitehousecateringva.com V