With Marsh gone, Republicans had a momentary 20-19 edge, and they used it to full effect, ramming through a bill to redistrict the Senate's own lines for the second time in less than two years. Legislators had already passed a revised map following the decennial census in 2011, but Republicans wanted a brand new map to consolidate their power. Their plan would increase the number of seats they were likely to win and shrink those the opposition would have had a chance of capturing.State House Republicans and the Republican governor eventually killed the plan, but not before two House Democrats expressed their willingness to support the plan. You read that right—two Democrats were ready to back a GOP scheme so egregious that it was killed by Republicans themselves.
One of those Democrats was Rosalyn Dance, and it wasn't the first (or last) time she gave Republicans cover despite representing an overwhelmingly Democratic district. I'll talk more about Dance in future posts—for now I want to focus on her challenger, Evandra Thompson.
Thirty-year-old Evandra spent five years as an Air Force medic, and was at the Pentagon the day it was hit in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Her actions as a first responder earned her this medal.
After her military stint, the single mother went to college and grad school, and graduated just this past September. Now, despite her youth and political inexperience, she suddenly finds herself facing the most bizarre of primary battles—being cheered on by much of the area party establishment as she takes on the incumbent.
Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, D-Henrico, and the former mayors of Petersburg and Hopewell announced Monday that they will pitch their support to political newcomer Evandra Thompson, who is running against Dance.We haven't often engaged in state-level legislative races, but we have a fantastic opportunity here: get rid of a turncoat Lieberman-esque Democrat who has done way too much to empower her state's reactionary Republicans, while also building our bench with a potential future star.
Morrissey said in an interview that he expects many of Virginia’s top Democrats to follow suit in the coming weeks and endorse Thompson in what he calls a move to oust an incumbent accused of voting against her own party line too many times.
And given that both candidates currently have just $2,000 cash-on-hand, your dollars will have far more direct impact here than pretty much anywhere else.
The election is June 11, so it'll be a sprint to the end. Since we don't have a state-level questionnaire, we created this one-off, touching on the issues where federal and state issues intersect: same-sex marriage, choice, and Medicaid expansion. She's golden on all of those, and of course she also opposes the redistricting plan that Dance was ready to support.
So contribute $3 to Evandra Thompson. With 100 of us doing that, we'd raise the equivalent of 15 percent of her cash-on-hand. That's some serious bang for your buck! So let's deal a blow against GOP-enabling Democrats, helping our progressive friends in the Commonwealth of Virginia stave off The Crazy.
11:54 AM PT: Damn, nearly $1,500 in 40 minutes. At this pace, we'll be doubling her cash-on-hand in about an hour!
3:31 PM PT (Hunter): Bumped! Amazing—we've already topped 150 people and over $4000 in donations to Thompson. Can we keep it going?