In the words of Bob Marley, “The greatness of a man (or woman) is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
As I neared the end of the Q1 for 2023, I made a big push to show a high number, realizing that number would send a message to my opponent, the Caucus and anyone paying attention to VA politics. I was proud to have more than 2635 unique donors, all individuals who simply believed in my message and chose to invest in my campaign, and Virginia. There are many organizations, local and nationally, I would welcome both an endorsement and donation from, and one I chose to reach out to was Clean Virginia. They stand against energy monopolies and support campaign finance reform, two things I can get on board with and therefore I knew I was the perfect candidate for them. So I reached out and remained persistent, letting them know my race was one to watch and that my campaign was worthy of a $20k investment, because the truth of the matter is, it is!
After some emails, phone conversations, and even a personalized TikTok for the Political Director of Clean Virginia, I garnered their support and a starter donation of $1k, but almost immediately afterwards, I had instant regret. Clean Virginia let me know upfront that my highly competitive race was not “on their radar”, despite having a path to victory and my opponents’ 2nd highest donor being the very company they are pushing back against, Dominion Energy. In fact my opponent had just received $25k from Dominion this past November, which I also brought to their attention. Yet, the day after the quarter ended I discovered that while I wasn’t on Clean Virginia’s radar, Chad Green was, an unopposed Republican Delegate, running in my neighboring 69th district (replacing Democrat Mike Mullin). A man who is anti-choice, anti-public education, anti-gun reform and the only thing he’s pro on is infringing on voting rights. I had questions...A LOT of them!
As someone who has built social media platforms on standing against everything Chad Green stands for, I knew I couldn’t take money from an organization that backed the likes of him. After an honest email to them, refusing any future endorsement, stating my intention of refunding the $1K, and a follow-up phone call, reconfirming that I can’t be ok with their decision, I suddenly found myself with $1K less dollars on my Q1 report. While I struggle to understand them backing someone like Chad, I also realize they are a single issue/bipartisan organization, but at the end of the day I have to respect (and live with) myself and also stay true to my district, state and those around the world who have put their faith in me. Not to mention, as a mom of 3 daughters, the idea I would share a donor with a man that would strip my girls, and half the state, of their rights, in an instant, makes me physically ill. Do I regret it? NOPE! This is the price of integrity in politics, that I will GLADLY pay.
In the meantime, I continue to be beyond grateful for my community, near and far, who have carried me to this point and I can trust they will continue to carry me all the way to election day. If you want to be a part of this community and help me maintain my momentum as I enter into Q2, please visit my ActBlue:
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