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HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CALLS FOR NON-PARTISAN REDISTRICTING IN 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

For Immediate Release
Contact: info@vahousedems.org

While the Supreme Court of the United States considers redistricting cases from North Carolina and Virginia, the Virginia House Democratic Caucus is calling for the creation of a nonpartisan redistricting commission to be allowed a floor vote in the House of Delegates during the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

"In the past, non-partisan redistricting legislation has passed the Senate of Virginia, only to die a vote-less death in a House committee. We are asking House Republican leadership for the simple act of allowing floor debate and vote on a nonpartisan redistricting commission that will end unconstitutional gerrymandering this session," said Delegate David Toscano, House Democratic Leader.

"The citizens of Virginia deserve the ability to choose their elected officials at the ballot box, but right now, much of the Commonwealth has gerrymandered districts that allow the politicians to choose their voters. This is unacceptable and must end," said Delegate Charniele Herring, House Democratic Caucus Chair.

Virginia voted twice for President Barack Obama, voted for Hillary Clinton, and has not elected a Republican to state wide office since 2009. However; gerrymandered districts have allowed for a Republican majority in the House of Delegates.

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HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS STATEMENTS ON SD-01 AND HD-93 SPECIAL ELECTIONS

For Immediate Release

The House Democratic Caucus would like to congratulate Senator-Elect Monty Mason and Delegate-Elect Mike Mullin on their victories tonight in the SD-01 and HD-93 special elections.

Del. David Toscano, Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say of Delegate-Elect Mike Mullin:

"We welcome Delegate-Elect Mike Mullin to the House of Delegates. Mike is a proven public servant as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney and we know he will bring the same commitment to the House of Delegates that he does to that job. We know he will serve the people of the Peninsula well and look forward to having him join us in Richmond."

Del. Charniele Herring, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say of Senator-Elect Monty Mason:

"We congratulate our friend and colleague, Senator-Elect Monty Mason on his election to the Senate of Virginia. While the General Assembly and the Commonwealth continue to mourn the loss of our good friend, the late Senator John Miller, we can rest easy tonight knowing that his legacy of public service and commitment to the people of the Peninsula will be continued by Senator-Elect Mason."

Del. Rip Sullivan, Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say regarding tonight's elections:

"In welcoming Delegate-Elect Mike Mullin to the House of Delegates, the House Democratic Caucus now has eleven members who have been added to our ranks in the last two years. Mike has proven himself as a prosecutor and as a candidate -- we know he will continue to prove himself as a valuable member of the House and a proud addition to the Peninsula's legislative delegation in Richmond."

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HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS STATEMENTS ON SD-05 AND HD-77 SPECIAL ELECTIONS

For Immediate Release

The House Democratic Caucus would like to congratulate Senator-Elect Lionell Spruill, Sr. and Delegate-Elect Cliff Hayes, Jr. on their victories tonight in the SD-05 and HD-77 special elections.

Del. David Toscano, Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say of Delegate-Elect Cliff Hayes, Jr.:

"We welcome Delegate-Elect Cliff Hayes, Jr. to the House of Delegates. Cliff has served the people of Chesapeake previously as a city council member, and won a hard fought primary victory earlier this year for the House seat. We know he will serve the people of both Chesapeake and Suffolk well in the House and look forward to having him join us in Richmond."

Del. Charniele Herring, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say of Senator-Elect Lionell Spruill, Sr.:

"We congratulate our friend and colleague, Senator-Elect Lionell Spruill, Sr. on his election to the Senate of Virginia. His dedication and commitment to his constituents is well known and respected and has been since he first serviced in the House of Delegates in 1994. While we are sad to see him leave the House, we know he will continue his career of public service in the Senate of Virginia and we wish him all the best."

Del. Rip Sullivan, Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, had this to say regarding tonight's elections:

"Last year, the House Democratic Caucus welcomed nine new members to the House of Delegates. Now we're glad to add Delegate-Elect Cliff Hayes, Jr. to our team as our tenth new member in two years. We know that Cliff will be a valued member of the House and we look forward to him continuing his public service with us."

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DEMOCRATIC HOUSE LEADERS PROPOSE NEW LAW TO EXTEND VOTER REGISTRATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
House Democratic Leader, David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville/Albemarle), today announced that a proposed change in state law to address emergencies that prevent citizens attempting to register from doing so in time of emergency. The proposed law would allow the State Board of Elections to extend the registration period for seven days in the event of an emergency.
 
“Recent events surrounding the hurricane in Florida and the problems with the Virginia online registration website suggest a need for some additional flexibility in extending the deadline for registration in advance of an election,” said Toscano. “Few people deny that citizens who seek to legally register and vote should be permitted to do so. Without a change in state law, the only option in cases of emergency is to file a lawsuit and seek court intervention. That is both inefficient and potentially denies the rights of citizens to exercise the franchise.”
 
In Florida, the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew made it impossible for some citizens to register within the time period set by state law. Since that state’s law did not permit the extension of the registration period, a lawsuit was filed, which led to the registration period being extended. Last week, hundreds of Virginians attempted to register in Virginia by the deadline, but were prevented from doing so because the registration website either slowed to a point that the registrations were not received by the deadline. A federal court judge, in response to a lawsuit, extended the time period for registration until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016.
 
“I know that a number of my colleagues have attempted to blame the Board of Elections for the recent problems in Virginia,” said Mark Sickles (D-Franconia), who is working with Toscano on the legislation. “As leaders and legislators, however, we are in a position to address this problem, both by appropriating the funds to improve our system and by changing the law to make it more flexible. This proposal attempts to do the latter; in the next session, we will also work on the former.”
 
State law closes registration 21 days in advance of election with no exceptions.

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UPDATE: Their Silence is Deafening

For Immediate Release

It has now been five days since the video of Donald Trump speaking about assaulting women became public. In that time, numerous Republican elected officials from across the nation have disavowed not only Donald Trump's words, but Donald Trump himself, by making it clear that they will not vote for a man who believes sexual assault is okay, as long as you're "a star."

However; to our knowledge, not a single Republican who serves in the Virginia House of Delegates has done so. In standing by their man, Virginia House Republicans are sending a dangerous message to our children that Donald Trump's behavior and beliefs are acceptable behavior.

It is truly disappointing that our colleagues across the aisle continue to condone Donald Trump's dangerous policies and behavior.
 

VIRGINIA HOUSE DEMOCRATS CALL ON VIRGINIA HOUSE REPUBLICANS TO DISAVOW TRUMP
For Immediate Release -- October 8, 2016

With Republicans across the nation withdrawing support of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, due to the latest reveal of Trump's sexism and anti-women characteristics, Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates are calling on their Republican colleagues to disavow their support for Trump as well.

"Candidate Trump’s offer to be the candidate of change has been consistently overwhelmed by insulting behavior and comments which distract us from our serious policy challenges and divide us in the process.  His is certainly not the Virginia Way, and we as Virginia leaders, both Democratic and Republican, have an obligation to step forward and say enough is enough," said Del. David Toscano, Leader of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

"Trump has been a national embarrassment for months. As President, he would be a threat to our national security and our standing in the world. It's long overdue for Republicans in the House of Delegates to reject Trump," said Del. Charniele Herring, Chair of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

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VIRGINIA HOUSE DEMOCRATS CALL ON VIRGINIA HOUSE REPUBLICANS TO DISAVOW TRUMP

With Republicans across the nation withdrawing support of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, due to the latest reveal of Trump's sexism and anti-women characteristics, Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates are calling on their Republican colleagues to disavow their support for Trump as well.

"Candidate Trump’s offer to be the candidate of change has been consistently overwhelmed by insulting behavior and comments which distract us from our serious policy challenges and divide us in the process.  His is certainly not the Virginia Way, and we as Virginia leaders, both Democratic and Republican, have an obligation to step forward and say enough is enough," said Del. David Toscano, Leader of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

"Trump has been a national embarrassment for months. As President, he would be a threat to our national security and our standing in the world. It's long overdue for Republicans in the House of Delegates to reject Trump," said Del. Charniele Herring, Chair of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

 

Is Heather Cordasco ducking a debate with Mike Mullin?

For Immediate Release

Democrat Michael Mullin gladly accepted an invitation from the League of Womens Voters of the Williamsburg Area to participate in a forum with Republican Heather Cordasco on October 19th, 2016. Both are running for this November's special election for House of Delegates in the 93rd district.

Today, the Mullin campaign has learned that Cordasco, who touts on her website that she is "a proud member of The League of Women’s Voters," has yet to agree to the forum.

"I think it's important that the voters of the 93rd district hear from myself and Ms. Cordasco so they can make an informed decision on election day. It surprises me to learn that she has not accepted the league's invitation." said Mike Mullin.

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77TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS ELECT NOMINEE

For Immediate Release -- August 16, 2016

Democrats from the 77th district of Virginia's House of Delegates have selected a nominee to represent the party in the November 8th special election to fill the vacancy left by Del. Lionell Spruill, Sr., who has been elected as the Democratic nominee for the 5th district in the Senate of Virginia and resigned his seat in the house to ensure continuity of representation and save taxpayer dollars.

Cliff Hayes, Jr. was named the Democratic nominee tonight in a "firehouse primary" by an unofficial result of 556 to 469 over LeOtis Williams.

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), the Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, welcomed Cliff Hayes, Jr. as the official Democratic nominee. "With Cliff Hayes, Jr. in the 77th and Michael Mullin in the 93rd, Democrats are strongly positioned to hold these two seats in November 8th special elections. Holding both seats would enable us to continue having the ability to sustain the veto of the Governor."

Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, welcomed the new member by saying, "I am confident that the citizens of Chesapeake and Suffolk will be well represented by Cliff Hayes, Jr. and I look forward to working with him in the upcoming legislative session."

Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax), the Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is excited about Democratic prospects in 2017. "Having just broken the Republican Super Majority in 2015, voters in the Commonwealth will have the opportunity in 2017 to continue chipping away at the gerrymandered Republican majority. We're glad to have such strong nominees in this year's special elections to start us off with two important victories this November."

 

 

77TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS ELECT NOMINEE

For Immediate Release -- August 16, 2016

Democrats from the 77th district of Virginia's House of Delegates have selected a nominee to represent the party in the November 8th special election to fill the vacancy left by Del. Lionell Spruill, Sr., who has been elected as the Democratic nominee for the 5th district in the Senate of Virginia and resigned his seat in the house to ensure continuity of representation and save taxpayer dollars.

Cliff Hayes, Jr. was named the Democratic nominee tonight in a "firehouse primary" by an unofficial result of 556 to 469 over LeOtis Williams.

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), the Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, welcomed Cliff Hayes, Jr. as the official Democratic nominee. "With Cliff Hayes, Jr. in the 77th and Michael Mullin in the 93rd, Democrats are strongly positioned to hold these two seats in November 8th special elections. Holding both seats would enable us to continue having the ability to sustain the veto of the Governor."

Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, welcomed the new member by saying, "I am confident that the citizens of Chesapeake and Suffolk will be well represented by Cliff Hayes, Jr. and I look forward to working with him in the upcoming legislative session."

Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax), the Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is excited about Democratic prospects in 2017. "Having just broken the Republican Super Majority in 2015, voters in the Commonwealth will have the opportunity in 2017 to continue chipping away at the gerrymandered Republican majority. We're glad to have such strong nominees in this year's special elections to start us off with two important victories this November."

 

 

STATEMENT ON SECRETARY CLINTON'S SELECTION OF SENATOR TIM KAINE TO SERVE AS THE NEXT VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Virginia House of Delegates Democratic Leader David Toscano issued the following statement on Secretary Hillary Clinton's announcement of her selection of Tim Kaine as her running mate in this years Presidential election, thus making him the person who will serve as the next Vice President of the United States.

"Senator Tim Kaine has served with distinction as a United States Senator, Governor of the Commonwealth, Lieutenant Governor, Mayor of Richmond and member of the Richmond city council. He now has the wonderful opportunity to serve as the next Vice President of the United States.  This election will decide whether we will embrace positive programs to move our country forward or embrace the radical far-right policies of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Virginians will cast their vote based Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine's dedicated record as public servants vs. Donald Trump's objectionable character and radical far-right agenda."

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