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“Threats To Democracy: Race For The VA Statehouse Edition”



It should go without saying that ANY candidate who attacks our democracy – whether undermining our elections or even participating in insurrectionist activities – should be *automatically* eliminated from even being CONSIDERED for election to public office. Also, obviously, if someone participates in insurrectionist activities, they should be barred under the 14th amendment, section 3 (“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof“) – period!

So with that in mind, check out this new article by reporter Josh Israel at The American Independent, “Dozens of Republican Virginia Legislature nominees spread false election fraud claims.” And make sure you vote on or before 11/7, *Democratic* up and down the ballot, and remind everyone you know to do the same. The future of our democracy – not to mention women’s reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, civil liberties, civil rights, environmental protection, etc, etc. – most definitely depends on it!

P.S. Also, see below for a memo from the DLCC, detailing why nobody should vote for these anti-democracy Republican candidates.

Threats To Democracy: Race For The VA Statehouse Edition

According to DLCC research, every single incumbent [GOP] legislator running in Virginia this year has supported anti-democracy legislation that would make it harder for Virginians to vote, or spread conspiracy theories about election fraud. Over 50% of new [GOP] candidates have taken similar positions on legislation making it harder for Virginians to vote.

At least 3 [GOP] candidates were in Washington D.C. on January 6th for the “Stop The Steal” rally, and over 25 candidates have indicated an interest to question or challenge the results of the 2020 election.

Overall, of the 116 Republicans running this year in Virginia, over 80 candidates either supported or indicated their support for anti-democracy legislation that would restrict access to voting, have opposed measures to expand voting, or spread conspiracy theories around election fraud and January 6th.

Research Highlights Of Candidates With No Significant Or Recent Press Coverage

Video/Audio

Del. Nick Freitas (HD-62), on his podcast, spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, including about his own race, and encouraged his followers to continue “investigating to ensure the integrity of our elections.”

Del. Karen Greenhalgh (HD-97) claimed “we really don’t know what happened” in Virginia Beach during the 2020 election, and spread doubt about election security in attempts to recruit “election integrity” volunteers.

Geary Higgins (HD-30) encouraged his followers on social media to attend a November 2020 rally to protest the “stealing of the election.” Higgins also spoke at a different November 2020 “Stop The Steal” rally that was reportedly live-streamed on an Oath Keeper’s YouTube channel.

Philip Andrew Hamilton (SD-11) posted YouTube videos showing that he was in Washington D.C. on January 6th, 2021, where he climbed the steps of the Capitol and moved beyond the barricades.

Matt Lang (SD-38) in a Youtube video, when asked if he believed voter ID laws were racist or discriminatory, said “I don’t think it’s racist at all, or discriminatory, I think that having an ID in your pocket, or in your wallet, or anywhere is a pretty common thing.”

Michael Van Meter (SD-33), on his podcast, made claims that the 2020 election was “an absolute sham,” and said there was “no way” he would believe Trump didn’t win. In another podcast episode description, Van Meter said he didn’t trust that it was an “honest election,” and claimed that election data was “hacked,” “manipulated,” and was hopeful Trump “would work hard to correct this wrong.”

Quotes/Tweets/Website Statements

Baxter Ennis (HD-89), on Facebook, said of the 2020 election that he didn’t “believe for a minute that this election is over.” Ennis also stated on his website that he will “vote for and defend Voter ID laws,” and is “ardently opposed to ballot harvesting and will fight to never allow that disastrous practice to be allowed” in Virginia.

Steve Harvey (HD-55) lists “election integrity” as a priority issue on his campaign website, saying “Cheating in Virginia has never been easier,” and that Virginia “has become the least secure state in the nation.” Harvey also claims that he “has been notified” of “election thieves” and a “process to steal votes.”

Paul Milde (HD-64) spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election on social media, sharing an article called “The Statistical Case Against Biden’s Win,” and encouraged U.S. Senators to “stand your ground” and “object to the fraudulent ‘results’ of the 2020 election.”

Andy Pittman (HD-94) claimed Trump was “right” about the election, and called on “patriots” to “keep fighting.” Pittman also amplified claims that voting machines could be hacked.

Matt Waters (HD-70) called January 6th a “false-flag,” claimed that “not one police officer died that day,”  and called to “shut down the FBI” claiming that the FBI altered evidence in a trial involving Proud Boys who were at January 6th.

Del. Wren Williams (HD-47) was a member of Trump’s legal team that attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Wisconsin, and boasted that he traveled the country to help “President Trump fight for election integrity in the courtroom.” Williams amplified election fraud conspiracies on social media, claiming that the 2020 election “had serious, extensive and legitimate fraud,” and posted a 22-tweet thread on “election integrity.”

Jim Wright (HD-88) posted on Facebook that he was in D.C. on January 6th, 2021, and was “very close to the Capitol,” and posted a video describing his experience. Wright also amplified election fraud conspiracies on social media, posting on Twitter that Trump was “such a winner,” and that there was “clear fraud.” Wright also posted on Facebook over a month after the 2020 election, saying, “This is a fraud election on so many levels,” and that “this election is not over, far from it,” and claimed that “Trump will be reelected.”

Christie New Craig (SD-19), in a Facebook post, said that one of the first bills she would introduce would be to “bring back ID Voting in Virginia,” “change early voting from 45 days to 2 weeks,” and “repeal same day registration and voting in Virginia.”

Hayden Fisher (SD-15) spread election fraud conspiracies on social media, suggesting there was “rampant election fraud,” and calling the January 6th congressional hearings “ridiculous

Del. John McGuire (SD-10) traveled to D.C. and attended the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally and spread election fraud conspiracies on social media.

Greg Moulthrop (SD-32) claimed that Georgia election workers were “corrupt” and spread claims that they were feeding the “same ballots through machines numerous times.” Moulthrop also said the 2020 election was “rigged” and said Mitch McConnell had a “vested interest in turning a blind eye to the fraud in the election.”

Julie Perry (SD-36) spread conspiracy theories about election fraud on social media, including promoting the movie 2000 Mules, saying “The movie 2000 Mules proved that the Democrats stole the 2020 Presidential Elections,” and alleged, “It looks like non-profit organizations helped Democrats cheat with drop boxes, and lots of dead people and former tenants voting Democrat these past 2020-2021 Elections in Virginia.” Perry also said she was “glad that Kari Lake is planning to contest” her 2022 loss and that it was “very clear that there needs to be a redo of the Arizona elections.”

William Carroll Woolf (SD-30) said he had “concerns with the amount of early voting that’s going on,” and claimed “we have made it so easy to vote,” asking “Why do we need to create a system that is inherently set up for fraud?”

Del. Emily Brewer

2023 Status: Running for SD-17

Brewer Pledged To Support Legislation To Reinstate Voter ID Laws, Signature Verification For Mail-In Ballots, And Delivery Of Mail-In Ballots Before Election Day. “Electoral Reform and Fair Elections. Virginia must conduct a formal public review of all software and source code used in any voting machine or vote tabulating machine. Moving forward to improve election integrity, we must reinstate laws requiring photo identification of registered voters, signature verification by a notary for mail-in ballots, and delivery of those ballots to an election office before election day. Other necessary reforms must include cleansing of voter rolls using social security numbers, and the removal of deceased voters and those who moved. Will you vote to require the above and any other electoral reforms designed to prevent corruption and ensure the integrity of elections?” [BREWER]:  YES[.]” [2023 Restore Virginia Now Candidate Survey, Questions archived 8/9/23; answers archived 8/9/23]

Brewer Voted Against A Constitutional Amendment To Automatically Restore The Political Rights Of People Who Have Completed A Prison Term For A Felony Conviction. [Virginia General Assembly, 2021 Session, HJ 555, 2/4/21]

Brewer Was A Patron For Prefiled Legislation That Would Repeal The Provisions Of The Code Providing For The Establishment Of Drop-Off Locations For The Return Of Absentee Ballots. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1693, Prefiled, 1/9/23]

Brewer Voted For A Bill That Would Limit Absentee Voting In Person To The Two Weeks Immediately Preceding An Election. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1877, House Vote, 1/26/23]

Brewer Voted For Legislation That Would Restrict Same Day Voter Registration To Only Members Of The Uniformed Service And Their Spouses. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 2234, House Vote, 2/2/23]

Brewer Voted For Legislation That Would Eliminate The Permanent Absentee Voter List And Require An Annual Absentee Voter List Application.  [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1947, House Vote, 2/2/23]

Brewer Voted For Legislation That Would Require Monthly Removal Of Registered Voters Using Information Supplied By The U.S. Postal Service. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 2454, House Vote, 2/7/23]

Brewer Voted For Legislation That Would Eliminate Automatic Voter Registration At DMVs By Changing Registration From Opt-Out To Opt-In. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1793, House Vote, 2/7/23]

Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant

2023 Status: Running for SD-16

Dunnavant Was A Patron To Prefiled Legislation That Would Require The Presentation Of A Form Of Identification Containing A Photograph In Order To Vote. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, SB 794, Prefiled, 11/30/22]

Dunnavant Patroned Prefiled Legislation That Would Require Presentation Of A Form Of Identification Containing A Photograph In Order To Vote. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, SB 900, Prefiled, 1/5/23]

Dunnavant Voted Against Legislation To Establish A Permanent, No Excuse Required Absentee Voter List. [Virginia General Assembly, 2020 Session, HB 207, Senate Vote, 2/24/20]

Dunnavant Voted Against Legislation To Establish Same-Day Voter Registration. [Virginia General Assembly, 2020 Session, HB 201, Senate Vote, 2/27/20]

Dunnavant Voted Against The Establishment Of A Drop-Off Location For The Return Of Marked Absentee Ballots At The Office Of The General Registrar And Each Voter Satellite Office. [Virginia General Assembly, 2021 Session, SB 1245, Senate Vote, 2/1/21]

Dunnavant Voted Against A Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Senator Amanda Chase For Her Actions And Statements On January 6th. [Washington Post, 1/27/21; SR 91, 1/27/21]

Del. Tara Durant

2023 Status: Running for SD-27

Durant Was A Chief Co-Patron For Prefiled Legislation That Would Limit Absentee Voting In Person To The Two Weeks Immediately Preceding An Election. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1877, Prefiled, 1/10/23]

Durant Voted For Legislation That Would Eliminate The Permanent Absentee Voter List And Require An Annual Absentee Voter List Application.  [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1947, House Vote, 2/2/23]

Durant Voted For Legislation That Would Restrict Same Day Voter Registration To Only Members Of The Uniformed Service And Their Spouses. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 2234, House Vote, 2/2/23]

Durant Voted For Legislation That Would Require Monthly Removal Of Registered Voters Using Information Supplied By The U.S. Postal Service. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 2454, House Vote, 2/7/23]

Durant Voted For Legislation That Would Eliminate Automatic Voter Registration At DMVs By Changing Registration From Opt-Out To Opt-In. [Virginia General Assembly, 2023 Session, HB 1793, House Vote, 2/7/23]

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