National Campaign Reform Group Every Voice Endorses 18 Virginia Candidates
Each Endorsee Has Pledged to Support Policies to Strengthen Our Democracy
With record spending expected in this year’s state legislative elections, national campaign finance watchdog Every Voice announced its endorsement of 18 Virginia House of Delegates candidates who’ve committed to support policies to strengthen our democracy and reduce the power of big money.
“With growing public anger at the power of big money in politics, voters are looking for people to enter elected office who will work to open up our political system to give everyday people from diverse backgrounds a bigger voice,” said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice. “We’re proud to endorse these 18 candidates and look forward to educating our members and voters around the state about their support for policies to strengthen our democracy.
Each candidate, a mix of challengers and incumbents, pledged to prioritize money-in-politics reforms that would give everyday people a bigger voice in politics following Every Voice’s statewide questionnaire.
The candidates receiving endorsements today are Del. John Bell (HD 87), Del. Jennifer Boysko (HD 86), Del. Betsy Carr (HD 69), Jennifer Carroll Foy (HD 02), Karrie Delaney (HD 67), Kelly Fowler (HD 21), Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (HD 41), Del. Patrick Hope (HD 47), Chris Hurst (HD 12), Del. Michael Mullin (HD 39), Del. Kathleen Murphy (HD 34), David Reid (HD 32), Del. Marcus Simon (HD 53), Del. Rip Sullivan (HD 48), Donte Tanner (HD 40), Kathy Tran (HD 42), Schuyler VanValkenburg (HD 72), and Del. Vivian Watts (HD 39).
These endorsements are part of Every Voice Leads, a recently-launched program to encourage candidates around the country to endorse and campaign on reforming our campaign finance system to make sure regular Americans can be heard in politics—whether its at city halls, statehouses, or Congress.
Several candidates offered statements in response to their endorsement:
Del. John Bell: “I’m a firm believer in making sure our democracy is for everyone — not just the wealthy and powerful. I am a voice for all in the Virginia General Assembly, and a great way to ensure that all elected officials are responsible to their constituents before their donors is to overhaul campaign finance regulations. I’m so honored to be endorsed by Every Voice and look forward to working with them now and in the future to make sure elections are fair for everyone.”
Candidate Karrie Delaney: “I’m humbled to receive the endorsement of the organization Every Voice. The influence money has on campaigns and elected officials is terrible. That’s why I’m dedicated to passing comprehensive campaign finance reform that regulates the influence and control rich individuals, special interests, and corporations have on our government. It’s time we elect Delegates that put people before politics, and I’m committed to doing just that.”
Candidate Kelly Fowler: “I’m proud to receive Every Voice’s endorsement of my candidacy, because like them, I strongly believe our government works best when it’s inclusive, transparent, and accountable. We know that reducing the power of big money in our elections empowers the voices of ordinary people in our democracy. I am committed to fighting for comprehensive reforms to do just that.”
Candidate Chris Hurst: “I’m thrilled to have the support and endorsement of Every Voice. My small House of Delegates campaign could end up with 1 million dollars being spent on each side, with just 20,000 votes cast. That fact, in and of itself, speaks to the importance of groups like Every Voice, which are committed to taking big money out of politics. I’m excited to support efforts to do so when I’m in Richmond.”
Del. Michael Mullin: “I am honored to be endorsed by Every Voice. Their dedication to taking a closer look at money in politics is admirable, and I support their efforts. I am so thankful for all of the grassroots donors who have given to my campaign — they are ordinary people just like you and me.”
Candidate David Reid: “I am so grateful for the support and endorsement from Every Voice. Together, I hope to work towards a future where politicians are not beholden to special interest groups and big money corporations in order to enact change and make a difference in Virginia, and in our nation.”
Candidate Donte Tanner: “I am honored to receive the endorsement of “Every Voice”. For too long, politicians and candidates for office are consumed with raising money, and that impacts the way they govern and the way they interact with their constituents. As a first-time candidate, I saw this ugly reality for the first time. Politics should be about people, and that’s how I intend to serve if elected Delegate.”
Del. Vivian Watts: “While over 300 individuals have made low-dollar donations to my most recent campaigns, I regularly contact +1,200 active voters, who most likely have always voted for me and can afford to contribute, but don’t. I believe the most effective way to combat big money in politics is by citizens stepping up and replacing it with many, many small donations.”
In addition to opposing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, each of the endorsees said they support meaningful contribution limits to reduce the power of wealthy corporations and special interests in Virginia’s elections and work to pass legislation such as small-donor public financing to reduce the influence of big donors and incentivize more participation by everyday Virginians.
For more details on these candidates, and a link to their returned questionnaire, visit EveryVoice.org/Virginia.
Every Voice and its 100,000 active members are working around the country to build momentum for policies that amplify the voices of everyday people and reduce the power of big money in politics including electing champions to all levels of government to forward those goals.
Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone.