Contribute to support this content
32 days to help voters in "Red America" to vote FOR their own interests.

32 days to help voters in "Red America" to vote FOR their own interests.

Now we are getting into what would be considered the deeper red areas of the state. We have many people that have stepped up to challenge in these districts and we need to support them.

As I have noted elsewhere, we often complain that people in “red America” vote against their own interests. The reality is far too often they are voting for the only people showing an interest in them. Case in point, the districts included in this post. All but one of these were not contested by a Democrat in the last cycle in 2015.

  • District 1: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 10 years. He is facing Democrat Alicia Kallen this year.
  • District 3: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 4 years. He is facing Democrat Bill Bunch this year.
  • District 7: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 4 years. He is facing Democrat Flo Ketner this year.
  • District 8: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 6 years. He is facing Democrat Steve McBride this year.
  • District 9: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 6 years. He is facing Democrat Stephanie Cook this year.
  • District 12: The Republican did face a Democratic challenger in the last cycle. He is facing Democrat Chris Hurst this year.
  • District 17: The Republican has not faced a Democratic challenger in 4 years: He is facing Democrat Djuna Osborne this year.

It is important we back these people taking up the Democratic banner for us. Most of this districts have only seen one or two Democratic challengers over the last 20 years or more. It is imperative we do not leave these folks to fend for themselves because they are giving people a real choice in areas they have had none or few for far too long.

Western VIRGINIA RURAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES.

Clicking on the district number will take you to a profile of their district, clicking on their name will take you to some aspect of their web presence, clicking on the link below their photo will take you straight to their donation page.

Alicia_Kallen.jpg

District 1Alicia Kallen

Alicia Kallen, candidate for the House of Delegates in Virginia’s First District, has called for an end to partisan redistricting in legislative and congressional districts. Calling legislative redistricting a thin cover for incumbent protection, Kallen would sponsor legislation to abolish the practice, and adopt the Arizona Plan that avoids partisan redistricting.

Alicia Kallen entered this race mainly motivated by a desire that Virginia join other states in Medicaid expansion. 400,000 Virginians, including over 4,000 in District One could have had health care, but for Terry Kilgore and the other Republicans voting against Medicaid expansion. “This is not a program for people who won't work, this is for the working poor among us, the retail worker, the home health worker, the food service worker, and all others who work hard for a living.”

Bill_Bunch.JPG

District 3 - Bill Bunch

"Being the Democratic nominee for the 3rd district's seat in the House of Delegates is an honor. As a longtime Southwest Virginian, I understand the needs of our community. By focusing on education, healthcare, and bringing jobs to the area, I will ensure a better future for our children."

Southwest Virginia faces a unique slate of health issues. We see more people suffering from black lung than other parts of the state and nation. We experience a higher rate of opioid addiction. And of course, national rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are a cause of concern for all.

Bill believes that one of the most effective ways we can overcome these hurdles is by expanding Medicare and Medicaid. These programs already have a huge impact in our region; bolstering them will ensure that our medical professionals and facilities are meeting all the needs of the area.

Flo_Ketner.jpg

District 7Flo Ketner

Flo felt compelled to become more civically engaged after last year's elections and participated in the Women's March in Washington earlier this year. Flo decided to run to provide a more unified voice for our community and offer a comprehensive understanding of the issues that affect everyone in our district. As a mother and a longtime member of the community she wants to represent, Flo realizes the unique challenges facing the children of southwest Virginia.

She plans to bring these concerns with her to Richmond to ensure that our children have the same opportunities as children living in northern Virginia so that they may acquire the skills they need to become successful in the New River Valley. This is why Flo is advocating for last mile broadband connectivity and will work to invest in economic development in the region. If elected to office, Flo will also stand against the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, and champion corporate finance and tax reform.

Steve_Mcbride.jpg

District 8Steve McBride

Steve McBride is a teacher and research scientist at Virginia Tech working on his Doctorate in Biology.

We need scientists and teachers in Richmond for better representation. People who will use knowledge to search for a solution to today’s public policy challenges. Steve knows how important it is to have our Democratic values represented in Richmond and how good public policy can make a difference in people’s lives.

Steve wants to work in Richmond to help solve the current opioid epidemic. He knows we must use science to address this health care crisis. His mother struggled with addiction and his grandparents raised him when she was unable to care for him. Often they had to rely on public assistance to survive. Science provided a path for his mother’s recovery. It is imperative that everyone has affordable access to healthcare and he will work on Medicaid expansion.

Stephanie_Cook.jpg

District 9Stephanie Cook

Stephanie is a community activist and a public school teacher. After graduating from Franklin County High School she moved to Florida to attend college. But her love for Virginia and the area brought her back home in 2012. Stephanie has faced massive student loan debt, worked 60+ hour work weeks in a local factory, married and transitioned to teaching while raising three children. She knows firsthand the plight of Virginia’s working families and has remained dedicated to helping others through her volunteer work with local churches and nursing homes.

While Virginia has seen tremendous economic growth and the unemployment rate fall, many of the residents of the ninth have been left behind. She has listened to neighbors, colleagues, and friends talk about the challenges of simply making ends meet. As a special education teacher she has seen countless families support each other throughout difficult economic downturns. It is the local community’s incredible resilience and kindness that inspired her to run for the house of delegates.

Chris-Hurst.jpg

District 12Chris Hurst

I’ve dedicated my life to public service and giving a voice to the people of southwest Virginia. When I came here almost a decade ago as a reporter, I quickly identified with our shared values of strong families, a strong faith and personal integrity. I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the people living in small towns with big hearts.

As a journalist, I’ve been a fierce advocate for families struggling for access to mental health care and equality in education for students with special needs. I’ve investigated reasons why our workforce must adapt for the careers of the future. I’ve documented the dramatic rise of child abuse and opioid addiction. And I’ve held government leaders accountable while showing how our first responders are left without vital resources.

I decided to leave journalism and run for office after recovering from profound tragedy. In 2015, I was just beginning a new life with my late girlfriend, Alison Parker. Alison and Adam Ward’s murder on television shocked the country and set me on a different path. My career in news was fulfilling but instead of asking questions, I became focused on finding solutions. Your continued prayers and support now give me the strength to move forward and be a courageous fighter for all Virginians.

17352328_862128873925500_49058962364362582_n.jpg

District 17Djuna Osborne

Djuna Osborne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with her BA in English and an MSW from the University of South Carolina. She has an 11 year career in community mental health treating impoverished individuals with chronic medical and mental health issues, substance abuse, and acute crisis in hospitals, jails and clinics. She currently has a private practice in Roanoke County serving a variety of clients throughout the Roanoke Valley. Her profession has taught her the importance of affordable, accessible health care and the consequences of not having adequate funding for mental health services or our schools. Djuna chose social work as her career path because her goal in life is to provide a voice for the voiceless.

Djuna is married and is a devoted mother of two daughters. Although she has always been interested in women’s issues, the responsibility of raising daughters has made her keenly aware that although we are seeing progress, gender pay disparity, violence against women, sexual harassment, and general discrimination are still too prevalent in our society. Djuna is determined that her daughters – that everybody's daughters – are given the right to compete on a level playing field. To illustrate her commitment, Djuna co-founded the Women’s March on Roanoke, an event that inspired over 4,000 people to gather in Downtown Roanoke on a winter’s day to say that equality for women shouldn’t just be a goal, it should be a priority.

THIS IS THE seventh IN A SERIES GROUPING CANDIDATES FOR THE VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES.

The first six were:

TO VIEW AN INDEX OF ALL DEMOCRATS CHALLENGING FOR REPUBLICAN-HELD DISTRICTS IN THIS FALL’S VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES RACES CLICK HERE.

Required Disclosure: My name is Donald Braden. I am the founder of The Full Slate Project and Full Slate Consulting. I am presently under contract with Friends of Kimberly Anne Tucker, candidate for Virginia Beach District 81.

To hell with polls! Sprint through that finish line! Run up that score! Get more Democrats elected!

To hell with polls! Sprint through that finish line! Run up that score! Get more Democrats elected!

33 days left to help voters in "Red America" actually vote IN their own interests.

33 days left to help voters in "Red America" actually vote IN their own interests.