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40 days left to knock down the Republican Potemkin Village in Virginia Beach.

40 days left to knock down the Republican Potemkin Village in Virginia Beach.

Potemkin Village — a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition.

There are 40 days left to help tear down this particular Potemkin Village in Virginia Beach!

Virginia Beach is a Republican Potemkin Village. They control it with nothing but smoke and mirrors. We Democrats think we cannot win there so we do not invest in candidates that step up. Heck, a lot of the time we Democrats do not even field candidates there at all. This year is different, we have nearly a full slate of candidates in that part of Virginia. More on them below.

Why is Virginia Beach a Republican Potemkin Village?

I go into great detail on the citywide electoral dynamics in this post from the spring:

Democrats, let's take the fight to Virginia Beach!

Here is my big takeaway, while Republicans enjoy significant electoral success in the area, it is due in large part because we Democrats do not mount a credible challenge. WHen we do we can win. Here is a chart from that post looking at the last election cycle for each race:


I go into this in more detail in the linked post above, but it is important to note that the one person that drew the most votes was a Democrat. Sure it was an uncontested race for that Revenue seat, but so were the Republican Sheriff and Republican Treasurer and the Democrat pulled down more votes than either of those Republicans did. We even ran in only 5 of 7 delegates districts that year, so we had fewer vote drawers out there.

But wait, that’s not all

The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) is a great resource, and one of the things they have done is track fundraising for the races in the state. They created an interesting visualization of the Virginia Beach area and its fundraising in the governor’s race this year so far.


The Democratic money is dominant in the area when looking at this. Yet these candidates mostly are running largely underfunded campaigns against these weak Republicans.

Big talk and the appearance of strength is not everything.

I am an Ohio State football fan. I remember when M*chigan would beat us routinely during the John Cooper years. John Cooper would talk up one of his defensive backs so much that no team would ever try to throw to the receiver that guy was covering all season long. All teams except M*chigan, they would attack that guy relentlessly, and they beat us year after year as a result. (To be fair to those DB’s most of them were fantastic players, I imagine the reason they got beat in the M*chigan game so much is they did not really get challenged all season.)

That same dynamic seems to be at play in Virginia Beach. We have some fantastic candidates running there citywide and in these Delegates races, and yet the party is largely ignoring them. We have the resources to challenge these districts and seats, but we seem to be listening to the Republican talk about how strong the area is. It is all smoke and mirrors.

The evidence points to this particular region being an actual weak point for Republican’s. We should pour some serious resources into these races. If you are with the state party, help connect these candidates to some good fundraising sources in the area, if you want to take down Republicans wherever you can, donate to these candidates shown below.

Republicans look strong here, but they are really in a weak position. Let’s expand the map and attack this weak point in Virginia Beach.

A few citywide races of note

I am usually focused on Delegate districts, I do want to mention 2 fantastic citywide candidates that deserve our support and more support from the state party.

John Bell for SheriffDonate


Deputy Chief (retired) John Bell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began his career in law enforcement in 1973 where he served with the New York City Transit Police Department. In 1976 Bell joined the Virginia Beach Police Department.  

During his career with the Virginia Beach Police Department, Bell worked assignments as a detective, patrol sergeant, and lieutenant. In 1997 he was promoted to the rank of captain, serving as a Command Duty Officer, Commander of the First and Third Precincts, Detective Bureau and Professional Standards Office (Internal Affairs). November 2010 Bell was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of Police.

 As Deputy Chief of Police, Bell commanded the Professional Standards Division of the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Susan Hippen for Treasurer Donate

  • I am the youngest of 4 siblings, was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised there and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I was lucky enough to marry my best friend, but unfortunately became his widow after a brief fight with cancer.
  • I served 25 years active duty in the US Air Force and Navy, retiring from the Navy as a Master Chief in 2004.  I received my BS in Computer Information Systems, with a business core, from Saint Leo University.  I later received my AAS in Paralegal Studies from Tidewater Community College.  
  • I was trained by IRS and the Virginia Department of taxation in personal income and small business tax preparation .
  • Virginia Beach has been my home for over 20 years.  I previously lived in the Glenwood subdivision.  My brother, nephew and his two school-aged sons live with me in the Alexandria subdivision.

Virginia Beach House of Delegates candidates and One Other.

Here are the candidates taking on Republican-held districts in the Virginia Beach area.

District 21Kelly Fowler

kelly fowler.jpg

Kelly's successful home renovation business gave her first hand experience with the kinds of challenges small business owners face every day. Additionally she developed and sharpened a variety of important skills that will allow her to serve the 21st District well in the House of Delegates. For example, she became a great listener and learned to negotiate creative, win-win solutions in the face of obstacles.  

Kelly is on the Board of Directors of her Home Owners Association and is an active volunteer in the Hampton Roads region. She is passionate about fairness and ensuring that government works for everyone, not just the rich and well connected. Kelly is an energetic, progressive leader who will make a difference in the community when she is the Delegate for District 21!

District 81Kimberly Anne Tucker


Kimberly Anne is a retired educator, a cancer survivor, a military wife and mother, and a grassroots organizer. As a teacher and Assistant Principal, Kimberly had a firsthand look at our public school system, the impact it has on students’ lives, and the vital role it plays in our communities. That experience fostered her commitment to protecting and strengthening our public school system.

But it was a journey through our healthcare system that inspired the cornerstone of her campaign for the House of Delegates. Kimberly was successful in a battle against cancer but understood that there might have been a very different outcome if it weren’t for the excellent medical coverage she was fortunate enough to have. That insight inspired her campaign for the House of Delegates and motivated her commitment to ensuring that every man, woman, and child in Virginia has the coverage they need.

District 82Leigh Anne Bowling


Leigh Anne was born and raised in western North Carolina after her father completed his service in the United States Air Force as a practicing dentist.  Her parents always reminded her, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”  This family principle and Leigh Anne’s professional training and personal experiences have led to her decision to run as a Candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, 82nd District.  Leigh Anne is particularly concerned about Virginia’s failure to expand Medicaid; its failure to adopt equal pay for equal work and living wage legislation; and its failure to address redistricting reform fairly.  Leigh Anne has served as a volunteer for the Sierra Club and is a strong opponent of offshore drilling and the Atlantic Coast pipeline.  She is an advocate for labor rights, women’s reproductive rights, and the LGBTQ community, and she hopes to bring her knowledge and experience as a practicing attorney to the 82nd District as a Delegate and effectively reach across the aisle to help Virginia become the Commonwealth of real engagement.  “Core Values & Core Results” is her campaign slogan.  Leigh Anne also believes in keeping big money out of politics so that special interests aren’t given more power than voters.

District 83David Rose-Carmack


Virginia's 83rd needs leadership with a clear vision for the future, someone who will work tirelessly in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Richmond to help make that vision a reality. I believe I am the person to take on that challenge, to work with leaders in Norfolk and Virginia Beach to make sure they have everything they need to make their cities, our community, prosper.

From healthcare to education to the environment, there are so many issues affecting our Commonwealth, but not enough solutions. I am running for Delegate because I believe that we deserve better policies and politics than we have now, that we deserve leaders who will work together to find solutions to the challenges we face. I am looking forward to paving the way for all Virginians to a future where we lift one another up so we can all move forward together.

Look around, ask me questions, help me show you why you should head to your polling place this November and choose David for Delegate.

District 84Veronica Coleman


Dr. Veronica Coleman is the Pastor of New Jerusalem Ministries, a community focused ministry that she founded in 2010. New Jerusalem Ministries’ work in the community is so widely recognized that in 2015, it received the Model Partnership Award from the Virginia Beach City Public Schools. in recognition of its Mentoring Program and its other outreach efforts conducted on behalf of the students in the city.

A recognized leader in the community, Dr. Coleman is the immediate Past President of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference and has served in leadership capacities with other civic and religious organizations. She served for many years as a volunteer reporter and anchor for the City of Virginia Beach Television Station, VBTV. She currently co-facilitates the Pastors and Community Roundtable designed to improve the relationship between the Virginia Beach Police Department and the community.

District 85Cheryl Turpin


In 2016, Cheryl was nominated for the prestigious honor of Teacher of the Year by her fellow teachers at Frank W. Cox High School. Cheryl has served her community for many years offering her leadership in a diverse range of organizations. Cheryl has served as a Board Member for the Make a Difference Foundation, as Activities Coordinator for several school PTA’s, a Girl Scouts Troop Leader, a coach for the Neighborhood Soccer League, and a member of the Sierra Club.

Cheryl has spent much of her career working with at-risk students. She is a partner in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) community. AVID is dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college. Cheryl is a long-time member of both the Virginia Education Association and the National Education Association.

“I believe in quality education, protecting our environment, human rights for everyone and economic opportunities for the great people in Virginia.” ~Cheryl Turpin

District 100Willie Randall


Willie Randall is a leader for Norfolk and the Eastern Shore. His roots in service began with the United States Armed Services – serving in the Persian Gulf War, earning the rank of Major, and receiving the Bronze Star. Upon his retirement, his service continued within his community. As a volunteer, Willie served as chairman of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Eastern Shore United Way. Willie also served as a member of the Northampton Board of Supervisors where he helped lower the county debt, expand pre-K to every child, and create jobs. He will work with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Senator Lynwood Lewis to ensure that Norfolk and the Eastern Shore get their fair share from Richmond.


The first three were:


 Turning anger into action. Here is how to start...just 35 critical days left to go win elections in Virginia.

Turning anger into action. Here is how to start...just 35 critical days left to go win elections in Virginia.

41 days left to help these great Democrats roll back the red tide in the Tidewater VA region.

41 days left to help these great Democrats roll back the red tide in the Tidewater VA region.