This year’s Virginia elections are critically important for anyone who cares about standing up to Trump and the devastating policies his allies are pushing at the federal and state levels. The entire Virginia House of Delegates is on the ballot this November, along with the statewide constitutional offices of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General.

The Virginia Fight Club is your way to FIGHT BACK!

The Republicans hold a large majority in the House—66 seats to 34. We need to flip 17 seats to turn take back the majority. The Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General are also on the ballot. These offices have been in Democratic hands, where they’ve been our only check on the extreme Republican agenda. We must do everything we can to keep these important offices blue.

What’s Our Fight Plan?

The Virginia Fight Club is a Super PAC. That gives us enormous flexibility to make smart, strategic decisions to impact elections when it matters most. We aim to amass a war chest, funded by “small money” donations from Democrats in Virginia and across the country. Other groups are mobilizing massive grassroots efforts, going door-to-door to spread the word about this year’s elections. That is important work.

But that is not enough.

Modern campaigns cost money—lots of it. Television ads and campaign mailers are often the most important factor in a candidate’s ability to get his or her message out. And if there are negative attack ads and mailers directed towards our Democratic candidates, we need to fight back against the lies and smears.

The Virginia Fight Club will target races where we can have the most impact in turning seats Blue. Here are some types of races that we will look for:

Jump Start Opportunities: some races don’t get much attention, but have strong Democratic candidates who could be viable with some extra funding and attention. We could consider an early round of advertising to jump start their campaign and see if we can generate enough interest to make it a viable contender.

Nailbiters: these are the big races that are coming down to the wire and can go either way. Often, a last minute infusion of resources can make the difference and we want to be in the position to help push these races over the top.

Dark Horses: every election season, there is a surprise—a candidate who comes out of the blue to win an unexpected victory. We will keep our eye out for a talented candidate who is challenging an incumbent in a seemingly safe seat who takes his election for granted. We can mount a surprise media attack with the goal of defeating an incumbent before he has time to react.

Why Do We Fight?

The Virginia elections are always seen as an initial test of a new president’s strength—or weakness. If you care about sending a message to Donald Trump and the Republicans, this is the battleground for 2017.

But it’s bigger than that. The Republican legislature has been a disaster for progressive policies for years. Here are a few of the highlights—or lowlights—of what they have done and why it’s important to fight to turn Virginia blue:

  • Gun Violence: Virginia has some of the weakest gun safety laws in the country. They have not closed the background check loophole, which lets people who could not pass a background check simply go online or to a gun show to buy guns with no questions asked. Virginia allows people to openly carry guns with no permit. The legislature is so extreme on guns that they once passed a bill known as the “Bazooka Bill,” because it sought to allow nearly any kind of gun to be sold. Virginia has also been viewed as a source of guns that are illegally trafficked and wind up in other states, where they are used to commit crimes.
  • Reproductive rights— The legislature is packed with anti-abortion extremists. VA became ground zero in the War on Women in 2012 when the legislature passed the transvaginal ultrasound bill. On their current agenda: defunding Planned Parenthood.
  • Health Care—Republicans have done everything possible to block implementation of the ACA. Because of their petty partisanship, they have blocked Medicaid expansion—depriving 400K Virginians from access to health care.
  • Republicans have made repeated attempts at voter suppression—including passing a stringent voter ID law designed to make it more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote.
  • Redistricting—Republicans have aggressively gerrymandered Virginia’s Congressional seats. If we don’t flip the legislature now, they will do it again in 2021, after the next US Census.
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