Katharine DeRosa, News Editor
Election Day is on Nov. 2, and VCU students will have the day off of classes in order to have the opportunity to vote in the general election, according to a statement from Dean of Students Reuban Rodriguez.
There are four local elections taking place in the City of Richmond this November. These positions are up for grabs as students and Richmonders head to the polls: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and Virginia house positions.
Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic candidate for governor. He previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. He held a rally outside VCU’s Cabell Library on Saturday with former President Barack Obama as a guest speaker.
During his speech, McAuliffe spoke of his commitment to creating bipartisan legislation. He is running on a platform of combating the COVID-19 pandemic and working on the economy in Virginia, according to his website.
“I want Virginia to be the first state in the United States of America to call an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” McAuliffe said.
Glenn Youngkin is the Republican candidate for Virginia governor. He previously worked at The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, according to his website. Youngkin is running on policies of cutting taxes, expanding funding for the police, banning critical race theory and investing in transportation infrastructure.
Lauren Windsor, executive producer of The Undercurrent, a self-described as a “grassroots political web-show for investigative and field reporting,” videotaped Youngkin at an event in Loudoun County saying he is “staunchly, unabashedly pro-life.”
Princess Blanding is running as a member of the Liberation Party. She is the sister of VCU alumnus Marcus-David Peters, who was shot and killed by police while experiencing a mental health crisis in 2018. Blanding stated in an email she “will make certain state tuition is affordable.” Blanding also stated she would focus on the environment if elected to be Virginia governor.
“The future of this planet is all we have, and, as we are seeing in real time with the disintegration of the national climate agenda, the two parties are not taking the environment seriously,” Blanding stated.
Lieutenant Governor Race
Hala Alaya is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. Alaya’s website states that she is campaigning for “women’s right to choose,” and the funding of public transportation.
“Across Virginia, our aging infrastructure makes it harder for our citizens to prosper,” Alaya stated on her website. “We need to invest in our Commonwealth and address infrastructure needs in rural, suburban, and urban communities.”
Winsome Sears is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Sears stated in an email she previously served as the vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education and previously served in the U.S. Marines. Her website states she wants to raise wages for teachers and law enforcement.
“I’m continuing to reach out to voters with my message and listening to their concerns,” Sears stated in an email. “I plan to continue to listen after election day because their concerns won’t magically go away on November 2.”
Both candidates are set to become the first woman of color lieutenant governor in Virginia, if elected.
Attorney General Race
Mark Herring is currently attorney general and is running for reelection. During his time in the role, Herring won a case to legalize gay marriage in Virginia, and “defended” the Affordable Care Act, Herring said in a rally for McAuliffe at VCU on Saturday.
“My priority will always be protecting your rights and keeping you safe,” Herring said. “Alongside Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, I have stood as a brick wall against Republican attacks on a woman’s reproductive freedom.”
Jason Miyares is the Republican candidate for attorney general. He is running on a campaign of tightening border security, requiring IDs at polling locations and increasing funding for the police, according to his website.
“We should be funding the police instead of defunding them, and give them the tools they need to succeed,” Miyares states on his website.
Virginia’s 71st District House Representative
Jeff Bourne, a Democrat, was originally elected as the 71st district of Virginia representative in 2016, according to Ballotpedia, and is running for reelection.
“As Delegate, I will continue to fight for policies that serve all Virginians,” Bourne said in an email. “I will continue to fight for affordable public higher education in Virginia and will work to improve our public schools so that students are well prepared for post-graduate life.”
Nancye Hunter is the Republican candidate for the 71st district. Campaign issues as outlined on her website include: business and economy, protecting Second Amendment rights and legalizing marijuana.
“I believe marijuana tax dollars should be used to benefit recovering drug addiction programs that have not received the funding that they need and deserve,” Hunter stated on her website.
Virginia’s 69th District House Representative
Betsey Carr is the incumbent Democratic candidate for the 69th district in Virginia. This district expands from south of the university’s campus to Southside Richmond. Some of her campaign points include raising minimum wage and working to address climate change, according to an email from Carr.
“As always, I am knocking on doors, which I do whether or not it’s an election, because it’s important to hear directly from constituents,” Carr stated. “I’m holding meetings, attending events and working to promote our ticket so Democrats can hold the majority in the House and continue the progress we’ve made.”
Sheila Furey is running as the Republican candidate for the 69th district and is a psychiatrist in the Richmond area, according to her website. Furey stated she supports the right for Virginians to own guns. Leading up to the election, Furey said in an interview that she is continuing to campaign as she has the last 10 months by “knocking on doors” and “going on the radio.”
“No government should interfere with a law abiding individual’s right to self defense. As a mother, wife, and champion for civilian protections,” Furey stated. “I will do all within my power to protect your 2nd Amendment Rights and self defense.”