Incumbent Jeff Bourne wins the 71st District, securing Democratic win

Varsha Vasudevan, Contributing Writer 

Democratic candidate Jeff Bourne will retain his current position in the Virginia House of Delegates for the 71st District, winning against Republican candidate Nancye Hunter in the Virginia House election on Tuesday.

Bourne held onto his seat with 85.58% of the votes, while Hunter received 14.25%.

Bourne said that his experience working for the Richmond City School Board gave him perspective to help better the education system, specifically the K-12 system.

“It gave me a perspective, having seen first-hand how much need there is in our public education system,” Bourne said.

Bourne was the 3rd District representative for the Richmond City School Board in 2013, according to his website. He was elected as General Assembly representative of the 71st District in 2017 with 20,311 votes, according to the Virginia Public Access Project website.

Bourne’s platform advocates for criminal justice reform and ensuring affordable housing; according to his website, he “was guided by one principle: equal justice under the law.” After introducing the Virginia Fair Housing Law, which prohibits the refusal of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation, he continues to advocate that “housing is a human right,” according to Bourne’s website.

He raised a total of $246,032 for the 2021 election as of Sept. 30, according to the VPAP website.

Bourne’s challenger, Republican Nancye Hunter, is a “concerned citizen of Richmond City,” according to her website. She said she ran on the platform of promoting small businesses and providing shelters for the homeless.

Hunter said it was important to have programs, providing resources like clothes and food, for homeless people to turn to. 

“Those services in the long-run would cost a lot less than bringing a homeless person or a homeless family completely out of homelessness,” Hunter said.

Bourne plans to continue working on issues like increasing access to affordable housing, bettering the public school system and criminal justice reform.

“I think those are the issues that still need lots of work to help Virginia right a lot of wrongs of the past,” Bourne said.

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