Red to Blue: Fundraising Current Actions

Action 1 in 2019: This spring 2019, NOPE focused on raising money for organizations that are fighting voter suppression.

action 2 in 2019: From June to November, we are supporting candidates for the Virginia 2019 state legislature.

Why are we focused on the Virginia legislature?? Because Virginia is one of only 4 states electing a state legislature in 2019 and it is the only state that is flippable. We only need to pick up two seats in each house to flip the legislature from Red to Blue. Here are six more reasons why it is essential to gain a majority in the VA legislature.

We have selected 12 incredible candidates for our Democratic Dozen fundraiser: 10 candidates are running for the Virginia House of Delegates (HoD) and two are running for the state Senate. These candidates have a chance of beating their Republican opponents but they need help from all of us to take them into the winner’s circle. Scroll down to learn about each candidate. For additional information, also take a look at:

Campaign Data on NOPE’s Democratic Dozen

Two-pager Summarizing NOPE’s Democratic Dozen

Learn about our 10 Candidates for Virginia House of Delegates

Hala Ayala

Incumbent running in VA HoD 51  

District and Location: House District 51 - Prince William County, south of Manassas (NoVa area)

Opponent: Rich Anderson

Bio: A single, working mother of two, Hala is an outspoken advocate for women and families. She worked her way up from a service position to become a cybersecurity specialist with the Department of Homeland Security.  She is the founder and former president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women and helped organize Virginia for the Women’s March on Washington.  In the HoD, Ayala has been co-patron or chief patron of many bills, including to improve access to health care and to bring the Equal Rights Amendment resolution from the Senate to a full House floor vote.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 53%/47%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 55%/44%

Alex Askew

Running against new R opponent in VA HoD 85

Alex Askew

District and Location: HoD District 85, including parts of Virginia Beach

Opponent: Rocky Holcomb (Dem. Cheryl Turpin is current delegate in HoD 85. She is running for state senate in 2019)

Bio: A lifelong Virginia Beach resident and community leader, Alex Askew attended public schools and graduated from Hampton University. Currently a legislative aide for the Virginia House of Delegates, he also mentors and tutors local youth, is a founding board member of the New Leaders Council Virginia and a board member for the Democratic Business Alliance of South Hampton Roads. His key issues include affordable healthcare, quality education, economic opportunities, and a safe environment.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 51%/49%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 53%/45%

Larry Barnett

Running against incumbent in HoD 27

District and Location: HoD District 27, which includes parts of Chesterfield County (Richmond area)

Opponent: Roxann Robinson (incumbent)

Bio: Larry Barnett is a mental health professional who earned a master's degree in Rehabilitative Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed professional counselor. As a leader with Chesterfield County Mental Health Support Services, he has worked to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services. He ran for this HoD seat in 2017, losing to Roxann Robinson by a little over 100 votes. His website describes his positions on many key issues, including providing access to healthcare, investing in public schools, and protecting the environment (including development of renewable energy and technology sources).

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 50%/50%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 51%/48%

Sheila Bynum-Coleman

Running against incumbent in HoD 66

District and Location: HoD 66, including parts of Chesterfield, Henrico, and Prince George counties; part of the city of Hopewell. (Richmond area)

Opponent: Kirk Cox (incumbent)

Bio: Sheila Bynum-Coleman, who attended public schools in Chesterfield County, VA and Virginia Commonwealth University, is a mother, real estate agent, and community leader in Chesterfield County. She ran for Delegate in 2017 and narrowly lost. Her priorities include increasing school funding for teacher pay and providing safe school buildings and classrooms; enacting criminal justice reform to enable former inmates to lead productive lives; passing the Equal Rights Amendment and protecting women’s rights; and passing common sense gun laws including licensing laws and universal background checks; and increasing the minimum wage. She says: “I am committed to bringing new ideas to our state and legislation to improve the lives of our citizens.”

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 36%/63%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 39%/60%; Northam/Gillespie (New District): 52%/47%

Josh Cole

District and Location: HoD 28, including Stafford County and Fredericksburg (North of Richmond)

Running against new opponent in HoD 28

Opponent: Paul Milde (beat incumbent Robert Thomas in 2019 Republican primary)

Bio: Josh Cole, a pastor who was raised in the 28th District, ran for Virginia House of Delegates in the District in 2017.  He lost by less than 100 votes.  Since then, he has served as Chief of Staff for Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler and is on the Stafford County Public Schools Superintendent’s Equity, Diversity and Opportunity Committee; the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council; and is President of the Stafford County NAACP. Josh’s goals for the 28th District include improving the standard of living, reducing

gridlock traffic, modernizing the school system, and ensuring equality in Virginia.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 50%/50%

Kelly Convirs-Fowler

Incumbent in VA HoD 21

District Location: HoD 21, including parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake

Opponent: Shannon Kane

Bio: A teacher and realtor, Kelly went to Virginia Wesleyan College and received a master’s in education from Old Dominion University.  She has been chief patron of several bills in the 2019 HoD session, including bills to prevent discriminatory housing practices, provide year-round adult education programs, and require disclosure of special flood hazard areas and other concerns to residential property buyers.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 52%/47%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 56%/42%  

District and Location: HoD 10, including parts of Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun counties (NoVA area)

Wendy Gooditis

Running against incumbent in VA HoD 10.

Opponent: Randy Minchew

Bio: Wendy is delivering on her 2017 campaign commitments, making healthcare available to more Virginians, protecting our environment and increasing teacher pay.  A teacher, realtor, she grew up in New Jersey and received her M.Ed. from Shenandoah University.  She is running against Randall Minchew, who she beat in the 2017 HoD election.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 52%/48%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 54%/45%

Nancy Guy

Running against incumbent in VA HoD 83

District and Location: HoD 83, including pParts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach

Opponent: Chris Stolle (incumbent)

Bio: Attorney, managed family real estate partnership, and home health care company, and was educational consultant. Served on the Virginia Beach School Board. Strong advocate for public education.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 43%/57%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 50%/48%; Northam/Gillespie (New District): 55%/44%

Phil Hernandez

Running against incumbent in VA HoD 100

Running against incumbent in VA HoD 100


District and Location: HoD 100, which covers the Eastern Shore of Virginia, including parts of Norfolk City, Accomack County and Northampton County.

Opponent: Rob Bloxom (incumbent)

Bio: Raised in Hampton Roads by a single mom, Phil Hernandez went to public schools and then to he College of William & Mary, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college. An attorney, he has represented low-income families facing eviction, developed legislation aimed at preventing homelessness, and currently works as a nonprofit organization advocating for the rights of working people. Hernandez says: “When I envision the future of the Commonwealth, I’m guided by a basic question: What will be in the best interest of everyday Virginians in the long run? It’s a simple—even obvious—question. Yet it’s not asked enough in Richmond. And it shows.” His answers include increasing funding for schools and teachers, building an economy that creates opportunity for all, protecting coastal communities, and making the promise of equality a reality.

Dem/Repub Estimates:  2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 48%/52%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 53%/46%

District and Location: HoD 73, which includes part of Henrico County (Richmond area)

Opponent: Mary Kastleberg

Rodney Willit

Running against new R candidate in VA HoD 73.

A Virginia native, Willett has dedicated his career to public service. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from The College of William and Mary, where he was instrumental in founding the Pulley Family Endowment, which supports public service work by students. As an attorney, Rodney represented local governments in Virginia and was instrumental in establishing and expanding free legal assistance programs while running his practice. His key issues include improved access to healthcare for all Virginians, better education for our children, preserving our public lands, creating sensible gun laws, and less red tape for businesses.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 51%/48%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 53%/45%

Learn about our two Virginia State Senate Candidates

Opponent: Bill DeSteph (ncumbent)

District and Location: State Senate 8, which includes portions of Norfolk and Virginia Beach

Running against incumbent in VA Senate 8

Running against incumbent in VA Senate 8

Missy Cotter SMasal

Bio: She has served as an officer in the United States Navy, and owned and operated a successful small business (Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard franchise). She’s a dedicated parent, coach, and volunteer, and has advocated for safety in Virginia Beach schools.  Pledges to work within the community to build a safe, environmentally resilient, and economically strong Virginia Beach.  Specific issues include school and community safety, ratifying the ERA, fighting partisan redistricting, and providing access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 41%/59%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 50%/49%

Debra Rodman

Running against incumbent in VA Senate

District and Location: Senate District 12, including portions of Henrico County and Hanover County (Richmond area)

Opponent: Siobhan Dunnavant (incumbent)

Bio: Elected to the HoD in 2017, Debra Rodman is now running for state senate. She is the mother of two boys, one of whom has special needs. A Fulbright Scholar, she teaches Anthropology at Randolph-Macon College. In the HoD, she has fought for increased funding for public schools and a pay raise for public school teachers; expanding access to affordable health care (including Medicaid expansion), preventing gun violence, and for improving drinking water quality.

Dem/Repub Estimates: 2017 Dem/Rep (Old District): 38%/58%; Northam/Gillespie (Old District): 52%/47%