RICHMOND, VA – Democratic candidates in some of the most competitive races this year released their first TV ads this week, another boost of momentum for Democrats who are already out-raising and out-working their opponents. Focused on key issues like health care and education, the ads are a sign that Democrats are laser-focused on the concrete issues that matter most to Virginians.
“The message of these ads is that Virginia Democrats are leading the way, fighting for quality education, affordable health care, and more. Meanwhile Republicans are desperately trying to play catch-up, running pandering ads that distort their own records. Voters are looking for leaders with a clear vision for improving their lives, and these ads are excellent examples of why Democrats are going to take the majority November,” said DPVA press secretary Grant Fox.
The TV ads that launched this week are:
- Dan Helmer (HD-40) – “Command Center” – Helmer’s first ad traces his career of service: graduating from West Point to serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. “When you serve in uniform, it’s all about the mission…Now my mission is at home here in Virginia,” he says. Helmer is facing Tim Hugo, who barely scraped by in 2017 and is now contorting himself to appear like less of a conservative extremist. But Helmer’s ad and a recent Washington Post editorial that slammed Hugo’s pro-gun positions mean the last Republican delegate in Northern Virginia is in serious trouble.
- Debra Rodman (SD-12) – “What I See” – Donning her iconic pink glasses, Rodman’s first ad focuses on her career as an educator and her accomplishments as a Delegate in Richmond. “I see my kids practicing for school shootings, so I’m fighting for common sense gun safety laws. As an educator I see our teachers struggling, so I passed the largest teacher pay raise in over a decade,” she says. Rodman is running a strong campaign to unseat Siobhan Dunnavant, a Senator backed by the Koch brothers who proudly voted against the Medicaid expansion and earlier this summer launched a misleading ad about her record.
- Ghazala Hashmi (SD-10) – “Easy“ – Building on her themeof “Ghazala Hashmi is an American name,” Hashmi’s ad focuses on the importance of public education in providing opportunities and shaping her career. “Growing up in the south with the name Ghazala wasn’t always easy, but public schools helped me find my way,” she says. Hashmi is running against Senator Glen Sturtevant, whose record on public education is nothing short of a disaster. This week he faced a backlash for what many said was a race-baiting attempt to win voters by getting involved in a Richmond school zoning plan. In one of the most competitive Senate races this year, Hashmi is plotting a path to victory that’s led to many Democratic wins recently by focusing on the issues and her experience as an educator.
- Cheryl Turpin (SD-7) – “Saved“ – Virginia Democrats literally saved lives when they fought for and passed Medicaid expansion. Turpin’s first ad tells the story of one mother who knows firsthand how important affordable health care is. “My daughter Gabby was born with a rare disease. I’m not sure what was scarier: learning that Gabby needed a liver transparent at age two, or losing her health care at age 18. Cheryl Turpin wouldn’t stop until Gabby had health care,” says one of Turpin’s constituents. Turpin is running against Jen Kiggans, a nurse with a history of taking many extreme positions. This ad is a sign that health care will be a major issue in this race and Turpin has an advantage with the popular Medicaid expansion on her side.
- Larry Barnett (HD-27) – “Get It Done” – Barnett served as the Director of Mental Health Emergency Services for Chesterfield County, and his expertise at keeping his community safe and solving problems is at the forefront of his first ad. Barnett nearly won this race in 2017. With a fundraising advantage over his opponent Roxann Robinson – who voted against the Medicaid expansion – and strong ads like this, the wind is at his back.
- Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD-66)- “Kirk Cox Sold Out” – Bynum-Coleman is running against House Speaker Kirk Cox in one of the most competitive races in the Commonwealth that has already attracted national attention. Her first ad holds Cox accountable for some of his most egregious votes that consistently chose corporate interests over his constituents. Cox has been running ads about how much he likes baseball, a sign that he knows his record is a liability. Bynum-Coleman’s focus on material issues is just another sign that she’s ready to fight for her district better than Cox ever could.