Virginia’s 1st Congressional District stretches from the fringes of Northern Virginia suburbs to just north of Hampton Roads, including parts of central Virginia.the Hampton Roads area. It contains parts of Henrico County, Chesterfield County, and Hanover County, as well as all of James City County, York County, Gloucester County, New Kent County, Westmoreland County, Williamsburg City, King William County, Northumberland County, Poquoson City, Lancaster County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Richmond County, Mathews County, and King and Queen County. The district has been represented by a Republican for over twenty years.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. A US Army veteran, Herb Jones (D), is running against incumbent Rob Whitman (R), who has been in Congress since 2007.
Democrat Herbert Jones Jr. came to Virginia through an assignment in the Army. After leaving active duty to join the reserves, he was elected County Treasurer of New Kent County in 1999, beginning his journey in elected office. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of the military, Governor Ralph Northam appointed him to the Commonwealth’s Military Advisory Council. In 2019, Jones lost to Senator Tommy Norment in the race for the Virginia State Senate District 3 seat.
Jones considers himself a supporter of the 2nd Amendment but is also in favor of strong gun violence prevention legislation. He points to greedy politicans and funding from gun lobbyists like the NRA as barriers to passing common sense laws. A gun owner himself, he supports mandatory background checks and extreme risk protection laws. Additionally, he believes there must be an end to the gun show loophole. He is on record as being in favor of the Active Shooter Alert Act and promises to fight for immediate and meaningful reform.
Accessible healthcare is a top priority for Jones. He believes that all Americans should have access to high quality and affordable healthcare. Jones emphasizes the need to expand and increase funding for services for veterans. He supports mental health care initiatives and addiction treatment programs, as well as access to reproductive healthcare. Jones considers Planned Parenthood an essential healthcare provider and stands against attacks on abortion access.
Jones promises to protect and preserve the natural environment, and pledged never to accept campaign contributions from Dominion Power and Appalachian Power, believing elected officials should not make decisions about the environment because of monetary influence. He believes that we must invest in clean energy, and points to renewable energy as a source for new jobs. Jones encourages providing tax incentives to clean energy companies. Furthermore, he hopes to revoke the tax breaks that are given to fossil fuel companies. He emphasizes the need to conserve the resources of the Chesapeake Bay by expanding funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Jones supports criminal justice reform in conjunction with police reform. He believes marijuana should be legalized federally to help end the war on drugs, which he notes has disproportionately incarcerated people of color. Jones is pushing for national training requirements for police officers, as well as a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants. In 2020, Jones expressed support of police civilian review boards, recalling two instances in which police drew their weapons on him.
The Republican incumbent is Congressman Robb Wittman, who has represented the 1st District since 2007. 93% of Wittman’s votes were in line with President Trump’s position. Wittman voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also voted against increasing housing assistance and an economic stimulus package to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. He opposes raising the minimum wage and abortion rights. He voted against the Active Shooter Alert Act.
Due to Wittman’s opposition to raising the minimum wage, expanding abortion access, and his votes on the Affordable Care Act and the Active Shooter Alert Act, Jones is the progressive candidate in this race.
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Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
The 4th congressional district of Virginia contains parts of Chesterfield County, Henrico County, and Southampton County, as well as all of Richmond City, Prince George County, Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Brunswick County, Greensville County, Sussex County, Charles City County, Surrey County, and Emporia. In 2012, the neighboring 3rd district was deemed to have been unconstitutionally gerrymandered based on race. It was redrawn, with parts of it being put into the 4th district. Since then the district has been reliably Democratic, with Congressman McEachin earning over 64% of the vote in 2018, against Leon Benjamin.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Congressman and attorney Donald McEachin (D), who has held the District 4 seat since 2017, is running against Leon Benjamin (R), a Richmond pastor and Gulf War veteran who is the current GOP chair of the Richmond Republican Party.
Democratic Representative Donald McEachin was first elected to Virginia’s Fourth District seat in 2016. Before running for Congress, he served in both the Virginia State House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate. McEachin is a Regional Whip, as well as Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus. He is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the NAACP, and the Virginia State Bar. He is married to Collette McEachin, who serves as Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Richmond.
McEachin sits on several environmental committees, including the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, the Black Caucus’ Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force, and the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. He also co-founded the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Congressional Task Force. He criticized the Supreme Court’s opinion that rolled back EPA authority, and was honored by the Choose Clean Water Coaltion.
A longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, McEachin pushes for expanding affordable healthcare, which he considers a human right. He supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act and spoke out against attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act. He voted in support of both the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan. Along with members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, he introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus to help address the Black maternal health crisis.
In 2020, NARAL Pro-Choice America gave McEachin a score of 100% for his voting record on reproductive freedom and abortion access. He voted in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, as well as the Ensuring Women's Right to Reproductive Freedom Act. McEachin spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade and denounced Senate Republicans who blocked the Women’s Health Protection Act. He is a cosponsor of the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.
McEachin introduced the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act, calling the gun violence epidemic a public health crisis. To combat gun violence in Richmond, he secured almost $1 million for Virginia Commonwealth University’s RVA Gun Violence Prevention Framework. He believes in limiting access to firearms and implementing red-flag laws.He voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, and the Protecting Our Kids Act.
McEachin’s opponent is Leon Benjamin (R), a retired Navy veteran and pastor. He is a proud supporter of former President Trump, and engages in anti-LGBTQ and racist rhetoric. He opposes abortion and promotes disinformation. In 2010, Benjamin urged the U.S. Congress not to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. He also questions the results of the 2020 presidential election. Benjamin ran against McEachin in the 2020 race, losing with less than 40% of the vote.
Due to his extensive service to constituents in his district and commitment to progressive values, Congressman Donald McEachin is the most progressive candidate for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.