Virginia House / Virginia Senate
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Cheryl Turpin, Virginia State Senate District 7
Cheryl Turpin has spent almost three decades as a high school science teacher making a difference in the lives of her students. Now she is running to make a difference for Virginia Beach in the Virginia Senate. As a science teacher at Cox, Princess Anne, and Tallwood High Schools, Delegate Turpin has strong ties across Virginia Beach’s 7th Senate District. Delegate Turpin currently represents Virginia Beach in the 85th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. She has played a key role in bringing Medicaid Expansion to Virginia, increasing teacher pay, and giving struggling schools the resources they need. EveryDistrict endorsed Delegate Turpin in 2017 and we’re proud to be supporting her Senate campaign in 2019.
Debra Rodman, Virginia State Senate District 12
Elected in 2017, Delegate Debra Rodman was inspired to run by the simple idea that real people should have a voice in their government. A Fulbright Scholar, she teaches Anthropology at Randolph-Macon College and regularly uses her academic expertise to serve as an expert witness in US Federal Court where she advocates for families and LGBT refugees fleeing violence. Debra is a proud mom to two beautiful boys and the wife to Darryl, a Richmond native and member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina. EveryDistrict endorsed Delegate Rodman in 2017 and we’re proud to be supporting her Senate campaign in 2019.
Amy Laufer, Virginia State Senate District 17
Amy Laufer most recently served two terms on the Charlottesville City School Board. She is Founder and board member of Virginia’s List, which is a PAC that supports Democratic women running for State Office. Amy graduated from the Columbia University-Teachers College with a MA in Secondary Science Education. After she moved to Charlottesville, Amy worked at Louisa Middle School as a math and science teacher. After a year, she transferred to Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville. She was first elected to Charlottesville City School Board in November of 2011 and then reelected. She was Vice Chair and Chair of the School Board from 2012-2016.
John Bell, Virginia State Senate District 13
Delegate John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served almost 26 years before retiring as a Major in 2007. John was elected to the House of Delegates in 2015. Since assuming office, he has worked across party lines to pass Medicaid expansion, increase school funding and teacher pay, fight for common-sense gun safety reforms, and champion policies to address the opioid addiction crisis, by which his family has been personally affected after John’s son Josh became addicted to opioids following treatment for injuries related to a car accident. Josh passed away in January 2019.
Missy Cotter Smasal, Virginia State Senate District 8
After graduating from Villanova University, Missy Cotter Smasal was an officer in the U.S. Navy and deployed with the U.S.S. Trenton during operation Enduring Freedom. She served four years active duty, then settled down in Virginia Beach and started a small business. Missy owned and operated Rita’s Italian Ice for over ten years. During those years, she had two kids and became very active in the community. Missy is on the PTA, a Girl Scout Leader, and was a soccer coach.
2019 Election Update
After the 2015 election, Republicans controlled the Virginia State Senate 21-19. This year, all 40 districts will be on the ballot.
In 2019, EveryDistrict is back in Virginia, working to flip the legislature blue. To date, EveryDistrict has endorsed the following candidates: Wendy Gooditis (HD 10), Kelly Fowler (HD 21), Larry Barnett (HD 27), Joshua Cole (HD 28), Elizabeth Guzman (HD 31), David Reid (HD 32), Dan Helmer (HD 40), Lee Carter (HD 50), Hala Ayala (HD 51), Lindsey Dougherty (HD 62), Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD 66), Dawn Adams (HD 68), Schuyler VanValkenburg (HD 72), Rodney Willett (HD 73), Len Myers (HD 81), Nancy Guy (HD 83), Karen Mallard (HD 84), Alex Askew (HD 85), Martha Mugler (HD 91), Shelly Simonds (HD 94), Phil Hernandez (HD 100), Cheryl Turpin (SD 7), Missy Cotter Smasal (SD 8), Debra Rodman (SD 10), John Bell (SD 13), and Amy Laufer (SD 17).
You can help us flip the Virginia legislature today by making a donation that will go directly to these candidates.
Click here for a spreadsheet with LDI scores and previous election results.
Understanding the Map
EveryDistrict’s Legislative District Index (LDI) ranks state legislative districts on a scale from 100 to -100, using statewide elections data. Districts with a score of 100 would vote for statewide Democratic candidates by an average of 100 points (with the Democratic candidate receiving 100% of the vote); districts with a score of -100 would vote for statewide Republican candidates by an average of 100 points (with the Republican candidate receiving 100% of the vote). For a more realistic example, a district with a score of 10 would vote for statewide Democratic candidates by an average of 10 points (meaning we would expect the Democratic state legislative candidate to win with 55% of the vote compared to the Republican winning 45% of the vote).
EveryDistrict divides winnable districts into five categories. Dark blue districts lean Democratic and are held by a Democratic legislator. Light blue districts lean Republican and are held by a Democratic legislator. Yellow districts lean Democratic but are held by a Republican legislator; these districts represent the best pick up opportunities for Democrats. Pink districts lean slightly Republican, with a range of 0 up to -5; in the current political climate we’ve identified these districts as pick up opportunities for Democrats. Dark red districts are held by a Republican and have an LDI score of less than -5.
For more information about EveryDistrict’s LDI, please click here.