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January 4, 2023      Political Note #529  Jade Harris Virginia House District 24

Special Election     January 10

Jade Harris                      Aaron Rouse             Holly Seibold.                 Jennifer McClellan

Jade Harris has a chance to flip an open Republican seat in Virginia’s  House of Delegates on January 10.  If you are interested in helping Jade Harris or any of the Democratic candidates in Virginia’s special election on January 10, now is the time to make a donation.

On election day, 2022, Democrats controlled the Virginia Senate 21-19.  Republicans controlled the Virginia House of Delegates 52-48.  As sad as Virginia Democrats are about losing Virginia’s second Congressional District, they are supporting Aaron Rouse to flip Kiggans’ seat and increase the Democratic majority in the State Senate to 22-18.

The State Senate special election on January 10 pits Aaron Rouse (See Len’s Political Note #524), a former NFL football player and current City Councilor running for the State Senate to fill the seat that was opened as a result of Republican State Senator Jen Kiggans victory, flipping VA 02.  His opponent is Kevin Adams, a retired Navy Lt. Commander.

The House of Delegates is controlled by the Republicans by a  52-48 margin. The special election for the 35th district of the Virginia House of Delegates was scheduled shortly after the November election.  Democratic Delegate Mark Keam was appointed to run the National Travel and Tourism Office in the US Department of Commerce.

For District 35, the Democratic caucus narrowly chose Holly Seibold over  County School Board member Karl Frisch.  Siebold has a BA from American University and an MEd from George Washington.  She worked on Capitol Hill, for the State Department, and in the Embassy in London before returning for her education degree. She taught for a few years, then created two non-profits.  With one, she consulted about teaching STEM subjects.  With the other, she worked on behalf of women and girls helping those in need to get menstrual products. Holly Seibold is an overwhelming favorite to win the general election in this heavily Democratic district.  Her Republican opponent is Monique Baroudi, an engineering graduate of the University of Virginia who is on the Board of Divine Mercy Care.

In District 24, the Republican is favored, but Democrats do have a chance to reduce the Republican margin to 51-49.  Republican Delegate to the Virginia House of Delegates, Ronnie Campbell, died on December 13th.  No death is unimportant.  Some deaths, as this one did, have political consequences.   Ellen Campbell, Ronnie Campbell’s widow was the first to act.  On December 15th, she announced her candidacy to replace her husband and continue his work in the House of Delegates. The Governor and the House Speaker followed quickly and announced, on December 17th,  the special election.  Avoiding what he must have thought of as a future collision with Ronnie Campbell, Republican Delegate John Avoli had already announced his fall candidacy for the revamped 36th House District.

Democrats acted as well.  A Democratic caucus was held on December 20th to select the candidate for the January 10th election.  Passing over Sam Soghor, the Chair of the Amherst County Democratic Committee who had lost to Ronnie Campbell in 2021 73-27, the Caucus selected Jade Harris as the Democratic candidate.  On December 21st, Jade Harris, in a Facebook post, said she would run for District 24 of the House of Delegates.  She said legislators should seek public office to ensure “happier and better lives for ….. constituents.”  In a tweet, she added “As a member of town council, I helped bring Glasgow’s infrastructure into the 21st century. I’ll bring that experience to the General Assembly and apply it to the broad improvements coming to VA roads, water systems, and broadband access thanks to Biden’s Infrastructure Law.”

Jade Harris is a 25 year old graduate of Rockridge County High School and has a BA from Mary Baldwin University.  She has been active in Democratic politics for as long as she can remember and welcomes this opportunity to seek a post in the Virginia legislature.  Help Jade Harrisget there.  We do not want Ellen Campbell to continue her husband’s work. He was one of three Virginia Delegates to write to Vice President Pence asking him to throw out the Virgina electoral college results on January 6, 2021. That is not what we want for Virginia or for the United States of America.

Virginians mentioned above who have been subjects of Len’s Political Notes

Aaron Rouse is running in the special election for the Virginia State Senate Seventh District.  His win in the Special Election on January 10th would flip the district from Republican to Democrat and would ensure a pro-choice majority in the State Senate.  The seat is vacant because the former State Senator, Jen Kiggans, defeated Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria in November.  See Len’s Political Note #524

Jennifer McClellan is running to complete the term of Congressman Don McEachin who died on November 28th, 2022.  With the highest turnout for a “firehouse primary” in Virginia history, she defeated an anti-abortion candidate in the primary 85-14 (See Len’s Political Note #527).  Vice chair of the state Democratic Party, Vice Chair of the legislative Black Caucus, and a state Senator, she was a protégé of Senator Tim Kaine.  She is an overwhelming favorite to win the special election on February 21st , defeating Republican Pastor and Navy veteran Leon Benjamin.

Plus a Wisconsin primary and election which has been described as the most important election of 2023

Janet Protasiewicz is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Her win in the February 21st primary and the April 4th General Election would flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 4-3 Republican to 4-3 Democrat with enormous implications for issues such as abortion and redistricting.  This is an open seat because a Republican Justice retired.  The election is in the spring rather than November because Wisconsin strives to limit partisanship in judicial elections. See Len’s Political Note #528