By Elizabeth Arzt, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Communications Fellow
I’m so proud to be a part of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s expansive election year program. Our operation was instrumental in achieving substantial pro-choice gains in Virginia’s General Assembly. Our team knocked on 14,500 doors and made 26,000 phone calls to educate and mobilize pro-choice voters in targeted districts throughout the Commonwealth. We far exceeded our goals by knocking on 40% more households and contacting over 45,000 voters.
Although, we did not reach our ultimate goal to elect a pro-choice majority to the State Senate, we came closer than ever before. Here are the critical election results that NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s stellar team helped to secure:
- We gained an additional pro-choice voice in the State Senate with the election of Jeremy McPike in Senate District 29 (Prince William County) who is replacing outgoing anti-choice Senator Chuck Colgan. What’s more, McPike defeated anti-choice Hal Parrish, who passed a de facto abortion ban in the city of Manassas.
- We elected three new prochoice leaders to the House Delegates in districts currently being held by anti-choice lawmakers — ending the anti-choice GOP supermajority in the House. Our new pro-choice champions include: Jennifer Boysko in House District 86 (Fairfax/Loudon) John Bell in House District 87 (Loudon/Prince William) and Steve Heretick House District 79 (Norfolk/Portsmouth).
- We held notorious anti-choice Senators Dick Black (Loudon) and Frank Wagner (Virginia Beach) to their closest margins of victory in years, by educating voters about their record and supporting their pro-choice challengers.
With anti-choice majorities in the House and Senate, we will have some tough battles in the 2016 legislative session. But, I’m inspired by what we gained through collective action in this election. Our pro-choice gains demonstrate what we can achieve with determination and resolve. I hope you’ll join me in the upcoming legislative session to continue the fight to protect women’s health.