Last night, Karen Graf sent an email to her supporters announcing she is ceasing her campaign for Delegate. While I have not yet had a chance to speak with her since the announcement, I welcome her call to work together to elect Democrats throughout the Commonwealth in the many Republican-held districts in the House of Delegates, particularly those that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The woman who beat Trump by 3 million votes is right on this. We are Stronger Together.
The only regret I have about the race ending so soon is that I was looking forward to sharing my record in Richmond and at home with you, my bosses, my constituents. I hope, even if I don't have a primary campaign, you will continue to show up, ask me tough questions, and read my long, detailed emails about the work I'm doing. (OK, that may be too much to ask. Only the real die-hard fans read the entirety of my newsletter.)
To be honest, I had more support than I had expected. A week ago, more than 130 people showed up at Los Tios for Mark's Monthly Meetup. We weren't prepared for those numbers. It was more than twice as many as we've ever had before. It wasn't even a campaign event. Just the same monthly gathering I've had every month since you elected me back in 2015. But it was a beautiful thing to see. More than 80 of you signed up to volunteer in that single gathering. And another 50+ in the week that followed. Thank you to everyone who offered to canvass, to call, to do data entry, or to hold “meet and greets” in your homes. Now we can all work together to elect Democrats in Republican-held districts.
Your overwhelming support is gratifying. And humbling. And makes me want to work harder than ever before.
I will be on the ballot in November. And over the next weeks and months, I will continue to share my record with you, even if I have no opponent. I will continue to answer your probing questions, to respond to your emails, to host my monthly meetups, and to raise money for Democrats across the Commonwealth.
I will continue to build alliances across the aisle when I can do so effectively to pursue our common goals. But I will never stop speaking truth to power. I will continue to speak out on local, state, and national issues and to resist the Trump Administration. I will never compromise our principles or back down in the face of evil.
With your help, I hope and truly believe we've only just begun.
It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax
in Virginia's 45th District