SUPPORT THE RECOUNTS!
All year long, I spoke about Mission 51, a multi-year plan to take the Virginia House of Delegates.
We talked about our progressive priorities and how and why we needed 51 Democrats in the Virgina House to pull it off.
I thought we would do well this November. I thought, with hard work and dedication, we could get 10 seats. Maybe, in my wildest dreams, a couple more.
I never dreamed we'd be on the cusp of actually taking a majority in the House of Delegates.
But that's where we are now: we won 15 seats!
We have 49 seats. And we are on the verge of taking over!
And we're not done!
Currently, there is canvassing going on in four very close races for the House of Delegates where Republicans in unofficial counts have squeaked out tiny victories in the face of the Blue Tsunami:
1. In the Richmond suburb of Chesterfield, Democrat Larry Barnett trails incumbent Republican Roxann Robinson by only 124 votes.
2. In Western Fairfax County and Prince William, Democrat Donte Tanner trails incumbent Republican Tim Hugo by only 115 votes. Many of you have met Donte and know what a great candidate he is and that I adopted his race as a priority. Donte was ahead by 68 votes on Election Night but canvassing presently puts him behind.
3. In Fredericksburg, in the District formerly held by Speaker Howell, our candidate Democrat Joshua Cole trails by only 86 votes.
4. In Newport News, Democrat Shelly Simonds is only 13 votes away from beating Republican David Yancey.
13 voters in one district can flip the House
And that's where you come in. Recounts are expensive. We have hired the best Democratic election lawyers in the business. And we have campaign workers, staffers, and recount experts all ready to fight to have every single vote counted in these four races that have not yet been called. We have to pay them and house them in hotels. Possibly for months.
Just today, it appears the Stafford Registrar may have illegally rejected a large number -- possibly hundreds -- of absentee ballots which includes at least 55 military voters.
We've come this far. Just a bit more and we could have 51 seats.
Don't get me wrong. 49 is an amazing success. Far more than we imagined. But if we had just two more seats, we could have David Toscano, a progressive Democrat, as the Speaker of the House; a majority on every committee; and, finally, the ability to pass the progressive legislation that you and I have dreamed about that did not used to have a remote chance of passing in Richmond.
Even just 50 votes -- and equality on committees -- would give us a powerful opportunity to move our agenda forward. Please help us finish Mission 51. We don't have to wait until 2019. We can do so right now!
To the Alexandrians and Arlingtonians and Fairfaxians-- whether part of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, the Arlington County Democratic Committee, the Fairfax Democratic Committee, or any of innumerable wonderful grassroots organizations (like Indivisible and Democrats to Go and many, many others) -- who went to Prince William and Loudoun and Fairfax to canvass for our candidates in droves.
To the People who generously gave me tens of thousands of dollars that I could turn over to our Democratic Delegate candidates (and who trusted me that it would go to the most competitive candidates).
To the Virginians who listened to these newcomers to politics from outside your districts and welcomed them into your hearts.
To the Candidates for Office who put their lives and families (and often newborns) on hold to concentrate on making the lives of everyone in Virginia better off.
To those who believed us when we said how vital this election was, how important it was to win statewide, and how important it was to notice our relatively little-noticed House of Delegate races.
To my fellow Delegates in the House Democratic Caucus who stepped up with me to mentor these candidates -- to help raise money for them, to canvass for them, to encourage our own constituents to help them -- and who donated large swaths of your campaign funds to help pull them over the line.
To the Democratic staff who worked long days doing impossibly complicated tasks with apparent ease and aplomb.
To the millions of Virginians who came out on a dismal day, in cold, biting, drenching rain, including aged and infirm people, because nothing -- not even pain -- could dissuade you from marching to the polls and making a resounding choice for change. I saw thousands of you on Election Day. It swells my heart.
To the 31,360 voters in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax who re-elected me to what I hope will soon be the majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.
For your support, your trust, your dedication, and your belief that we together can make a difference.
I will continue to work as hard as I can to make Virginia a better place for all of us, no matter where we live or who we worship, no matter our income or our race, our age or our gender, our immigration or our disability status, our sexual orientation or our gender identity.
I will continue to fight passionately for justice, even when my voice gets a bit too loud and even when I wear my emotions on my sleeve. It's what I've done for decades and why I chose to run for public office. It's not like I can stop now.
Virginia is showing America the light out of the dark tunnel tonight.
Thank You for making it happen.
THE POST ELECTION WRAP-UP
Mark's Monthly Meetup
Los Tios in Del Ray
Sunday, November 12 at 2 pm
CELEBRATE WITH US!
Please join me this Sunday for the post-election wrap up
at the November Mark's Monthly Meetup
from 2-4 pm at Los Tios Mexican restaurant in Del Ray
(2615 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria).
Come join us to eat, relax, and discuss policy and politics.
With such a resounding victory on Tuesday, I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about!
And if you miss November, there's always December. Every month, I make sure to be available in this informal setting for any constituent who wishes to discuss a problem or just say hello. Help me get to know you better, so I can better determine your priorities in Richmond. I always strive to be as accessible to you as I can possibly be.
It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax in Virginia's 45th District