SSPA Priority Candidates for Virginia 2023
Josh Thomas VA HD-21
Josh Thomas is the Democratic candidate for this district that encompasses the communities of Haymarket and the northern outskirts of Gainesville in Prince William County. Thomas grew up in rural Georgia and joined the Marines after attending college on an ROTC scholarship. He moved to Virginia for training at Quantico but left for deployments in Afghanistan and the Middle East. After five years of service, Josh transitioned to the reserves and earned a law degree at the College of William and Mary. In private practice, Thomas offers his services pro bono to veterans, individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, and those seeking asylum from Afghanistan. The core issues he supports include: keeping Prince William County affordable, I-66 expansion, healthcare (supports reproductive rights, multilingual healthcare professionals), clean energy, and affordable housing. Josh lives in Manassas with his wife. Thomas is running against Republican John Stirrup.
Travis Nembhard VA HD-22
Democratic candidate Travis Nembhard is a young attorney, former financial regulator for the DC government, and former administrative law judge. His opponent in this district, which covers the southern part of Prince William County, is Republican Ian Lovejoy, a small businessman and entrepreneur. Lovejoy is a former member of the Manassas City Council in 2020 who lost a 2019 race for delegate in another district. Travis is the husband of a Spanish teacher and the parent of two young children and wants to strengthen the education system for educators and students. He also wants to advance gun safety laws and supports legislation to provide universal childcare and paid family leave.
Susanna Gibson VA HD 57
Susana Gibson is a nurse practitioner and public health expert running for this seat in the Henrico County suburbs northwest of Richmond. Her opponent is David Owen, a retired general contractor and lobbyist for the home-building construction industry. Gibson’s priorities are protecting reproductive rights, increasing support for teachers and schools, passing common-sense laws to reduce gun violence, and ensuring safe and affordable housing – especially for seniors; she is also focused on improving mental health and substance abuse resources, addressing climate change, and opposing discrimination – particularly that against the LGBTQ+ community.
Joshua Cole VA HD-65
The Democratic candidate for this open seat is former delegate Joshua Cole, the youngest and first Black person elected from the Fredericksburg area. As a delegate, Joshua focused on health care, particularly ways to expand coverage and assure quality care and reproductive freedoms; he also focused on advancing equity in housing and economic security. If elected again, he vows to work on passing legislation that seriously addresses climate change, criminal justice reform, and campaign finance reform. His Republican opponent Lee Peters praises Governor Youngkin for his educational, economic, and law enforcement policies; he believes Democrats are pushing political ideologies in classrooms, ignoring parent rights, and disinvesting in law enforcement. A former marine and police officer, Peters vows to support legislation that aligns with Governor Youngkin’s agenda.
Kim Pope Adams VA HD-82
Kim Pope Adams is the Democratic nominee for House District 82, covering the City of Petersburg and Dinwiddie County. She is an accountant by training and serves as a financial compliance officer at Virginia State University. She is a single mom who grew up in the district in a union household that prioritized education. She prioritizes safe communities, education, reproductive rights, transparency and governance, rural broadband, and economic development. Adams is running against Kim Taylor, the freshman incumbent for House District 63. Del. Taylor is a native of a more rural part of the district and owns several auto repair shops with her husband. She is focused on agricultural and rural development issues but supports a more free-market healthcare approach.
Michael Feggans VA HD-97
Michael Feggans was raised in Virginia Beach City, where he is the current Democratic nominee for House District 97. During his 20-year service in the U.S. Air Force, he was active in the Virginia Democratic political scene, working for Governor Mark Warner, Senator Jim Webb, and later Governor Terry McAuliffe. He received a BA in Healthcare Administration and is currently the owner of a cybersecurity consulting firm. He is also a dog lover, comic book collector and calls himself a big nerd. Running against Feggans is the Republican incumbent Karen Greenhalgh (currently HD 85), an antichoice and conservative extremist who has sponsored legislation threatening the rights of transgender and non-binary students. Feggans’ top issues are preserving reproductive rights and improving education by increasing teacher and support staff pay. Other interests include support for veterans and small business owners working in renewable energy sectors. Although Gov. Youngkin narrowly won the district in 2020, Biden’s win in 2020 suggests the possibility of another blue wave in this culturally and demographically diverse district.
Monty Mason – VA SD-24
Senator Monty Mason is running for reelection in District 24, which covers Newport News City and York County. Mason has served in the Virginia Legislature since 2013, where he has delivered real results for our district’s families, businesses, and schools. After spending two successful terms in the House of Delegates, he was elected to represent the 1st State Senate District in 2016. Mason has proven himself an effective and collaborative legislator, shepherding over 70 pieces of legislation into law during his time in the Senate. His opponent is the pro-life and pro-gun Sheriff Danny Diggs, whose long ties to the district will make for a challenging and highly competitive race. Before his election, Mason worked at VISA as a Senior Director of Fraud Prevention and Risk Management. A proud Virginian and graduate of William and Mary, Senator Mason lives in Williamsburg with his wife and two daughters.
Russet Perry VA SD-31
Former Loudoun County Prosecutor and CIA officer Russet Perry is the Democratic nominee. A resident of Round Hill, she is a graduate of George Washington University and Georgetown law school. She is pro-choice, supports strong gun laws, and is interested in mental health issues. She grew up in a family with financial difficulties and health challenges. She cares deeply about kitchen table issues like the cost of living, the affordability of health care, and the necessity for excellent and safe public schools with well-paid public school teachers. She is running against Juan Pablo Segura, a conservative healthcare tech executive, and entrepreneur who moved to Leesburg during the pandemic. He is the son of a billionaire who is funding his campaign. He is pro-gun and anti-choice and kicked off his campaign by attacking educational equity. He also is getting support from Gov. Youngkin.