Democrats See Promise In Young Candidates for House of Delegates

Aug 29, 2017

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks to a crowd of enthusiastic Democrats as People for the American Way announces support for 12 House candidates.
Credit Michael Pope

This year’s House of Delegates election is historic for the amount of attention and outside money that’s flowing into the race. But it’s also noteworthy for another feature of the candidates — how young many of them are. 

People for the American Way is throwing support and endorsements behind 12 young candidates for the House of Delegates, all of whom are under the age of 40. Governor Terry McAuliffe joined the announcement of the endorsements. He says it’s time to hand the reins of power over to the next generation.

“I’m old as dirt. I’ve been around forever. It is time for some new folks to come in and start leading with some new, young millennial ideas.”

One of those young candidates is Danica Roem, the first transgender candidate in Virginia history. She’s running against longtime Republican Bob Marshall, and she says this election could end up being viewed as a generational shift.

“The path to the Virginia House of Delegates majority for the Democratic Party runs through people who are 40 and under. You have 12 people who are endorsed by this group today, and we need 17 seats to pick up. This is it. This is how we have to get it done.”

People for the American Way will support these 12 candidates through the Next Up Victory Fund, which helps young progressive candidates across the county. Leaders of the organization say they believe Virginia is ground zero for the fight to start taking control of statehouses Democrats lost over the last decade.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association