December 6, 2023

Home District 71 sits a bit northwest of Hampton Roads and incorporates a aggressive contest between Democrat Jessica Anderson, a progressive activist and public faculty worker who has a large following on TikTok, and Republican incumbent Del. Amanda Batten. 

Batten is an outspoken advocate for training funding plans that funnel cash away from public colleges and into non-public establishments, and she helps banning abortion within the commonwealth. Anderson is a supporter of reproductive rights, funding and enhancing public training, and desires to deal with reasonably priced dwelling points by enacting household care insurance policies that assist the financial safety of all Virginians.

HD-71 went for Biden 51-47, whereas Youngkin carried it 53-46.

Dogwood just lately caught up with Anderson to get her ideas on what drives her on and off the marketing campaign path within the waning days of the 2023 election.

What’s your closing pitch to voters as to why they need to vote for you in November?

I’ve seen and skilled firsthand the challenges dealing with low-income members of our neighborhood who battle to place meals on the desk and a roof over their heads. I’m operating as a result of I need all households to have the identical alternative to thrive as I’ve had. Serving as a delegate will give me the flexibility to cross state-level laws that makes a significant distinction in folks’s lives. 

The election on Nov. 7 will set the tone for our Republican governor’s final two years in workplace. If Democrats don’t retake the Home of Delegates and maintain the Senate, we’ll see an extremist abortion ban be launched in opposition to the need of the vast majority of voters in Virginia. I assist the rule of Roe [v. Wade] and can at all times be a steadfast supporter of our reproductive rights and can combat on your freedom to make your personal well being care choices.

What’s been your favourite a part of operating for workplace this yr? Least favourite?

I’ve liked each minute spent assembly voters the place they’re, whether or not I’m out knocking on doorways or attending a neighborhood occasion and greeting future constituents. The 71st District is fantastic due to the folks in it, and I’ve been fortunate to fulfill so lots of them due to this marketing campaign.

My least favourite factor might be the summer time humidity in Virginia – it’s no joke! Whereas I really like canvassing, I spent many scorching, sweaty days knocking on doorways the previous few months. I’m so glad that autumn is right here and the climate is beginning to quiet down.

What’s one thing most individuals wouldn’t learn about you?

Throughout highschool, I had dreamed of being an investigative journalist and entered CNU proper after commencement to chase that dream. A yr and a half in, life had different plans. I met and married my now ex-husband at age 20, began a household instantly, and school took a again seat. Nevertheless, my ardour for writing and the need to repeatedly educate myself has remained. I did ultimately pursue a enterprise diploma in 2007 and walked the stage to gather my diploma whereas 5 months pregnant with my second born. I consider my want to know the world round me and eager to share that training with others are enormous parts of why I’m operating for workplace. 

Should you might change one factor about Virginia, what wouldn’t it be?

Many Virginians don’t understand we’ve elections each single yr, but it surely’s the “off-year” elections which can be among the many most vital. This yr, all 140 Basic Meeting seats are on the poll, and the laws that passes out of our state authorities typically has the most important impression on our day-to-day lives. I might love to alter voting turnout charges in Virginia and see extra folks not solely be invested in what our state authorities is doing, however make their voices heard on the poll field each single yr.

What’s your favourite factor to do/place to go in Virginia while you want a break from the marketing campaign path?

I’ve discovered that one of the best ways to unwind from the busyness of the marketing campaign path is to maintain my thoughts and physique wholesome via train. I’m an avid long-distance runner in my neighborhood and like to take part in as many races as I can with my husband. I additionally take pleasure in an excellent e book or a board recreation with my daughters, discovering pleasure within the little issues. 

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can be the nation’s foremost professional in state politics with nearly twenty years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian e book assortment might be larger than yours.