FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 9, 2023
Contact: Rachel Levy for Delegate campaign; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashland, VA – While the full and official results are not yet in, I acknowledge that, ultimately, I did not get the votes needed to win the race for the 59th District Virginia House of Delegates seat. This is disappointing but not surprising. I knew when I began this journey in 2021 that it would be an uphill climb. Nevertheless, I am proud of the campaign I ran and of all that we achieved. I garnered at least 42% of the vote in a tough district, and increased my vote share in every one of the precincts we also had in 2021. I increased the vote share from the Congressional Democrats who ran in 2022 in the 59th District in every single precinct. I won BIG in our part of Henrico County, got close to 40% of the vote in our part of Hanover County, and earned one in three votes in the reddest parts of Louisa County. We helped to flip a State Senate seat—SD-16 in Henrico County—helping to win a majority of the State Senate for the Democrats. I am thrilled that Democrats won back the House of Delegates even if I will not be seated among them.
My campaign knocked close to 15,000 doors, made close to 3,000 phone calls, sent out 140,000+ texts and about 25,000 postcards. I talked to hundreds of voters at festivals, community and governmental meetings, and at faith services. Dozens of barn signs and hundreds of yard signs and two glorious billboards decorated the 59th District. We had robust, dynamic digital and radio ad campaigns plus five active social media channels. I raised close to $200,000, more than I did by far in 2021, which is unusual for a candidate running for a second time. We inspired people and had solid, bold, positive messaging about making ALL citizens’ lives better and our communities stronger. For this, I earned 45 endorsements.
I have so many people to thank—we could not have done the work we did or made the progress we did without all of the folks listed below. First, I want to thank my family—my husband, my children, my parents, and my parents-in-law for their love and support. I especially thank my husband for his unwavering support, even as we both were realistic about my odds. I want to thank my grandparents, may they rest in peace, especially my grandmothers, for inspiring me and helping to make me who I am and give me the good life I have. I want to thank my campaign manager, Ashley Hall, for believing in me and in this campaign, for her enthusiasm and creativity, and for being part of an approach to politics that means earning respect and votes with hard work and by treating all people with dignity and respect. I want to thank ALL of my volunteers. We had 85 volunteers, many of whom stayed with me from 2021, some of whom no longer lived in the district, along with many new ones from across the Richmond Metro Area.
Thank you for your time and your belief in me and in this campaign. I want to thank everyone who donated whether it was a thousand dollars or just a few. I was one of the top campaigns for small donations in all of Virginia. Thank you to all the community leaders and officials who talked with me about how to make our communities stronger. And thank you to ALL of the voters who opened their doors and answered their phones, and shared with me their hopes, dreams, fears, and concerns. Finally, thank you to the almost 13,000 citizens who cast their votes for me. Thank you for your confidence and for your participation in the democratic process.
While I acknowledge that my opponent received more votes than I did and I affirm the integrity of our electoral system, I do not acknowledge the legitimacy of my opponent’s candidacy. The evidence is strong that he does not live in the district he now claims to represent; this is a serious violation of State code and a threat to election integrity. I renew my calls for a fresh, independent investigation coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office, the Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the State Police to replace the sham investigation previously undertaken and signed off by Mr. Fowler’s political allies. Should Mr. Fowler be found to have violated electoral and campaign finance laws, he must be removed from the seat and held accountable, and there must be a free and fair special election to fill the 59th District seat. Furthermore, the aristocratic old boys system in Hanover County where there is one set of rules for people like my opponent and their allies, and another set for the rest of us is unfair, anti-democratic, and corrupt, and must be retired–the integrity of and confidence in our public democratic institutions depends upon it. No one should be above the law and no family should be granted ownership of a seat. Electoral contests in Hanover County must be free and fair for ALL candidates, and governmental services and processes must serve ALL citizens fairly and honestly.
I am not sure exactly what is next for me, but I know I will continue my work to help make ALL citizens’ lives better, to strengthen our communities and democratic institutions, to ensure a more just and livable future, and to treat all people with dignity and respect, no matter who they are or how they vote. I will continue to work, to live, to learn, and, yes, to run FOR US.