New Jersey senator and former Democratic primary presidential candidate Cory Booker stopped by the Loudoun County Democratic headquarters Wednesday night to cheer get-out-the-vote efforts as they seek to keep Virginia blue—a decision expected to be made in suburban areas like Loudoun.
“I believe this is a time where we need more courageous empathy. We need more radical love. I see you, I love you. The marginalized, the poor, the imprisoned, the sick—I see you, I love you,” Booker said. “The woman that doesn’t know where to go to get abortion coverage, which is health care—I see you, I love you. The families that are struggling because child care is so expensive—I see you, I love you. The gun victim who still lives in a nation where we have so many people that die every single day—I see you, I love you. The elderly person whose social security check doesn’t go far enough, that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from—I see you, I love you. The person working a full-time job and catching extra shifts where they can but they’re not making a living wage—I see you, I love you.”
On the ballot this year are the offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates. Currently Democrats control all of those, with a 55-45 majority in the House, having taken a majority in both chambers of the legislature in the last state election two years ago. Among Republicans’ targets to pick off this year are exurban districts such as the 10th District in Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick, currently represented by Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-10).
“The whole nation right now is looking at Virginia, because this state is going to give a testimony to the truth. Are we going to back to the education politics of Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump, or are we going to give into the conspiracy theories of the big lie that wants to roll back peoples’ right to vote?” Booker said. “Or are we going to continue in this state what we see happening in places like Texas where womens’ right to control their own body are being rolled back? Or are we going to play into some false culture wars that want to pit Black folks and white folks against each other?”
Booker was joined by Democrats from every level of government, from the county Board of Supervisors, to Attorney General Mark Herring, to fellow member of Congress Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10). Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87), who is on the ballot this year seeking his first reelection and in 2019 was the first Indian-American elected to the General Assembly, said when his family emigrated through Dulles International Airport, Loudoun County was their Ellis Island. And, he said, “there’s a new Virginia and an old Virginia.”
“The old Virginia put up Confederate monuments, and the old Virginia segregated schools, and even now there’s the remnants of that still in our school system. In the old Virginia, it did matter the color of your skin or who you loved, because you were treated differently under the law, so it had to matter,” Subramanyam said. “But there’s a new Virginia, one that we’ve started building together over the past couple of years. In new Virginia, we’re taking down those Confederate monuments. In the new Virginia, we’re starting to reverse the segregation that happened in our schools and we’re not going to apologize for it at all.”
Early voting continues in Loudoun through 5 p.m. Saturday; learn more at loudoun.gov/voteearly. Polls are open for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 2 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.