Major House District Upset, Record Number of Democratic Primary Candidates Running on Refusing Contributions from Regulated Utilities
By Cassady Craighill | June 9, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Cassady Craighill, Clean Virginia Communications and Advocacy Director cassady@cleanvirginia.org, 828-817-3328

Major House District Upset, Record Number of Democratic Primary Candidates Running on Refusing Contributions from Regulated Utilities 

June 8, 2021

CHARLOTTESVILLE  — In response to the Virginia Democratic primary election results, Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said, 

“Thanks to years of a growing movement to limit the influence of utility monopolies in Virginia politics, Nadarius Clark, a stalwart community organizer deeply committed to the people of House District 79, won a valiant upset campaign over an entrenched incumbent with a long track record of prioritizing the interests of Dominion Energy over his constituents.”

“In total, thirteen Democratic primary candidates who refused contributions from Dominion Energy won their races. This common-sense move of refusing money from the utility monopolies General Assembly members are elected to regulate  — a move that not long ago was considered political self-sabotage — has become the standard for both statewide and district-level races. These candidates have simply changed the conversation in Virginia by campaigning on platforms of accountability for Virginia’s corporate utility monopolies.”

“Today’s primary elections mark the first time in Virginia history in which the Democratic nominees for Virginia’s Governor and Attorney General have refused utility monopoly campaign contributions. While our endorsed statewide candidates — Delegates Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jay Jones — fell short of victory, Clean Virginia is proud to have helped these incredible leaders tell their stories and advocate for a Virginia that puts people over profit.  We congratulate Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Delegate Hala Ayala, Attorney General Mark Herring, and all of tonight’s successful House of Delegates candidates on their Democratic nominations tonight and their hard-fought campaigns.”

“Clean Virginia will continue supporting candidates and amplifying voices that traditional power brokers in the Commonwealth have often ignored. This is part of our sustained commitment to confronting the outsized political influence of Virginia’s corporate monopolies, transitioning equitably to a clean energy economy, and ensuring ethical and transparent governance in Virginia.”

Clean Virginia endorsed and financially supported former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy for Governor and Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) for Attorney General. Clean Virginia also supported the Lieutenant Governor campaigns of Delegates Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) and Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), and Sean Perryman. Clean Virginia withdrew support for Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) after Ayala accepted $100,000 from Dominion Energy last week. (Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), who withdrew as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, was also supported). In addition to statewide endorsements and support, Clean Virginia to-date has endorsed 29 Democratic House of Delegates candidates, including 27 incumbents, and plans to roll out further endorsements in the coming weeks. See the full list of endorsements here. 

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Clean Virginia is a 501(c)4 independent advocacy organization with an associated Political Action Committee, Clean Virginia Fund. Clean Virginia works to fight corruption in Virginia politics in order to promote clean energy, a robust, competitive economy, and community control over our energy policy. We are motivated by the core belief that our democracy should serve average Virginians over special interests.


About The Author

Photo of Major House District Upset, Record Number of Democratic Primary Candidates Running on Refusing Contributions from Regulated Utilities
Cassady Craighill (she/her)

A North Carolina to Virginia transplant via D.C., Cassady has spent over a decade engaging audiences about energy, climate change, and civic engagement. After earning an M.A. from Georgetown University and publishing research about public perceptions of complex technologies, Cassady worked for Greenpeace USA where she developed strategies for communicating about climate impacts, the influence of the oil and gas industry on our democracy, and the energy footprint from the internet. An expert in rapid response communications, Cassady’s quotes have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Associated Press. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband and daughter.