The 6th congressional district of Virginia covers the west-central portion of the state. It contains all of Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Winchester, Staunton, Salem, Waynesboro, Lexington, Buena Vista, Covington, Frederick County, Rockingham County, Augusta County, Shenandoah County, Warren County, Botetourt County, Page County, Rockbridge County, Allegheny County, Clarke County, Bath County, Highland County, and parts of Roanoke County. The 6th congressional is one of Virginia’s most reliably Republican districts and has voted Republican for over twenty years. Incumbent Ben Cline won the 2020 election with 64.59% of the vote.This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner who has held the District 6 seat since 2019, faces Jennifer Lewis (D), a mental health worker and community advocate.Jennifer Lewis (D), is a community advocate and mental health worker based in Waynesboro. She grew up on a small, family-owned dairy farm and attended SUNY Oneonta in New York for college. She has volunteered with a number of organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sister, the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Board, the Office on Youth, and Waynesboro Cultural Commission. Lewis runs a free pantry in Waynesboro.
Lewis advocates for a number of environmental causes and rejects contributions from utility monopoly Dominion Energy. She has firmly opposed both the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. She believes in prioritizing the move towards clean energy and removing our fossil fuel dependency. Further, Lewis supports a full move to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. She was endorsed by the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter during her 2018 run for Congress.
Lewis supports abortion access and said the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade “lessens the clause and right to privacy afforded in the 14th Amendment.” She has volunteered for Planned Parenthood and Blue Ridge Abortion Fund. In addition to reproductive rights, Lewis supports policies aimed at helping families thrive, such as the Equal Rights Amendment, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the American Rescue Plan, the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harrassment Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act, and paid family and medical leave.
Lewis supports non-discrimination protections for LGBTQIA+ communities, stating, “everyone should be treated fairly and equally under the law, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” She believes these protections should extend to educational settings, credit, housing, employment, jury duty, public service, and federally funded programs. During her 2018 campaign, she was endorsed by Judy Sheppard, LGBTQ advocate and mother of Matthew Sheppard. Lewis has spoken out on how the Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent with regards to privacy.
Lewis supports widespread criminal justice reform. She believes mandatory minimums should be reduced for non-violent offenders and that for-profit prisons should be abolished. In addition, Lewis supports more resources for treatment for those who suffer from addiction and mental illness. To combat the school-to-prison pipeline, Lewis advocates for tools for school administrators to avoid suspensions. She also supports the Industrial Hemp Farming Act and legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana use for adults. Lewis has also spoken out against jail fines, noting that even those who are found innocent must pay jail fines.
Incumbent Ben Cline (R) is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He voted against the Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021, and the Protecting Our Kids Act. He supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade, as well as a lawsuit to bar Electoral College votes for then President-elect Joe Biden. Cline and Lewis previously ran against one another for the 6th District seat in 2018.
Because of her strong support for abortion access, environmental justice, equal rights, and criminal justice reform Jennifer Lewis is the more progressive candidate in this race.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
The 9th district is the second-largest congressional district in the Commonwealth and covers much of the southwestern part of Virginia. It includes the counties of Franklin, Washington, Montgomery, Henry, Tazewell, Wise, Smyth, Pulaski, Carroll, Wythe, Russell, Lee, Scott, Buchanan, Patrick, Giles, Grayson, Floyd, Dickenson, Bland, and Craig, as well as the cities of Radford, Bristol, Martinsville, Galax, and Norton, and parts of Bedford County and Roanoke County. The 9th district has been reliably Republican for over twenty years. Incumbent Morgan Griffith ran unopposed in the 2020 election.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Morgan Griffith (R), an attorney from Salem, has held the District 9 seat since 2011 and is running against Taysha DeVaughan (D) who is the president of the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and a Virginia Council on Environmental Justice gubernatorial appointee.
Taysha DeVaughan (D), is a resident of Wise County and a 2018 graduate of University of Virginia-Wise. She started her career as an organizer and is an active member of her community. DeVaughan is a former president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and chairs the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice as a governor’s appointee. She is a coordinator for Appalachian Community Fund. She has signed the American Promise Pledge to advance the For Our Freedom Amendment, which seeks to take big money out of elections.
As chair of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice, DeVaughan believes that environmental development must coincide with economic development. She views protecting the environment while strengthening the economy as a way to create sustainable jobs. She sees new businesses and retraining of the workforce as key elements to a just transition. DeVaughan supports the Environmental Justice 4 All Act. She also recognizes the challenges of Native American communities and how environmental issues impact their well-being. DeVaughan has also worked to bring attention to flooding issues, even assisting in mutual aid efforts.
DeVaughan believes everyone should have access to quality affordable healthcare. She maintains that access to quality affordable healthcare creates healthy and sustainable communities. Issues she recognizes include provider shortages, infrastructure limitations, and long distances to access care. To combat those issues, she supports services such as telehealth, healthcare workforce programs, and clinics that expand overall access. She believes more can be done in federal investments to support long-term sustainability of hospitals, recovery, and mental health facilities.
DeVaughan understands the need for economic justice and supports workers rights, as well as programs that make everyday life more affordable. She has voiced her support for unions, celebrated the first unionized Starbucks in Appalachia, and praised young workers for organizing and winning their vote to unionize. She supports the Inflation Reduction Act, which puts a cap on insulin for Medicare recipients and places a 15% minimum tax on the largest US corporations. She also looks at funding allowing the IRS to hire 87,000 employees by 2031, as a way for taxpayers to receive their return more quickly.
DeVaughan opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and believes that everyone should be able to make healthcare decisions for themselves. She notes the impact the overturning will have on marginalized communities who already have issues accessing quality healthcare. She participated in events that supported abortion access. DeVaughan has also assisted in fundraising for abortion funds. She believes abortion is healthcare and praises abortion funds and organizations that help increase access by assisting with resources for travel, housing, and procedure expenses.
DeVaughan is facing incumbent Congressman Morgan Griffith (R). Griffith voted against the Inflation Reduction Act. He believes there is a crisis at the border and wants to crack down on illegal immigration. He wants to revitalize coal communities by increasing coal production. He believes the Environmental Protection Agency is an overreaching agency.
Due to her commitment to environmental justice, her support for abortion access and affordable quality healthcare, and workers rights, Taysha DeVaughan is the more progressive candidate in the race for Virginia’s 9th Congressional District.