Several weeks ago, the Virginia Review of Politics reached out to each of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the 5th district seat for the House of Representatives (As Rep. Garrett is running unopposed, we decided not to contact him, although you can find his campaign website here).
Each candidate's response is published at the links to the right, in the order in which we received them. They are printed exactly as we received them, unedited. Simply click on each picture to see the candidate's responses.
This year, the Democratic nomination process will be a caucus.
The Albemarle County Caucus will take place on Monday, April 16th, at 5:30 at Monticello High School.
The Charlottesville City Caucus will take place on Saturday, April 21st, at 1:15 PM at Burley Middle School.
What is a caucus?
A caucus is a meeting at which participants can voice their preference among a set of candidates running for a political party’s nomination.
How does it work to select the nominee?
At the caucus itself, participants will physically move to different parts of the room to indicate their preference for a candidate. Based on the proportion of individuals in the room that support each candidate, each candidate then receives a number of delegate slots. Among each candidate’s supporters, participants are elected to fill those slots, These delegates then go on to the Democratic convention on May 5th, where a nominee will be chosen after several rounds of voting. More detailed information about the caucus can be found here, and more information about the convention can be found here.
Why should you vote?
You should vote because individual votes carry a lot of weight at a caucus – given the smaller number of participants relative to a primary, your voice naturally has more influence! Not to mention, student participation is integral if we want our own political preferences reflected in our representative in the U.S. Congress. Caucuses promise to be a dynamic and exciting political experience as well.
Which one can I vote in?
Your ability to participate in the caucuses depends on where you are currently registered to vote. If you live in first-year dorms, the Lawn, the Range, Brown College, Lambeth, Copeley (Glenn, Boyd), or Hereford (Norris, Johnson, Malone), you live in Albemarle County and can only participate in the Albemarle County Caucus.
If you live anywhere off Grounds, the IRC, Copeley (Snavely, Abbott, Ribble), Hereford (Weedon, Wyburn), Bice, the German House, or any of the JPA Language Houses, you live in Charlottesville City and can only participate in the Charlottesville City Caucus.
Important: to participate in the caucus you must be a registered voter and sign a petition that says you do not intend to support any candidate that is opposed to the Democratic nominee in the November election.
Car2Vote is generously coordinating rides to the caucuses for any UVA student that wants one! Students can sign up using the "Need a Ride" form, and anyone that wants to volunteer as a driver can sign up at this link. For the 4/16 Albemarle Caucus, rides will be run from outside O’Hill. For the 4/21 Charlottesville Caucus, rides will be run from Ruppel Drive (behind the Comm School).
Registering to Vote
If you have a driver's license, you can register to vote in Virginia online (or check your registration status) here. To request an absentee ballot, follow the instructions here. For other states, check your individual state’s department of elections website.
We sent them each a questionnaire asking them the same questions:
Why are you running?
How well do you think Congressman Garrett has represented the 5th district during his term so far?
Millennials make up roughly one third of the voting age population. In what way(s) can your policy proposals help millennials?
The University of Virginia has been the epicenter of a debate over the limits of hate speech. To what extent should hate speech be regulated, especially on college campuses like UVA’s?
Strategy-wise, do you think Democrats should focus more on turning-out existing Democratic voters, persuading Independent and Republican voters, or do both equally?
Many of the candidates running for this seat share similar policy positions. However, you may prioritize these issues differently. What is your top policy priority if elected?
Jobs and the economy are consistently top priorities for voters. How do you intend to use your position in congress to grow jobs and pay, specifically in the 5th District.
The 5th district, unlike areas in NoVA or Hampton Roads, does not depend as much on federal funding. Do you think making the 5th a destination for federal funding should be among our top economic priorities?
If there comes a time when your own personal opinion differs from that of your constituents, how will you vote: in line with your conscience, or in line with your constituents?
In one sentence, why should voters come support you at the upcoming caucuses?
Information and questionnaires assembled by Jackson Samples and Alex Hendel.