A Strong Showing for AFSCME Endorsed Candidates in Virginia

AFSCME Virginia and AFSCME District Council 20 supported several winning candidates both locally and across the Commonwealth. Below is a summary of the exciting results from Virginia’s primary elections on June 8, 2021.  

AFSCME District Council 20 endorsed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D). He easily won the primary last night, earning 62% percent of the vote in a crowded field. As a longtime friend, AFSCME was one of the first of only a few labor unions to back McAuliffe. He pledged to support expanding the recent lifting of the ban of public sector bargaining by adding state workers and higher education employees. 

AFSCME-endorsed candidate for Attorney General Mark Herring fended off a challenge from House of Delegates member Jay Jones from Norfolk by a vote of 57%-43%. Herring has stood up for public sector workers by signing on to an amicus brief during the Janus v. AFSCME case, and stood with public workers in their fight to regain collective bargaining rights. His opponent Jay Jones is currently a member of the House of Delegates and voted to lift the ban on public sector bargaining. Jones retained his delegate seat and was supported by AFSCME in that effort.  

State Legislative Campaigns 

AFSCME member Del. Elizabeth Guzman overwhelmingly won the Democratic primary for House District 31, crushing her competition by fending off a four-way primary and garnering 54% of the vote. AFSCME communicated with more than 10,000 voters in Guzman’s district  

In one of the biggest upsets of the night, Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennet-Parker soundly defeated long-time delegate Mark Levine in the 45th District. Bennet-Parker was instrumental in helping Alexandria become the first locality in the commonwealth to pass a strong local collective bargaining ordinance that included a wide scope of bargaining. AFSCME was one of the only unions in the commonwealth to support her effort.  

AFSCME-endorsed Alexandria mayoral candidate Justin Wilson soundly defeated a challenge from former mayor Allison Silberberg. Wilson was a supporter of the collective bargaining ordinance. 

In the Alexandria City Council primary, there were three incumbents who all supported our right to bargain, running for reelection and two open seats due to retirements. The incumbents include Canek Aguirre, Amy Jackson and John Taylor Chapman. Currently, they lead a crowded 13-person field vying for six open spots. The top six vote-getters win the primary, and nearly all of the candidates are strong supporters of labor. 

In Arlington County, AFSCME represents hundreds of employees, and we are working with the county to pass an ordinance that will allow for collective bargaining. AFSCME endorsed Takis Karatonis for county board, and he easily defeated Chand Choun by a vote of 67%-33%. 

Congratulations to all the AFSCME endorsed candidates – we now begin to look forward to the general election in November.