You are invited: 1st District Democratic Candidates’ Forum

You Are Invited!!

First Congressional District Democratic Candidates’ Forum

  • Thursday, April 18
  • 6 – 8 PM
  • St. Clare Walker Middle School, 6814 General Puller Hwy, Locust Hill, Middlesex County

Your opportunity to meet, hear from, and ask questions of candidates Leslie Mehta and Herb Jones seeking to become the Democratic candidate for the First Congressional District in the November 2024 election.

Note that this is at the same time as our April meeting — 6:30 at the Northumberland Library.  There will be other such forums between now and the June 18 primary election; we will post notices of those events.

Two Democrats vying to challenge Wittman

As of today, two Democrats have filed to run in the June 18 primary, the winner of which will face off in November against Rob Wittman to represent the First Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.

LESLIE MEHTA.  Here is her “About Mehta” from her website.

Civil rights attorney, mom, and proud Democrat running to flip Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.

For Leslie Mehta, advocating for others is ingrained in her DNA and woven through her lived experience. She was raised in a small rural town in North Carolina, with a population of 800 people and zero traffic lights. She is the daughter of a corrections officer and social worker, both of whom instilled in her the importance of leveraging your skills to give back. A determined child, Leslie worked hard in school and was offered the chance to complete high school at the prestigious North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She later received her undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill and law degree from Howard University School of Law.

After a rewarding career as a litigator and then civil rights attorney, Leslie was named the Legal Director of the ACLU of Virginia. At the ACLU, Leslie worked tirelessly to protect the constitutional rights of all Virginians, regardless of their political beliefs.

HERB JONES.  Herb ran against Wittman in 2022.  “Meet Herb” from his website.

As a member of the U.S. Army, Treasurer of New Kent County, and a small business owner and active community member, Herb Jones has spent his life serving our nation and communities to build a better future for all of us. He has seen that there is more that unites us than divides us, and that right now we need leaders who are willing to stand up and advocate for our shared values against threats to our freedoms and our democracy.

Herb retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years with the rank of full colonel having completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan a being awarded the Bronze Star for Iraq service. Herb has served New Kent County as their elected Treasurer for 12 years and built a successful small business here focused on cloud-computing, project management, and logistics. Now Herb’s community is asking him to serve again—this time in the halls of Congress.

Herb is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Lead Virginia, Class of 2021, Leadership Metro Richmond, Class 1995, Charter member New Kent Rotary Club, Providence Forge Ruritans, former board member Thrive Virginia (formerly Quin Rivers) and current board chair, Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency, Patrick Henry Chapter, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Wounded Warrior Project, and the NAACP.

Even Republican voters do not trust Republicans to save Social Security and Medicare

Even Republican Voters Don’t Trust the GOP To Save Social Security and Medicare
by Joan McCarter | February 28, 2024 – 7:14am
— from Daily Kos

A new survey from Navigator Research doesn’t just show how strongly voters feel about protecting Social Security and Medicare, but it also shows how much voters don’t trust Republican lawmakers to do it. And that’s including a solid majority—61%—of Republicans.

The survey finds that 75% of registered voters are either somewhat or very concerned that congressional Republicans “passed a tax plan that gave record-breaking tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations, but would result in cuts to programs that people count on like Social Security and Medicare.” Supporting tax breaks for the wealthy at the cost of Social Security and Medicare are the most concerning positions of Republicans in Congress on the issue of taxes.

Voters have good reason not to trust the GOP. Right now, House Republicans are plotting yet another fiscal commission that could fast track Social Security and Medicare cuts, in the name of deficit reduction, and they want to include that commission in the 2024 funding package. We’ve seen this ploy from Republicans before, with the Bowles-Simpson commission in 2010 and a congressional “super committee” in 2011. These committees are how Republicans have tried to cut Social Security and Medicare without dirtying their own hands. In this ploy, a committee would be responsible for coming up with the plan, and then Congress would have to pass it in order to save the country from the deficit.

This time around, however, the majority of Democrats aren’t going to play the deficit-peacock game, and they’re calling this plan what it is: “They should probably call this commission the Commission to Slash Benefits,” Rep. John Larson of Connecticut said at a recent press conference. “It’s tantamount to passing a death panel, because that will be the impact on so many Americans.”


Rob Wittman wants to ban contraception

Rob Wittman is coming after your birth control pills — he’s coming after you, your daughters, your granddaughters, your nieces.

Rob Wittman and the Republican Party continue their war against women by trying to ban contraception.  I know this sounds unbelievable but it is true.

For most of our history, contraception was whispered about.  In most states, it was illegal to manufacture, sell, or use, or to teach about contraceptive devices.   Under the Connecticut Comstock Act of 1873 it was illegal to use “any drug, medicinal article, or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception“.

In 1961 Estelle Griswold and Dr. Lee Buxton opened a clinic in New Haven to teach about contraception and provide contraceptives.  Griswold was arrested, found guilty, and appealed.  Her case went to the Supreme Court who ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965, that “marital privacy” is a protected right and contraception is a protected private matter — just as Roe v. Wade was based largely on privacy concerns.

In his concurrence with overturning Roe, Justice Thomas wrote:  “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold. . . Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”  According to Thomas, it is “erroneous” for people to have the right to contraception and Griswold was a mistake.

In an attempt to protect access to contraception, in July 2022 the House of Representatives passed the “Right to Contraception Act”.  ROB WITTMAN AND 194 OTHER REPUBLICANS VOTED “NAY”.

Now, the same groups who worked for 50 years to overturn Roe are quietly working to overturn Griswold because they claim contraception is a “form of abortion” – they lie, it is not.

Don’t be fooled: Republicans and Rob Wittman are coming after your birth control pills.

Wittman must be voted out of office in November.

What has the Biden-Harris administration done to earn my vote?

That’s a good question.

And the answer is — as Joe Biden would say: “A helluva a lot!!!”

Follow this link for an updated list of Biden-Harris accomplishments.  On the left side of the page is a list of accomplishments.  Click on the accomplishment and you will see in the right-hand column a graphic describing the accomplishment.

And after you have read the White House list of accomplishments, here are more for you.

Rob Wittman voted AGAINST the First Congressional District

Rob Wittman was elected to represent Virginia’s First Congressional District in Congress.

Wittman has voted time and again AGAINST the interests of the First District.  For example:


In November 2021 President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness.

All FOUR Republican House members from Virginia voted NAY, including Rob Wittman

  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents historic progress, as the largest and most significant investment in:
    • Rebuilding our roads and bridges since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System;
    • Public transit in American history and an historic investment to make public transportation accessible;
    • Passenger rail since Amtrak’s inception, 50 years ago;
    • Clean water infrastructure;
    • Affordable, high-speed internet;
    • Tackling legacy pollution and advancing environmental justice;
    • Upgrading the power grid to transmit more clean energy and withstand extreme weather;
    • Increasing our infrastructure’s resilience against the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and cyber-attacks;
    • Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean, electric buses across school bus and transit fleets; and,
    • A national network of EV chargers in the United States and largest investment in domestic manufacturing of batteries and the critical minerals that power them.


  • $25,000,000 federal funds to expand I-64 in New Kent County. Wittman voted NO.
  • Funds over the next five years to improve airports in the 1st CD — Wittman voted NO:
    • Hanover County Municipal Airport: $1,480,000
    • $790,000 EACH to these airports: New Kent County; Tappahannock-Essex County; Middle Peninsula Regional
  • $1,481,489,527.00 (that’s 1.4 Billion) in federal funding to deploy broadband high-speed Internet service throughout Virginia, focusing on rural areas. Several hundred million dollars of this money has already been used or is being used to install broadband to rural areas throughout the First Congressional District.  Rob Wittman voted AGAINST this money, yet, he frequently appears at construction sites wearing his hard hat and yellow safety vest, taking credit for the money that makes the work possible.  Wittman voted NO.
  • Improvements to two ports that serve businesses in the First CD. Wittman voted NO.
    • $3,712,000 for improvements at the Richmond Marine Terminal/Port of Richmond.
    • $72,371,000 to expand capacity and improve navigation in Norfolk Harbor. Wittman appeared at the harbor to announce the availability of these funds in spite of voting AGAINST this assistance.  Wittman voted NO.
  • $1,500,000 for Essex County for community transit planning.  Wittman voted NO.
  • State-wide projects that Wittman voted AGAINST:
    • $65,591,635 to make homes in Virginia more energy efficient and to lower utility costs.
    • Over $8 billion between 2021 and 2026 for Virginia’s major highway systems.

NOTE:  This is only a partial list of Infrastructure Act projects that aid Virginia and the 1st CD.

NO, Trump is not leading, he is not winning

Quoted from The Hopium Chronicles by Simon Rosenberg.

Happy Thursday all. Got a few things for you today:

It Is Wrong To Say Trump Is Winning The Election, Or Is Somehow Favored. He Is Weak, Not Strong – In 2022 a narrative developed about the election – that a red wave was coming – that commentators just couldn’t shake even though there was plenty of data suggesting the election could end up being a close competitive one. I feel like that we are beginning to enter a similar moment in 2024 with the various assertions of Trump’s strengths. The “red wave” over estimated Republican strength and intensity, discounted clear signs of Democratic strength and intensity and was it would be ridiculous, given what happened in 2022, for us to do this all over again this year.

Let me say it plainly – Donald Trump is not ahead in the 2024 election. He is not beating Joe Biden. He is not in a strong position. Signs of Trumpian and broader GOP weakness is all out there for folks to see – if they want to see it. Let’s dive in a bit:

Trump is not leading in current polling – For Trump to be “ahead” all polls would have be showing that. They aren’t. The last NYT poll had Biden up 2, the new Quinnipiac poll has Biden up 4.

Given the spike in both junky, low quality polls and GOP-aligned polls the averages can no longer be relied on – this was a major lesson of 2022. Remember using the averages Real Clear Politics predicted that Republicans would end up with 54 seats. They have 49.

Stripping out GOP aligned polls, and less reliable polling, we find the race clearly within margin of error, which means the election is close and competitive. Asserting that somehow Trump leads is pushing data beyond what it can tell you. With margin of error a 1-2 point lead is not an actual lead – it signifies a close, competitive election.

It is also early, and Democrats have not had a competitive primary. Lots of folks are not engaged. Look at this chart from Morning Consult. If the Democratic coalition starts coming home as Biden ramps up and Trump becomes the R nominee he will jump ahead by a few points. To me that is the likely scenario in the coming months.