WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Collective PAC, the nation’s largest political action committee dedicated to increasing Black political representation across all levels of government, congratulated 8 of our Virginia House of Delegates, Candi King, Debra Gardner, Joshua G. Cole, Michelle Maldonado, Briana Sewell, Lashrecse Aird, Alex Askew and Rev. Linwood Blizzard on winning their primary elections. Founders of The Collective PAC, Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James, released the following statement:
“The Collective PAC is thrilled to congratulate 8 of our Virginia House of Delegates candidates on winning their primary elections. Delegates Candi King, Joshua G. Cole, Lashrecse Aird and Alex Askew have a proven track record of delivering for their communities and will continue to build upon the work they have accomplished last term. Candidates Debra Gardner, Michelle Maldonado, Briana Sewell and Rev. Linwood Blizzard are ready to serve the commonwealth of Virginia as strong advocates for policies that support working families. All of our endorsed candidates are trusted voices for their communities and we are proud to continue our support for them in their general elections because we understand the importance of having Black leaders in office that will respect and reflect their communities.”
Del. Candi King (Virginia House of Delegates, District 2) has been a steadfast advocate for education in the legislature, working to support students with disabilities and deliver equitable funding for HBCUs. If reelected, she will continue working to help her district recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, improve transportation infrastructure, and champion police accountability.
Debra Gardner (Virginia House of Delegates, District 27) is a non-profit leader and former social worker with more than 30 years of experience serving the people of Chesterfield County. She will put people over parties and special interest groups while in office and fight for affordable health care and good jobs once she flips this district from red to blue in November.
Del. Joshua G. Cole (Virginia House of Delegates, District 28) is a vocal advocate for protecting reproductive freedom, expanding economic justice, and improving infrastructure across the Commonwealth’s 28th District. Josh is also a pastor, the former president of the Stafford County NAACP, and has held many positions in the Virginia House of Delegates prior to taking office.
Michelle Maldonado (Virginia House of Delegates, District 50) is a former attorney and small business owner, who comes from a family of groundbreakers dedicated to serving others. If elected she will focus on civil discourse while growing jobs, improving infrastructure and creating equity and inclusion for all.
Briana Sewell (Virginia House of Delegates, District 51) knows the importance of service after growing up in a military family. Currently the Chief of Staff to the Prince William County Board Chair, Briana believes that integrity is a core principle of public service and will work to keep health care equitable and affordable and invest in infrastructure and transportation once in office.
Del. Lashrecse Aird (Virginia House of Delegates, District 63) has been serving the residents of District 63 since 2016, when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. A champion for criminal justice reform, last year, Lashrecse introduced “Breonna’s Law” legislation to ban no-knock search warrants statewide, which was recently signed into law. Once reelected, Lashrecse will continue to fight for working families by improving public education, prioritizing job creation, and expanding economic and social justice across the state.
Del. Alex Askew (Virginia House of Delegates, District 65) hit the ground running in his first term, signing bills into law that would protect first responders and ensure clean drinking water in schools and daycare centers. As a former chief of staff in the statehouse, Alex has previously worked on groundbreaking legislation to expand Medicaid, increase affordable housing, and promote school safety. During his second term, he will continue to push for affordable and accessible health care, economic expansion, and environmental safety.
Rev. Linwood Blizzard (Virginia House of Delegates, District 99) is a dedicated community member that serves the 99th district through his engagement in community-based organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck, Macedonia Community Development Corporation and the Northumberland County Branch of the NAACP. If elected to the House of Delegates, Linwood will fight to protect jobs, expand access to broadband internet and champion criminal justice reform.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE PAC
The Collective PAC is working to create an America where Black people are equally represented at every level of government. The Collective PAC is strategically focused on creating a truly equitable democracy where our nation’s local, state and federal governments have diverse and talented elected leadership and Black people are fully represented in positions of power to create the policies necessary to progress our communities forward.