DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison campaigns for Virginia Democrats, blasts Glenn Youngkin

Harrison said Virginia now has voting issues "because of Glenn Youngkin."

October 14, 2023, 5:54 PM

With three weeks until election day, Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison joined Virginia candidates across the state on Saturday -- the latest example of Democrats at the national level getting actively involved in Virginia’s high stakes legislative elections.

The visit by Harrison follows a $1.2 million investment from the DNC last month, bringing the total contribution from the DNC to the Democratic Party of Virginia to $1.5 million, more than 10 times the amount invested four years ago, the last time every seat in the general assembly was up for grabs.

“Virginia has been at the heart of the battleground,” Harrison said to a crowd of volunteers in Manassas, Virginia.

“When we think about reproductive rights, if we allow Republicans to take full control over the legislature here in Virginia -- reproductive rights for women -- gone,” Harrison said. “Absolutely gone. Decimated in this great state ... and we cannot allow that to happen.”

Democrats are looking to regain control of the House of Delegates and maintain their narrow majority in the state Senate. The state -- where abortion is currently legal until about 26 weeks -- remains the last southern state without extensive abortion restrictions.

Virginia's Republican candidates have said they are backing Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's stance on abortion: a 15-week ban with exceptions.

Youngkin has repeatedly endorsed this limit on abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Last week, his PAC released a $1.4 million ad on the issue reminding viewers of his position.

But Democrats say they doubt Republicans will stop at 15 weeks if they win control of Virginia’s General Assembly.

“I don’t believe them,” said Del. Danica Roem, who is running for state Senate.

Roem pointed to John Stirrup, a Republican running for the House of Delegates in a swing district in western Prince William County, who was recorded over the summer saying he “would support a 100% ban.”

When asked about Youngkin, Harrison said he is concerned about the policies he says the governor is pushing.

“You know, for the first time that I can remember in recent history, we have voting issues in Virginia because of Glenn Youngkin,” Harrison said. “For the first time that I can remember in recent history, reproductive rights are on the ballot because of Glenn Youngkin. All of these things are fundamental core freedoms.”

As Election Day approaches, Harrison said the DNC will be working on providing more resources to Virginia Democratic candidates.

“We will be working with them on those things to make sure that they have everything that they possibly need to talk to the voters and to get the vote out,” Harrison said.