Down-ballot races never get the attention they deserve, and persuading voters to make history with one of them is an uphill battle.
Justin was the kind of leader we dream of working for. He demonstrated by being one of the first attorneys at Dulles airport to fight Trump’s first Muslim ban. Unfortunately, as a former prosecutor, he didn’t enjoy the name ID or entrenched party support of his opponent, a well-known political operative and consultant.
We designed a mail program, using the limited resources of a down-ballot campaign, to get reliable Democratic primary voters as excited about his candidacy as we were. More importantly, we expanded the electorate to include African-American voters who didn’t typically participate in primaries. On primary day, Justin outpaced his better-financed opponent by almost ten points.
In the general election Justin faced a Republican opponent with the ability to self finance, which made it critical that we use our resources wisely. Our direct mail program was critical in communicating with voters in media markets where we were not on television and in motivating drop-off African-American voters to support Justin and the rest of the ticket.
On election day, Justin defeated Jill Holtzman Vogel by just over 5%, or 144,000 votes, becoming Virginia’s 41st Lt. Governor, and only the second African-American elected statewide.