Views from the Edge
We knew a Filipino American was going to win for the right to represent Virginia’s District 21. The question was, would it be the Democratic Filipino American, or the Republican Filipino American.
Democratic challenger Kelly Fowler upset 4-term Delegate Ron Villanueva, 53% to 46%.
The first-time candidate entered the race after Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016. She brought her daughter with her to take part in the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. She said it was then that she realized the march was for her as much as it was for her daughter.
“After last year’s election, it’s amazing to win and feel like we’re making progress,” said Fowler, who was a teacher before becoming is a real estate broker.
Fowler’s positions on issues were progressive.
- As a gun owner, she supports background checks and a waiting period for anyone purchasing a gun.
- She believes in climate change and wants to protect District 21’s coastal communities from the rising waters of Chesapeake Bay.
- On women’s issues, she supported a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, non-discrimination in the workplace, and strong laws that stop violence against women.
- As a daughter of immigrants, she supports Dreamers right to stay in the U.S.
- The expansion of Medicaid in Virginia.
Fowler’s election was one of 17 that the Democrats sought to win, reducing the GOP’s two-thirds majority in the House of Delegates to perhaps 50 percent as the vote tally continues into the night. It went beyond expectations with Democrats erasing a 32-seat house majority last night, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The Democratic Party’s victories in Virginia, from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General to the House of Delegates was seen as a rejection of Donald Trump and his politics of divisiveness and hate. What happened in Virginia bodes well for the Democrats and might cause the Republicans to reconsider the Trump strategy for the midterm elections in 2018,
A year ago, Fowler was just another disappointed supporter of Hillary Clinton. Like the hundreds of volunteers who made phone calls, knocked on doors and handed out flyers, Fowler turned hopelessness into action.
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