We might not be voting for president in the upcoming 2023 election, but it’s still just as important as every other election! Virginia holds major elections in what is commonly called an “off-cycle” year, but here in Virginia there is no “off-cycle”. This November we’ll be electing our entire State Assembly, and depending on where we live, we also might be deciding who sits on our local school boards and who is leading our cities. These state and local leaders have more of an impact on our daily lives than any other level of government, so really, there are no “off-cycle” years in Virginia! 

Still, off-cycle elections don’t always get strong voter turnout. When voter turnout is low, sometimes races have been decided by just one or two votes. Really, we’ve seen it happen! That’s why it’s so important for us to vote and to share election information with everyone we know and get them to the polls, too. We can make a difference in 2023 by electing candidates who share our values, which will also send a clear message for what we expect from candidates in 2024. So let’s get you ready to vote in November!

The entire State Assembly is up for election — and our reproductive freedom is on the line!

Here in Virginia we are voting for all 100 seats of our House of Delegates and all 40 State Senate seats. That means our entire General Assembly is up for election and the balance of power is on the line. Right now, Democrats hold the Senate majority by 4 seats, but Republicans have a 4-seat majority in the House. If Republicans gain control of both, they will pass extreme and dangerous legislation. We cannot let that happen. 

Governor Glenn Youngkin has promised an abortion ban, among other extremist policies. Virginia is the last state in the south with abortion access and the only thing protecting reproductive rights in Virginia is that razor-slim Democratic majority in the State Senate. We have to keep this majority and gain seats in both the Senate and the House of Delegates in order to protect abortion access and reproductive freedom in our state.

Extremists are playing politics with our kids’ education — we have to stop extremist school board candidates!

Along with reproductive freedom, our public education system is also at risk. Youngkin has frequently attacked public education, enacting policy that hurts our LGBTQ+ students and our diversity. Our school districts are fighting his policies, but they need the support of the General Assembly. We have to elect state representatives that support public education for all children AND we have to engage at the school board level!

School boards are an important part of the community. They allocate the school district budget, hire the superintendent and enact educational policy. It is so important to elect school board members who support public education for all children. Here in Virginia our school boards are also a line of defense against Governor Youngkin’s extremist education policies. Extremist Republicans are trying to pass off a series of unpopular attacks on public education as “parents’ rights” — and their agenda would make sure Virginia kids can’t learn in a safe and welcoming environment that sets them up for success. They’re willing to compromise the education of children just to score partisan points and gain political power. But Virginia moms know our kids are more important than politics.

All across Virginia there are extremists running for school board. And unfortunately, we’ve already seen what can happen when an extremist is on the board. If extremists take over the school boards and the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia’s public education system is going to start looking a lot like Florida’s. 

  • Students will lose job opportunities. 
  • The mental health crisis among students will worsen. 
  • Schools will lose necessary funds. 
  • The potential for deadly school shootings will increase. 
  • Programs that set kids up for success will end. 

We cannot let these people take over our public education system. School board elections have a huge impact on our everyday lives and our local communities, but often, they don’t get strong voter turnout. Make sure to elect school board members that represent your values. You can learn more about some of the races below.


If we’re going to make sure everyone’s vote counts, it’s important to know all our voting options along with voting deadlines and schedules. Share this information with everyone you know — and don’t forget any young people in your life who turn 18 soon and will be eligible to vote by election day!

Here are important voting details for Virginia:

  • Deadline to Register to Vote: October 16, 2023.
  • Early In-Person Voting: September 22, 2023 – November 4, 2023.
  • Absentee Voting By Mail: Deadline for request is October 27, 2023 by 5:00 p.m. 
  • Election Day Voting: November 7, 2023, Polls Open 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Learn more at elections.virginia.gov



We need common sense school board members who will stand up against the loud, extremist minority causing chaos in our schools. Our kids deserve the freedom to learn real information that sets them up for success, safe from bullying and violence. Success comes from learning, not banning books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and targeting the families of LGBTQ children with cruel political attacks. 

Find your school district below to learn which school board candidates support common sense and community, not chaos and hate.

✅ Candidates with a green check mark next to their name support fully-funded public schools and honest, accurate education in a safe and respectful environment that sets every child up for success.

❌ Candidates with a red “x” next to their name are endorsed by extremist groups such as Moms for Liberty and 1776 Project and/or support extremist policies such as banning books, censoring school curriculums, and putting weapons of war in our classrooms.

Note: Not all Virginia races are included in this list. Red Wine & Blue is working on the ground in these key races with the most extreme candidates.

Chesterfield County Public Schools

✅ Lauranett Lorraine Lee (Midlothian)

✅ Traci Noelle Franssen (Matoaca)

✅ Dominique Renee Chatters (Dale)

✅ Dorothy Heffron (Clover Hill)

✅ Antonia Saunders (Bermuda)

❌ Lisa Martin Hudgins (Midlothian)

❌ Steve Paranto (Matoaca)

❌ Charletta Barringer-Brown (Dale)

❌ Millie Corsoro (Clover Hill)

❌ Ann Crawley (Bermuda)

Fairfax County Public Schools

✅ Marcia St. John-Cunning

❌ Kevin Pinkney

Henrico County Public Schools

✅ Madison Irving (Three Chopt)

❌ Eleina Espigh (Three Chopt)

Loudoun County Public Schools

✅ Megan Elizabeth Lockwood (Catoctin)

✅ Erika Ogedegbe (Leesburg)

✅ Sumera Rashid (Little River)

❌ Kari LaBell (Catoctin)

❌ Lauren Shernoff (Leesburg)

❌ Joseph “Joe” James Smith (Little River)

Montgomery County Public Schools

✅ Penny J Franklin (District B)

✅ Derek Rountree (District E)

✅ Edward Gitre (District G)

❌ Mark Lewis Miear (District B)

❌ Lindsay Rich (District E)

❌ Jason Massie (District G)

Prince William County Public Schools

✅ Adele Jackson (Brentsville)

❌ Erica Tredinnick (Brentsville)

✅ Chairman B. Lateef (Chairman)

❌ Carrie Rist (Chairman)

✅ Lisa Zargarpur (Coles)

❌ Stephen Spiker (Coles)

✅ Justin Wilk (Potomac)

❌ Mario Beckles (Potomac)

Roanoke County Public Schools

✅ Mary Parker Wilson (Cave Spring)

❌ Shelley H Clemons (Cave Spring)

Spotsylvania County Public Schools

✅ Belen Rodas (Chancellor)

✅ Carol Medawar (Courtland)

✅ Megan K Jackson (Livingston)

✅ Lorita ‘Rita’ Daniels (Salem)

❌ Jordan John Lynch (Chancellor)

❌ David Ross (Courtland)

❌ Kirk Twigg (Livingston)

❌ Chris Harris (Salem)