Voter Guide: 2 candidates seek to represent the 55th District in the Virginia House of Delegates

Illustrated graphic of map of central Virginia with a teal overlay color.

The newly drawn Virginia House District 55 covers parts of Albemarle, Lousia, Nelson and Fluvanna counties. Steve Harvey (R) and Amy Laufer (D) are seeking to represent the new district in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Charlottesville Tomorrow sent a few questions to state candidates, informed by more than 200 responses to a voter survey this summer, and is sharing more coverage of these races from the Virginia Public Access Project and other news outlets.

Laufer responded to the questionnaire but Harvey did not.

Many Americans feel political parties are becoming more polarized. Do you see this happening in your district? If so, how do you feel it affects our government?

Amy Laufer: People want their leaders to find solutions to real problems, not create culture wars and mislead them about real issues that are affecting their communities. I do believe that the current polarized climate is affecting all of us. You don’t have to look far for a local school board attempting to ban books, or a state legislature attempting to erase and rewrite history. I do think our polarized politics is getting in the way of real problem solving. We need to elect leaders that believe in our institutions and will support them and support efforts to improve our community.

Steve Harvey: Did not respond.

What is your position on Youngkin’s proposal to limit abortion access after 15 weeks of pregnancy?

Laufer: I am against any restrictions on abortion. I am in full support of women’s rights, any medical decision should be made between a woman and her doctor, not politicians. As Delegate, I will push for an amendment to codify abortion rights in the Virginia Constitution.

Harvey: Did not respond.

What is your position on Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)?

Laufer: RGGI is so much more than a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Within the initiative, localities have been awarded grants to support efforts to become more energy efficient and green. These grants have provided localities money for electric vehicles, making structures more energy efficient, and improving infrastructure so that it is more climate resilient. The governor’s decision to back out of the agreement only hurts our commonwealth.

Harvey: Did not respond.

Many cities have seen an increase in gun violence since the pandemic. What would you as a legislator support doing to address this public health crisis?

Laufer: For nearly 10 years I have worked to address gun violence in my community. I have been an active member of Moms Demand Action and when I was chair of the Albemarle County School Board I worked to implement their SMART curriculum to teach students and parents about gun safety. In addition to red flag laws and waiting periods, we need to take legislative action to close loopholes that would allow firearms to end up in the hands of people who have demonstrated a risk of committing suicide.

Harvey: Did not respond.

Like elsewhere in the country, political candidates in Virginia are receiving millions of dollars in campaign contributions this election. What effect do you see this having on state and local government in Virginia?

Laufer: The Commonwealth has some of the least restrictive rules on campaign finance. We see this effect in our local school board race, which has become one of the most expensive in the country. Campaign finance reform should be a bipartisan issue.

Harvey: Did not respond.

Are there any other pressing issues facing your district you want voters to know about?

Laufer: The top state issues that I have heard repeatedly when talking to voters are, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, public school funding, and addressing the climate crisis.

Harvey: Did not respond.

More about the candidates for to represent the 55th District in the House of Delegates

  • Campaign finances for this race, from the Virginia Public Access Project
  • More about the 55th District, from Virginia Public Access Project
  • Interviews with the candidates, for subscribers to the Daily Progress
  • A report about the Democratic primary, which Laufer won, in Charlottesville Tomorrow
  • A report that includes some information about Harvey’s unsuccessful campaign to represent the White Hall District on the Albemarle County Board of supervisors, in Charlottesville Tomorrow
  • Virginia Public Access Project’s Pre-Election Campaign Finance Reports
  • More about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) from Charlottesville Tomorrow