January 11, 2016 Press Releases and Announcements

DPVA Commemorates Second Anniversary of Statewide Elected Officials’ Inauguration

by Democratic Party of Virginia


January 11, 2016

CONTACT: Emily Bolton, Emily@vademocrats.org





DPVA Commemorates Second Anniversary of Statewide Elected Officials’ Inauguration

~Democrats were inaugurated into all three statewide positions for the first time in 24 years on January 11, 2014~


Today, the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) commemorates the second anniversary of the inauguration of Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring on January 11, 2014. This historic day marked the first time Democrats held all three statewide elected offices in 24 years.

Since taking office, they’ve been hard at work bolstering Virginia’s economy, preserving and expanding women’s access to health care, placing special emphasis on Veterans initiatives, and much more. Democrats’ accomplishments highlight the stark contrast between the policies of their Republican predecessors.

“From transvaginal ultrasounds to marriage equality, the contrast between the Republican era and the current administration couldn’t be more clear,” said Emily Bolton, Communications Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Our Democrats have affected the lives of Virginians in a noticeably positive way and we’re enthusiastic to build upon that momentum over the next two years.”

Notable Democratic accomplishments include:


  • Unemployment is 4.2%, down from 5.3% in January 2014 [BLS, accessed 1/11/2016]
  •  Lowest since August 2008
  • Lowest in the Southeast United States
  • Initial unemployment claims are the lowest they’ve been in 41 years


  • Ensured no cuts to K-12 state funding and gave a 1.5% pay increase to all of Virginia’s hardworking teachers [AP, 12/18/2015]
  • Secured $70 million federal grant to expand access to preschool over the course of four years [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/10/2014]
    • By the end of the four-year grant term, 13,200 low-income four-year-olds will have access to a high-quality classroom
  • Worked to reform the Standards of Learning by eliminating 5 SOL tests and establishing a framework for even more significant reforms [WAVY, 4/7/2014]
  • Expanded the Community Eligibility Provision so that 100,000 students now attend schools that offer free meals to all children; Program experienced 139% increase in the number of participating schools [WSLS, 10/27/2015]

In-state tuition for DREAMers

  • Determined that college students who are lawfully present in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program qualify for in-state tuition in Virginia [Washington Post, 4/29/2014]

Campus sexual violence

  • Created the most comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to combatting campus sexual violence in the nation [Washington Post, 5/28/2015]

Access to abortion

  • Prevented several health clinics with abortion providers from shutting down due to onerous regulations that created a de facto abortion ban [Washington Post, 5/5/2015]


  • Refused to defend the Commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage and joined the plaintiffs in support of marriage equality in Virginia  [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/18/2014]
  • Cast tie-breaking vote prohibiting state agencies from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation [Virginian-Pilot, 2/4/2015]
  • Paved the way for more than 3,500 same-sex marriages since October 2014 [Roanoke Times, 10/23/2015] 


  • First state in America to functionally end veterans homelessness [Huffington Post, 11/20/2015]
  • Launched state-sponsored pro-bono veterans legal services clinics  [WAVY, 12/7/2015]

Gun violence

  • Strengthened how the Commonwealth enforces existing gun laws, banned open carry in state buildings, and created a tip line for illegal firearm action [Washington Post, 10/15/2015]
  • Re-evaluated concealed handgun permits reciprocity agreements and revoked reciprocity with 25 states who have less stringent requirements than Virginia [Washington Post, 12/22/2015]
  • Implemented stringent, voluntary gift bans [Washington Post, 1/11/2014]


  • Implemented stringent, voluntary gift bans [Washington Post, 1/11/2014]

Restoration of rights

  • Restored the rights of more than 15,000 individuals, which is more than any other Governor throughout their entire term [Governor’s website, 6/23/2015]

Some of Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s accomplishments include:


Making Virginia a national embarrassment after the transvaginal ultrasound saga. “By Valentine's Day, Virginia politics were a national punch line. Legislation that required women seeking abortions to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds made its way to ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ on MSNBC, ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’: ‘I love transvaginal! It's my favorite airline!’ Amy Poehler smirked with delight. But the militaristic takedown in early March reminded everyone that this was no joke.” [Style Weekly, 1/3/2013]


…And implementing striking use of force to remove peaceful protesters from the Capitol. “The Capitol Police and Virginia State Police deployed massive forces against peaceful demonstrators protesting against the Republican War on Women today. Basically the entire Capitol Police force was there backed up by dozens of State Police, including a platoon of riot police in full riot gear and a half squad of SWAT openly carrying automatic weapons and teargas guns.” [Richmonder, 3/2/2012]


Wasting taxpayer dollars on a frivolous lawsuit against the EPA…and launching a full-blown crusade against a UVA climate scientist. “For nearly a year, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Virginia’s crusading Republican attorney general, has waged a one-man war on the theory of man-made global warming. Invoking his subpoena powers, he has sought to force the University of Virginia to turn over the files of a prominent climatology professor, asserting that his research may be marred by fraud. The university is battling the move in the courts.” [New York Times, 2/22/2011]


Urging Virginia’s public colleges and universities to get rid of policies that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. “In his most aggressive initiative on conservative social issues since taking office in January, Cuccinelli (R) wrote in the letter sent Thursday that only the General Assembly can extend legal protections to gay state employees, students and others -- a move the legislature has repeatedly declined to take as recently as this week.” [Washington Post, 3/6/2010]


Engaging in ethical conduct that called attention to Virginia for all the wrong reasons. “The latest in a series of blows to rain down on McDonnell came Sunday with a report in the Post that McDonnell's wife, Maureen, had spent nearly $10,000 on clothes from her husband's campaign account.  This is not illegal -- Virginia's campaign finance laws are quite lax -- but, it, like so many of the other stories involving McDonnell and his family broken by the Post this year, it just plain looks bad.” [Washington Post, 7/29/2013]


Having some of the highest unemployment rates over the last decade. [BLS, accessed 1/11/2016]