June 9, 2021
PHILADELPHIA — Today, 314 Action Fund congratulated eight STEM leaders in Virginia for their Democratic primary victories. These science candidates are running for state legislature to ensure that science has a seat at the policymaking table in their communities.
In response, 314 Action President Shaughnessy Naughton released the following statement:
“When science is on the ballot, Virginians choose wisely. Over the last four years, Virginians chose a physician as their governor, elected a pro-science majority to their state legislature, and sent a famously anti-science and anti-facts president packing. By placing their confidence in so many incredible science candidates in primary elections today, Virginians have made themselves perfectly clear yet again: the Republican Party’s war on science has no home in this Commonwealth. Now is the time to work together to keep evidence and facts at the center of the policymaking process in Virginia.”
314 Action Fund is proud to support scientists running for public office at all levels of government in Virginia. In 2017, 314 Action Fund helped elect Governor Ralph Northam, a physician; Del. Hala Ayala, who defeated a four-term incumbent Republican as a first-time candidate; and Del. Cheryl Turpin. This campaign cycle, 314 Action Fund also endorsed Del. Ayala in her successful campaign for the Democratic nomination in the race to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor and first woman of color elected statewide.
In the 2020 cycle, 314 Action Fund’s independent expenditure program invested nearly $3 million in support of Dr. Cameron Webb, then-candidate for Virginia’s fifth congressional district. 314 Action Fund raised nearly $200,000 in grassroots donations for Dr. Webb’s campaign—including 11,855 donations of $150 or less—and donated $10,000 in direct contributions.
The full list of victorious down-ballot science candidates endorsed by 314 Action Fund is as follows:
- Dr. Douglas Ward, District 18 (Physician)
- Blakely Lockhart, District 56 (Neuroscientist)
- Dr. Ben Moses, District 59 (Physician and Anesthesiologist)
- Dr. Dawn Adams, District 68 (Nurse Practitioner)
- Rodney Willett, District 73 (IT Professional)
- Dr. Jeffrey “Doc” Feld, District 81 (Podiatrist)
- Dr. Mark Downey, District 96 (Pediatrician)
- Linwood Blizzard, District 99 (Chemical Engineer and Mathematician)
In 2020, 314 Action Fund endorsed 120 scientists who successfully ran for public office at every level of government. Of these scientists, over 50% were women, nearly a quarter were candidates of color, and nearly a quarter were also first-time candidates. At the state level, 314 Action Fund committed $1 million to partner with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Democratic legislative caucuses to elect STEM candidates across the United States.
In 2022, 314 Action Fund will aim to spend $50 million to elect scientists across all levels of government, with initial targets of seven U.S. Senate races, forty U.S. House races, and twenty-one statewide races. In 2020, the organization spent $25 million on behalf of its endorsed candidates and raised a total of $5 million in grassroots donations for scientists running for office.
314 Action Fund is powered by a grassroots community of over six million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care. In 2018 and 2020, we played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, as well as over 100 to state and local offices. In 2021 and 2022, 314 Action Fund will continue working to elect science leaders and defeat climate deniers in Congress and legislatures across the country.