February 14, 2019
CULPEPER, VA – Ben Hixon, Democratic Party candidate for the 17th Senate, welcomes Amy Laufer to the race and pledges to support her should she be the nominee. He released the following statement:
I’d like to congratulate Amy Laufer for officially joining the campaign to defeat Bryce Reeves, and I pledge to support her should she be our nominee.
A competitive primary will increase the likelihood that we defeat Bryce Reeves in November, which is why we’re fortunate that Amy is also running and that the 17th Senate District nominating committee has voted for a state-run primary instead of a caucus. I have long been a fierce advocate for the benefits of state-run primaries. When I ran for the Democratic nomination to the House of Delegates in the 30th district against Nick Freitas in 2017, we used a caucus instead of a state-run primary. Even though I won the caucus, I believed it was a major missed opportunity to generate attention to the race, to sharpen myself as a candidate, and to allow more voters to participate in the nomination process.
In 2018 under my chairmanship, the Culpeper County Democratic Committee played a pivotal role in securing a primary in the 7th Congressional District to choose our nominee against Dave Brat. We were the only county committee to pass a resolution in favor of a primary. I authored the resolution and presented it in person to the 7th Congressional District Democratic Committee. The district committee was deadlocked between a primary and a caucus, and its first round of voting resulted in a tied vote.
District Chairwoman Abbi Easter graciously allowed me to remain during the closed door session and continue to speak on behalf of a primary, and eventually the committee voted in favor of a primary instead of a caucus. Abigail Spanberger’s primary victory against a formidable opponent, Dan Ward, gave her campaign an adrenaline shot of momentum that never faded and carried Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger to victory over Congressman Dave Brat. Competitive primaries are not only more Democratic; they also create better candidates for the general election.
Senator Reeves does not represent the values of tolerance and neighborliness held by our district, and he has used his position as our State Senator as a political stepping stone to run for higher office. I’m looking forward to a friendly campaign with Amy Laufer over the next four months, and then to the Democratic Party nominee defeating Bryce Reeves in November and flipping the Virginia Senate.
Ben is a computer scientist and researcher with multiple publications in the field of artificial intelligence. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Democratic Party of Culpeper County and in 2017 was the Democratic Party nominee against Delegate Nick Freitas for the 30th district of the House of Delegates. The 17th Senate district is considered a toss-up and comprises Orange County, Fredericksburg City, and parts of Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Albermarle, and Louisa Counties. Ben lives in Culpeper with his partner of 15 years, Christopher, a librarian.
Hixon for Senate
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