Join the Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce on Monday, September 18th at 8:15AM for a Candidate Forum Breakfast. This moderated, forum will provide Chamber members with the opportunity to learn the positions and priorities of state legislature incumbents and challengers across the Greater Williamsburg voting districts.
A full breakfast buffet will be served starting at 8:15AM.
This year, on November 7, 2023, Virginia voters will have the opportunity to cast their votes in the elections for both the Senate of Virginia and the Virginia House of Delegates. The following provides an overview of the candidates who will be vying to represent the greater Williamsburg area.
SENATE OF VIRGINIA
In the Senate, James City County, the City of Williamsburg, and York County will be represented by two members.
Senate District 24
This district is a competitive/swing district with a slight advantage to Republicans (+3.5 R). Neither Incumbent and Democratic candidate Monty Mason nor Republican candidate Danny Diggs had to compete in a primary for the upcoming election. This district now includes all of York County, the City of Williamsburg, the City of Poquoson, and portions of the City of Newport News and James City County.
Democrat Sen. Mason was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2013 before being elected to serve in the Senate in 2016, representing former House District 93 and Senate District 1, respectively. Prior to holding public office, Sen. Mason graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1989 with a BA in government. In 2018, he was presented with the Alumni Service Award from his alma mater. Sen. Mason was previously employed at VISA, working as a Senior Director of Fraud Prevention and Risk Management. In addition to serving in the Virginia General Assembly, Sen. Mason is also a member of the Virginia Living Museum Board of Directors, the Statewide Advisory Board for the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Executive Board of FirstSpark, Jamestown Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Advisory Board of Literacy for Life. For Sen. Mason’s list of endorsements, click here.
Republican candidate Danny Diggs started his career as a Poquoson Police dispatcher at 19 years old. While being employed as a corrections officer, uniformed police officer, and investigator, he was also earning a degree in Police Science. He has served as Sheriff of York County and the City of Poquoson for 23 years and has more than 45 years of overall experience in the field of law enforcement. His service has been recognized and awarded by the York County Business Association, Virginia Association of School Resource Officers, Southern Leadership Conference, and Exchange Club of York. For Sheriff Diggs’ list of endorsements, click here.
Senate District 26
This strong Republican district (+28.9 R) now includes all of Gloucester County, New Kent County, Mathews County, and portions of James City County, Hanover County, and King & Queen County. The redistricting in 2021 left newly formed Senate District 26 with two incumbents: Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle and Republican Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment. Earlier this year, however, Sen. Norment announced that he will not be seeking re-election and his final term as Senator will end in January 2024. This leaves incumbent Senator, Ryan McDougle, to face Democratic challenger, Pamela Garner, to represent the 26th District.
Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle attended James Madison University before attaining his Juris Doctor degree at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law and the College of William and Mary. After graduating, Sen. McDougle worked as a prosecutor for the Hanover County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Before representing former Senate District 4, Sen. McDougle was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002-2006. He now owns and operates his own law practice in Hanover, McDougle Law Firm, P.C. Currently, Sen. McDougle does not have any endorsements posted on his website.
Democrat Pamela Garner earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and taught high school physics and math in Richmond, Gloucester, and Chesterfield public schools for more than a decade. She then served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for 30 years, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel. Currently, she owns a small business in Gloucester and serves as an elections officer. For Garner’s list of endorsements, click here.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
In the Virginia House of Delegates, three members will represent portions of the greater Williamsburg area following the 2023 November elections.
House District 69
The Republican-leaning district (+12.3 R) encompasses portions of York County, James City County, Gloucester County, and City of Newport News. The incumbent for this district, Del. Mike Mullin, announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election. This announcement and the withdrawal of Democrat Lindsay Fogarty from the race leaves Republican candidate Chad Green unopposed.
Republican Chad Green, native of the Virginia Peninsula, graduated from Hampton Roads
Academy. He then earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Green has been on the York County Board of Supervisors since 2015, serving two years as Chairman and one year as Vice Chairman. He is also a founding member of Ducks Unlimited, past President of the Grafton Kiwanis Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the Victory YMCA and is a lifetime member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. For Green’s list of endorsements, click here.
House District 71
This district is Republican leaning (+7.9 R) and includes all of the City of Williamsburg and portions of James City County and New Kent County. This district no longer includes York County. Because both Republican candidate and incumbent Amanda Batten and Democratic candidate Jessica Anderson are running unopposed within their party, this district did not have a primary.
Republican Del. Amanda Batten previously represented the 96th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since being first elected in 2019. Del. Batten graduated from Ashford University and has completed the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Political Leaders Program and the LEAD Greater Williamsburg Program. Prior to her election in 2019, Del. Batten was a legislative aide to former Del. Brenda Pogge. Outside of the Virginia General Assembly, Del. Batten serves on the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, the Commission on Civic Education, the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, the Online Virginia Network Authority, and the Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council. At this time, Del. Batten does not have any endorsements posted on her website.
Democrat Jessica Anderson earned her associate’s degree in business administration from Virginia Peninsula Community College. After graduation, Anderson specialized in billing, insurance, and scheduling at a local family dental practice for seven years before opting to be a stay-at-home mom for two years. In 2018, Anderson started a new career employed as a part time front office receptionist at an elementary school in James City County. For Anderson’s list of endorsements, click here.
House District 86
Incumbent and Republican candidate A.C. Cordoza and Democratic candidate Dr. Jarris Taylor are vying for this Republican-leaning (+9.2 R) seat. This district includes all of the City of Poquoson and portions of the City of Hampton and York County. There were no primaries for this seat, as both candidates had no competition within their respective parties.
Republican Del. A.C. Cordoza was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2021, representing the former 91st District. Prior to being elected, he enlisted in the Air Force. Following three years of service, Del. Cordoza honorably left the Air Force and sought to further his education at Virginia Peninsula Community College. Outside of the Virginia General Assembly, Del. Cordoza works in cyber security for Newport News Shipbuilding. Currently, Del. Cordoza does not have any endorsements posted on his website.
Democratic challenger, Dr. Jarris Taylor, earned his Ed. D and his master’s degree in human resource development from George Washington University, and his bachelor's degree from Hampton University. Dr. Taylor served as the Master Sergeant for the Air Force from 1985- 2005. He then served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force from 2009-2017. Currently, Dr. Taylor is the Director of Hampton University Online. He is a member of National Security Leaders for America and a Board of Trustees member of the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation. Currently, Dr. Taylor does not have any endorsements posted on his website.
For more information on the Senate and the House of Delegates races, including lists of donors and redistricting specifics, visit VPAP.
Learn your district and about district changes at VPAP. and Who's My Legislator? -virginiageneralassembly.gov
Prepared by the team at Access Point Public Affairs, LLC.