Farm Bureau’s AgPAC endorses 81 House of Delegates candidates through new endorsement process

RICHMOND—Eighty-one Virginia House of Delegates candidates who support the state’s No. 1 industry have been endorsed by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC, the organization’s nonpartisan political action committee.

Changes made this year to Farm Bureau’s procedure for determining political endorsements are expected to help the organization build better relationships with legislators—especially urban ones.

Previously, candidates were endorsed based on recommendations of local farmer committees, which worked well in agricultural districts. However, there were challenges for members evaluating urban races, because the farmer evaluation committees had to determine designations for unknown candidates, or those representing non-agricultural districts.

“We noticed two years ago, our members struggled with how to issue endorsements for someone we don’t really have a track record for,” explained Martha Moore, vice president of VFBF governmental relations.

The new model allowed farmers to educate urban candidates on agricultural issues at a series of in-person roundtable events.

“Our main goal is establishing relationships, but if an urban candidate doesn’t have farm constituencies, they might not know anything about agriculture,” Moore said. “We looked at their committees and picked issues they could influence—agriculture, appropriations, natural resources. And there was a dialogue back and forth.”

Four separate roundtable events were held for Democrat and Republican candidates in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia in 2021. Following the roundtables, farmer participants were asked if they felt the candidates supported Farm Bureau’s positions. Based on that information, AgPAC made recommendations regarding urban endorsements.

“This grassroots evaluation gives us a sense of candidates’ comprehension of the needs and challenges facing Virginia farmers,” said Wayne F. Pryor, VFBF president and chairman of the VFBF AgPAC board of trustees. “Our updated endorsement-designation process is a fresh opportunity to establish deeper connections with both supportive incumbents and urban candidates alike.”

AgPAC was created by Farm Bureau in 1999 and employs in-kind contributions to support candidates who can best support agriculture and Farm Bureau issues. Its trustees believe the following candidates are committed to helping protect agriculture and forestry in Virginia:

Endorsed for Virginia House of Delegates (* indicates incumbent candidates)

1st District – Terry Kilgore* (R)

3rd District – Will Morefield* (R)

4th District – Will Wampler* (R)

5th District – Israel O’Quinn* (R)

6th District – Jeff Campbell* (R)

7th District – Marie March (R)

8th District – Joe McNamara* (R)

9th District – Wren Williams (R)

10th District – Wendy Gooditis* (D)

11th District – Sam Rasoul* (D)

12th District – Jason Ballard (R)

14th District – Danny Marshall* (R)

15th District – Todd Gilbert* (R)

16th District – Les Adams* (R)

17th District – Christopher Head* (R)

18th District – Michael Webert* (R)

19th District – Terry Austin* (R)

20th District – John Avoli* (R)

21st District – Tanya Gould (R)

22nd District – Kathy Byron* (R)

23rd District – Wendell Walker (R)

25th District – Chris Runion* (R)

26th District – Tony Wilt* (R)

27th District – Roxann Robinson* (R)

30th District – Nick Freitas* (R)

28th District – Joshua Cole* (D)

29th District – Bill Wiley* (R)

31st District – Ben Baldwin (R)

32nd District – David Reid* (D)

33rd District – David LaRock* (R)

34th District – Kathleen Murphy* (D)

35th District – Mark Keam* (D)

36th District – Ken Plum* (D)

37th District – David Bulova* (D)

38th District – Kaye Kory* (D)

39th District – Vivian Watts* (D)

41st District – Eileen Filler-Corn* (D)

42nd District – Kathy Tran* (D)

43rd District – Mark Sickles* (D)

44th District – Paul Krizek* (D)

45th District – Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (D)

46th District – Charniele Herring* (D)

47th District – Patrick Hope* (D)

48th District – Rip Sullivan* (D)

49th District – Alfonso Lopez* (D)

50th District – Michelle Maldonado (D)

52nd District – Luke Torian* (D)

54th District – Bobby Orrock* (R)

55th District – Buddy Fowler* (R)

56th District – John McGuire* (R)

58th District – Rob Bell* (R)

59th District – Matt Fariss* (R)

60th District – James Edmunds* (R)

61st District – Tommy Wright* (R)

62nd District – Carrie Coyner* (R)

63rd District – Lashrecse Aird* (D)

64th District –Emily Brewer* (R)

65th District – Lee Ware* (R)

66th District – Mike Cherry (R)

67th District – Karrie Delaney* (D)

69th District – Betsy Carr* (D)

70th District – Delores McQuinn*(D)

71st District – Jeffrey Bourne* (D)

73rd District – Rodney Willett (D)

74th District – Lamont Bagby* (D)

75th District – Roslyn Tyler* (D)

76th District – Clint Jenkins* (D)

77th District – Cliff Hayes* (D)

78th District – Jay Leftwich* (R)

80th District – Don Scott* (D)

81st District – Barry Knight* (R)

84th District – Glenn Davis* (R)

88th District – Phillip Scott (R)

89th District – Jay Jones* (D)

91st District – Martha Mugler* (D)

94th District – Shelly Simonds* (D)

96th District – Amanda Batten* (R)

97th District – Scott Wyatt* (R)

98th District – Keith Hodges* (R)

99th District – Margaret Ransone* (R)

100th District – Rob Bloxom* (R)

Media: Contact Pam Wiley, VFBF vice president of communications, at 804-291-6315, or Moore at 804-347-5752.

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