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Laufer formally announces run, leads Dems in fundraising for state's 55th House district

Former Charlottesville School Board member Amy Laufer has formally launched her campaign to represent the state’s 55th district in the House of Delegates and already leads the two other Democrats in fundraising.

Laufer, who ran for state senate in 2019 and lives in Albemarle County, is one of three people seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat, which likely won’t be on the ballot until next year. Donna Price, the current chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, and emergency department nurse Kellen Squire also are running.

Among the three, Laufer raised the most money since filing campaign paperwork with the state in early June. She received $61,731.52 in contributions while Squire got $41,531, according to campaign finance reports released over the weekend. Price received $11,798.75.

Laufer said she didn’t anticipate the initial financial haul. She said the fundraising numbers show real interest in the race. Many of her 120 donors were local to the district.

“It’s a reflection of what I’ve been trying to contribute,” she said.

The 55th district was created as part of a redistricting plan approved last year. The district now includes a large swath of Albemarle County, parts of Nelson and Louisa counties and a small portion of Fluvanna County near Scottsville. Much of the 55th includes what was the former 58th District, which has been represented by long-time incumbent Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle.

Bell raised $5,345 in the first six months of the year and had $73,780.78 on hand as of June 30, according to campaign finance reports.

Laufer said she’s running to push back against the Youngkin administration’s efforts to undo legislation passed by Democrats in the last several years.

“We need people that want to get results,” she said. “It can’t be sound bites. It has to be actually sitting down and coming up with what can we do about some of this.”

Laufer said she would work to protect the right to an abortion, improve access to affordable healthcare, address the climate crisis, invest in public education and prevent gun violence.

“We need a champion who can beat back Glenn Younkin and Republicans’ seemingly relentless and extreme attacks on our way of life,” Laufer said in her formal announcement.

“As your Delegate, I won’t back down and instead deliver smart investments that uplift our families and carry our progressive values,” she said. “I cannot believe that my daughter has less rights than I did at her age. We have to protect affordable, safe, and unrestricted access to healthcare. Gun violence cannot be ignored either — it is a public health crisis. We must enact comprehensive policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyday Virginians.”

Besides serving on the school board, Laufer has been a teacher, served in the Peace Corps, led the county democratic party, and founded Virginia’s List, an organization supporting progressive women candidates for state office.

In 2019, Laufer challenged Republican state Sen. Bryce Reeves for the 17th district. She won the Democratic primary by a large margin but lost to Reeves by about 2,300 votes.

“There’s no substitute for hard work,” she said of the 2019 campagin. “The thing that is most enjoyable is really knocking on doors and hearing from people.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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