Nonpartisan Candidate Guide: 2017 Virginia Lt. Governor’s Race

Justin Fairfax (D)

Jill Holtzman Vogel (R)

This guide outlines the positions of Virginia’s 2017 Republican and Democratic Lt. Governor candidates.  For printable PDF and mobile versions, see candidate guides.

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Abortion: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Fairfax: No
Vogel: Yes. Introduced bills to require women to have transvaginal ultrasounds and to require clinics be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers.

Campaign Finance: Set limits on campaign contributions?
Fairfax: Yes. Unlimited contributions hurt democracy.
Vogel: No. Considers contribution limits encroachment on free speech. Also opposes increased disclosure of major political donors.

Climate Change: Support Governor McAuliffe’s Virginia Clean Power Plan, an Executive Order that would regulate power plant greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with Obama administration EPA mandate, whether or not the current EPA continues these regulations?
Fairfax: Yes. Climate change is high priority. Supports full implementation of Virginia Clean Power Plan.
Vogel: No. Agrees Climate change should be priority, but supported requiring legislative approval of Virginia Clean Power Plan before submitting plan for EPA approval.

Confederate Statues: Remove from public spaces?
Fairfax: Personally believes they “should be removed from our public square.” But leaves it to localities “to decide how to deal with these divisive and harmful symbols.”
Vogel: No. “History should be taught not erased.” In 2016 voted to prohibit individual or local government from removing war monuments, including statues commemorating Confederate leaders.

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education? 
Fairfax: Yes. “For many kids, education is key to breaking cycle of poverty. I’ll make education funding a top priority.”
Vogel: Yes. Supports Ed Gillespie’s “reform” plan.

Education: Expand publicly funded charter schools?
Fairfax: Opposes directing additional public funds to charter and for-profit private schools.
Vogel: Yes. Supports “more choices in education” & parental control.

Education: Increase funding for higher education?
Fairfax: Yes. Restructure & lower student loan debt.
Vogel: Yes. Supports education reform to make more affordable and accessible.

Elections: Support nonpartisan redistricting to counter charges of partisan gerrymandering?  
Fairfax: Yes
Vogel: Yes

Gay Rights: Support gay marriage?
Fairfax: Yes
Vogel:  Contested. Says supports gay marriage but voted against overturning state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman and voted for allowing relevant state officials with moral qualms to not conduct gay marriages.Gay Rights: Should transgender individuals have the right to use public bathrooms of their choice?

Fairfax: Yes. People should not be forced to use the wrong bathroom
Vogel: Says “opposes discrimination in any form” but opposed Obama “heavy-handed federal mandates” on school transgender bathrooms. Leave to local school boards & parents.

Gun Control: Enact more restrictive gun control legislation?
Fairfax: Yes. Supports universal background checks, required insurance for gun ownership, and return to Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law.
Vogel: No. Supported ban on people subject to permanent protective order from possessing firearms, but also supported override of governor’s executive order banning guns in state buildings.

Healthcare: Support or Repeal ACA, aka Obamacare? Accept ACA’s Medicaid expansion leading to 400,000 more low-income people being eligible?
Fairfax: Supports both ACA and Medicaid expansion.
Vogel: Repeal ACA. Also introduced bills to nullify individual mandate and to allow states to repeal any unwanted federal laws or regulations. Opposes Medicaid expansion.

Healthcare: Fund or defund Planned Parenthood?
Fairfax: Supports public funding. Vice-chair of Metropolitan Washington Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Vogel: Defund. Introduced bill to defund public support for Planned Parenthood.

Immigration: How to respond to America’s 11 million undocumented residents including “DACA” recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in the US after being brought here as children?
Fairfax“Rescinding DACA is a slap in the face of what it means to be American.”
Vogel: Enforce immigration laws. Ban in-state tuition for illegal immigrants; immigration status check for any arrest; state law enforcement should initiate deportation proceedings.

Marijuana: Decriminalize marijuana?  
Fairfax: Decriminalize possession of small amounts for personal use.
Vogel: No to recreational decriminalization, but supported expansion of medical marijuana.

Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage?
Fairfax: Yes
Vogel: No

Renewable Energy: Commitment to support for renewable energy? 
Fairfax: Favors increased wind & solar & promoting clean, alternative energy.
Vogel: Favors an “all-of-the-above energy future” that is “pro-growth,” although includes renewable energy.

Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Fairfax: Yes. Wealthiest now pay lower share than middle class families and many large corporations pay almost nothing.
Vogel: No. Signed Americans for Tax Reform pledge opposing any tax increases.

Voting Rights: Support Gov. McAuliffe’s restoration of rights for of ex-felons who’ve completed parole and probation?
Fairfax: Yes
Vogel: No. Supported bill that would replace it with automatic restoration of voting rights for more narrow group of nonviolent felons while limiting ability of governors to restore rights.

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements or reduced registration times, even if they prevent some people from voting?
Fairfax: No
Vogel: Yes. Voted for strict photo ID. Does support no-excuse absentee voting & early voting.


Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included ,, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, including legislative races, see, from the League of Women Voters, and