Only If You Run Candidates


Wendy Gooditis

District : Virginia House, District 10   Only If You Run Contribution : $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

District: Virginia House, District 10

Only If You Run Contribution: $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

I signed the Only If You Run pledge because I believe our state legislature must protect the voting rights of all Virginians. That means free and fair elections. As a delegate, I will stand up to gerrymandering, and work to ensure that district lines are not drawn to favor any individual or party.

Why Wendy RAN

After Donald Trump’s election, Wendy decided she couldn’t sit on the sidelines. She founded an Indivisible chapter in rural, red Clarke county, then grew it to over 300 members. In February at a town hall, Wendy challenged the Republican incumbent’s disturbing track record on gerrymandering: he co-sponsored redistricting reform legislation, then killed it in committee. In March, she stepped up to run against him because she believes that gerrymandering and voting barriers degrade our state and our country, and that Virginians deserve better.

 Throughout her life, Wendy has worked for a better world. As an educator, a neighbor, a mom, and a Quaker, Wendy has always challenged boundaries and fought for progress. She’s had a diverse career, from technology to education to real estate, giving her the ability to understand issues from many angles. She ran to ensure that District 10 - where she has lived with her husband and two children for two decades - stands for inclusion and opportunity.

After winning her race against a 3-term incumbent, Wendy is now proudly serving the people of Virginia’s 10th District. 

Why We HELPED Wendy 

Wendy is just the type of challenger we’re trying to help.  She’s a strong candidate in a GOP-leaning district that’s winnable.  Voting rights and fair elections are at the heart of her campaign.  She’s a first time candidate.  She’s exactly the kind of person in the kind of place who needs to stand up and run if we’re going to #UnGerrymanderAmerica.

Only If You Run’s endorsement and contribution came at a key time for Wendy, helping establish the foundation for her run and helping her attract more support.

About District 10

Wendy’s district has voters from all kinds of communities -- suburban neighborhoods, small towns, and rural farms. It truly is a microcosm of the United States, and is having all the same conversations about education, health care, voting rights, and jobs as the rest of the country. Wendy is running to make sure that Virginia’s State House represents the spirit of her district -- one that is strong, inclusive, fair, and big-hearted.

Donte Tanner

District:  Virginia House, District 40   Only If You Run Contribution:  $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

District: Virginia House, District 40

Only If You Run Contribution: $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

Why Donte RAN

Donte lives by the crede “service before self.” His dad served in the Navy, and later in the police force alongside Donte’s mom. His parents’ dedication to serving their country and community inspired Donte to do the same, and he joined the Air Force in 1997.  Donte felt a responsibility to continue to serve his country, which he did as a private citizen for many years. This cycle, Donte doubled down on his passion for public service by running to join the Virginia House of Delegates. He saw, like so many others, a clear need for new leadership, noting that his opponent was one of the first Republicans who voted to kill five redistricting proposals with little discussion.

Donte is a husband, Air Force veteran, and a small business owner in Northern Virginia. He lives in Centreville with his wife, daughter and their two dogs Arya and Ranger.

Donte came within 100 votes of flipping this district last November but sadly fell just short following a recount.

Why We Helped Donte Run

Trust us, if you talked with Donte, you’d want to support him too.  He knows his district and its issues, his commitment to public service is palpable, it was obvious that he was going to work his butt off on this race and we were right. He cares deeply about our democracy and as a result, was tireless in his campaigning. Taking on a 14-year Republican incumbent in a gerrymandered district was no joke: but we knew Donte was up to the task. We were right.

Our contribution to Donte’s campaign went a long way towards the implementation of a strong field program. Those resources allowed Donte and his team to connect with more voters over the phones, in person, and through a strong social media presence.

About District 40

Despite its historically Republican track-record, District 40 went for Hillary Clinton by eight points in 2016. Located just outside of Washington, Donte's impressive success proved that this is a district ready for a change.

Schuyler VanValkenburg

District:  Virginia House, District 72   Only If You Run Contribution:  $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

District: Virginia House, District 72

Only If You Run Contribution: $10,000 in May 2017, and another $5,000 in October 2017

As a government teacher with a passion for American history, I believe that the core American values of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness can only be realized if the political process is available to all citizens.

Why Schuyler RAN

For years, Schuyler had been frustrated watching Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates undermine strong public education. Henrico County, which stands for excellent public schools, economic growth, and opportunities for all, had a delegate - Republican Jimmie Massie - who had argued for privatizing the education system. And despite wins by Democrats in Schuyler’s 72nd district in 2013 and 2016, Massie had consistently run unopposed.  So Schuyler decided to stand up. In his words: “Democracy thrives when citizens hear competing visions for governance and society, and so after the November election I decided it was time to run.”

Schuyler grew up in a small town in Upstate New York where his mother emphasized the value of education. This belief, combined with his passion for citizenship and American history led him to the Henrico County public school system, where he has been a teacher for twelve years.  He is a a father of three children and lives in the Lakeside neighborhood of Henrico County.

Earning nearly 53% of the vote, Schuyler won his election with a decisive victory over his Republican opponent.

Why WE HelpED Schuyler Run

Schuyler shares our view that fixing what ails our democracy depends on participation and civic engagement, public education, and citizens and legislators who will fight for good government and representative elections.  And honestly - doesn’t everyone agree that we need some high school history teachers in our legislatures right now?!

 About District 72

The 72nd district, in Western Henrico, is a destination for families and businesses across the Commonwealth and country because it values and realizes a strong public education system. Despite its historically Republican track-record, Clinton was able to beat Trump by four points in 2016.

Kelly Fowler

District:  Virginia House, District 21   Only If You Run Contribution:  $5,000 in October 2017

District: Virginia House, District 21

Only If You Run Contribution: $5,000 in October 2017

Gerrymandering threatens to erode the public trust. I support an independent commission to redraw Virginia’s political district boundaries to fairly represent communities. Voters should choose their elected official not the other way around.

Why Kelly RAN

Kelly believes that democracy thrives when government is inclusive, responsive, transparent, and accountable to all its citizens, and she’s ready to make a change. She has two young daughters, and she was heartbroken by their reaction to Donald Trump’s victory last November. The message they got: Mean bullies win.

That’s when she woke up. She had to make sure her beautiful, powerful, brilliant daughters could feel safe and strong once again. She took them to the Women’s March in D.C., and resolved to do her part by running for office in her own hometown of Virginia Beach, VA.  Kelly was a public school teacher in Virginia Beach, and now, beyond serving as a Delegate, she leads a team of real estate agents who specialize in military relocation.

Along with several colleagues, Kelly was in the first group of Asian-American women and the first group of Latina American women elected to the House of Delegates.


Kelly is just the kind of candidate we needed: she is brilliant, energetic, and she feels a personal stake in the future of our democracy. She shares our commitment to fighting gerrymandering, and wants to ensure that her government is a truly representative one.


About District 21

District 21 encompasses part of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. It is currently represented by a Republican, but the district often votes Democratic, and Hillary Clinton won there in 2016. With a little extra help, Kelly can represent District 21!

Add Your Name to This List

Find out more about how we choose and apply to be one of our candidates.