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ALEXANDRIA, VA – Following the results of tonight’s Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, Lavern Chatman released the following statement:

“Four months ago, we began our campaign and it has been an amazing journey. I want to congratulate Don on his victory.

“I’ve been able to live and realize the American dream because of the educational and economic opportunities in this District. I want every family – every kid in this District – to have those same opportunities.

“In the days ahead, I promise to continue fighting in the trenches for working families across Northern Virginia.

“I will advocate to make equal pay a reality. I will advocate for Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

“I will advocate raising the minimum wage to a living wage so folks can afford to buy homes and raise their families here.

“I can never thank each and every one of you enough for believing in me and joining me on this unbelievable ride.”


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This time tomorrow, the polls will have closed and the results will be pouring in. This campaign has been a truly humbling experience and I have learned so much. It has been a joy to meet and work with so many like-minded members of this community. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have spoken with so many inspiring individuals and to learn what truly matters to them as parents, as business owners, as residents of the 8th District.

Tomorrow we will continue to reach out to voters, but tonight – I am personally asking for your vote. While there are many qualified candidates in this race, I truly believe that I can make the biggest difference in Congress. What sets me apart is that I have dedicated my life to the service of others, without a political agenda. I am passionate about ensuring that people are empowered, given the resources necessary to thrive and the means to succeed.

My team and I cannot wait to see you at the polls, and are happy to help you make an election day plan. If you are unsure of your polling location, double check here.

In Congress, I promise to fight for your best interest. I promise to continue building coalitions to get things done and to never back down to Tea Party extremists who do not represent our shared values.

I promise to be the voice for women, for families, for federal workers, for the LGBT community, for the elderly and for every person in the 8th District. I promise to serve you.

Warmest Regards,




Posted by & filed under News. Oprah pal could be VA district’s first African-American woman in Congress
By Anna Brand
June 9, 2014

Seven Democrats are vying for an open House seat in Virginia’s 8th District, but only one of them has the star power of Oprah Winfrey on her side.

In April, the media super-mogul whose influence can help turn a struggling novel into a bestseller (and an Illinois senator into a president) headlined the kickoff fundraiser for Lavern Chatman in Arlington, Va. The theme? Women’s empowerment, of course. And perhaps as a demonstration of Winfrey’s, she signed autographs for $2,600 a pop with all the money going to her friend’s campaign.

“Lavern makes people feel like they matter, and I see that Lavern is happiest when she is serving others,” Winfrey gushed at the event.

Before that night, Chatman – the only woman on the ballot – was hardly known outside pockets of Northern Virginia where she had been involved in community work. Winfrey – recently named No. 14 on Forbes’s list of the 100 most powerful women in the world – could give her a boost.

“I reached out to her. I said ‘I’m in a tough race, I’ve never run before, and the other folks have political machines in place,’” Chatman said. “I told her I need something to reach voters.”

Chatman and Winfrey were introduced to one another by Chatman’s husband, Bob Brown, a close friend of Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham. “We bonded because we both have similar passions of empowering others,” Chatman said. “And we soon became friends.”

Chatman, who lives in Alexandria, is now a strong contender in the June 10th Democratic primary race and came in first in a 200-person straw poll conducted last month. If she wins, she’ll likely sail to victory in November in a heavily Democratic district that President Obama won with 67% of the vote in 2012. The seat came open when Democratic Rep. Jim Moran announced he would retire after serving for two decades.

A win would make 57-year-old Chatman the first African-American woman elected from that district and the only woman in Virginia’s all-male Congressional delegation.

The connection to Winfrey helped Chatman attract a staff and financial backing. According to a recent report, in just 50 days, Chatman raised $107,444, coming in second to the former lieutenant governor Don Beyer, who has been endorsed by three top Obama advisers and who reportedly has raked in $1.1 million in donations. Chatman’s total contributions through May 21st reached $385,642.

“People started paying attention,” Chatman said. “It gave me national exposure.”

Chatman’s communications director, Ajashu Thomas, began working on the campaign almost immediately after the Winfrey event. “It made me want to learn more about Lavern. I was like, ‘who’s this woman Oprah came to Arlington for?’”

For Chatman, the key word in that sentence isn’t “Oprah.” It’s “woman.”

Women of color make up just 4.5% of the 535 members in Congress with just 15 African-American women currently serving.

Chatman is the only woman in the Democratic primary. The winner will face an all-male field, including Republican nominee Micah Edmond and third party candidates in the November 4th election.

“All 13 members of Virginia’s congressional delegation are men. LIKE and SHARE if you agree it’s time for a new perspective in Washington. #TeamChatman” a post on Chatman’s campaign Facebook page reads.

In her first TV ad of the campaign, “New” released this month, Chatman appears among diverse groups of women and children vowing to fight for equal work and women’s right to make health care decisions.

“We don’t need more of the same,” Chatman said in the ad. “It’s time for a new perspective in Washington.”

Read More


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As a mother with children grown and out in the world—whether in college or just graduating—I worry about their safety. With recent events like the tragedies in Seattle and at Isla Vista, I find myself constantly worried that it could be my child, niece, or nephew who could be a victim of senseless gun violence.

We cannot afford to wait for another Fort Hood or Sandy Hook to enact sensible gun control legislation.

In Congress, I will fight for common sense solutions like universal background checks and making the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips illegal. I will work to improve our mental health care system and ensure that local law enforcement has the resources needed to prevent other tragedies from happening.

Will you stand with me and help protect our children by fighting to reduce gun violence?


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Did you see the good news? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a common sense plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030. This is a historic moment in the movement to fight climate change globally. But friends, this is just a start.

On World Environment Day, we must renew our commitment to protecting the environment for our children and grandchildren. In Congress, I will work to end America’s addiction to fossil fuels and promote investments in clean, renewable and alternative energy technologies.

Will you contribute $25 right now and help me stand up for our environment in Congress?

Right here in the 8th District, we must fight against fracking in the George Washington National Forest and work to protect the ecosystem of the Potomac River watershed.

There’s nothing more important that we can do for our children and future generations than leave them with a healthy world.

Stand with me,


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Alexandria, Va. – The Lavern Chatman for Congress campaign released its first radio ad ahead of the June 10 Democratic primary in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.

“With the Tea Party agenda out of control, we need champions for women more than ever in Congress. We don’t need more of the same,” Chatman states. “It’s time to get things done.”

The 60-second spot builds on the 30-second television ad released last week highlighting Chatman’s record of community leadership, as well as priorities if elected to Congress – pay equity for women, raising the minimum wage, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

The television ad will air on cable stations beginning today.

You can view the TV ad here.

You can listen to the radio ad here.


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We’re now 6 days from the election. On Tuesday, voters in the 8th District will pick our Democratic nominee—yet undecided voters remain the largest group within the District.

That is why Lavern needs your help talking to voters. With less than a week to tell everyone about Lavern and the fresh perspective she will bring to Washington, this is your LAST chance to step up and get involved!

With seven candidates on the ballot, this election may be decided by just a handful of votes and we can’t win without volunteers like you! In order to win, Team Chatman needs to knock on as many doors and make as many phone calls as possible. The personal conversations you have with the voters are our strongest weapon.

I plan on looking back on June 11 knowing Lavern earned the nomination because TOGETHER, we gave 110 percent and Got Out the Vote!

Can Lavern count on you? Are you committed to stepping up and getting things done over the next 6 days? Click here to sign up for a GOTV shift.

On behalf of Lavern and all of us here at Team Chatman, thank you in advance for helping bring this campaign home.


Let’s finish strong,

Jacob Palalay
Field Director
Lavern Chatman for Congress

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Today, June 1st, begins Pride Month. It also kicks off Team Chatman’s 9-day GOTV Countdown until the primary on June 10th!

I believe all Americans deserve the right to marry, adopt a child, make medical care decisions for their loved ones and to be free from workplace discrimination.

Please stand with me in these next 9 days, so that I can fight for equality in Congress.

As a woman and a minority, I understand first-hand the mistreatment of Americans as second-class citizens. The LGBT community deserves a champion, and I will stand up to Tea Party extremists with ideological agendas.

Contribute $9 today and help us get to the finish line.

In it to win it,


Posted by & filed under News.

Alexandria, Va. – Lavern Chatman, Democratic candidate in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, today released her first ad of the campaign entitled, “New.” Chatman is the only woman running in the June 10 democratic primary.

“I grew up in a working class family in Northern Virginia. I’ve spent my career in the trenches. Building coalitions. Making our community stronger,” Chatman says in a voiceover in the spot. “In Congress, I’ll fight for equal pay for equal work. Raising the minimum wage. And protecting a woman’s right to make our health care decisions. We don’t need more of the same.”

The new ad highlights Chatman’s record of community leadership, as well as priorities if elected to Congress – pay equity for women, raising the minimum wage, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

You can view the ad here.