Don L. Scott Jr. is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 88. His name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.
Scott is the current Virginia House Democratic Leader.
He is running against James “Jim” M. Wright.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
Name: Don Scott
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 88
Biography: In the legislature, Don has been a champion for reproductive freedom and uplifting working families through ensuring a strong economy. Don’s legislative priorities include strengthening Virginia’s public schools, improving healthcare quality and affordability, and criminal justice reform. In 2022, Don was elected by members of his caucus to serve as House Democratic Leader. Don is committed to building a stronger Democratic caucus and winning back the majority.
Don Scott was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He was one of six children raised by a single mother. Don was accepted to and graduated from Texas A&M University. From there, he enrolled in the Navy’s officer candidate school in Rhode Island. Don proudly served his country as an officer in the United States Navy before earning his law degree from Louisiana State University.
In 2015, Don started his own law practice before becoming a partner at Breit Biniazan P.C. He is an active member of loop the Old Dominion Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar Association, the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He also sits on several boards and commissions. He is the former Chair of the Portsmouth Economic Development Authority and former President of the Southeastern Employment and Training Association. He is also a member of the Eureka Club and holds lifetime memberships in the NAACP, V.F.W., Post #993, and American Legion Post #190.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for re-election because Virginians deserve a General Assembly that truly represents their shared values and aspirations. Virginians want, and rightly deserve, a world-class education system. They want leaders committed to enhancing educational opportunities and fostering an environment conducive to learning and development for all. I am dedicated to working tirelessly to ensure our policies and legislation reflect the needs and desires of all Virginians.
What is the most important issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Virginia’s economy isn’t always in sync with the needs of everyday Virginians. Our communities deserve leaders who will staunchly advocate for the affordability of prescription drugs and look to address and rectify other economic disparities impacting our residents.
Virginians also deserve tangible solutions to the childcare crisis plaguing so many families. My caucus has proposed initiatives like a childcare tax credit and paid family leave legislation to alleviate these burdens. Everyone should have the right and the ability to care for their loved ones without the looming worry of financial instability. My commitment is to be a voice and a force for change, ensuring that the economic landscape of Virginia benefits all its citizens, not just a select few.
A woman’s right to choose is also on the ballot this November. The MAGA Republicans in Richmond want to be in the exam room between a woman and her doctor. I will always work to protect women’s reproductive rights because there is no room for politicians in these decisions.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?
The Hampton Roads region is currently experiencing a significant demand for skilled labor jobs. It is crucial that we, as elected leaders, advocate for and promote alternatives to college education for our young people. While Virginia is home to some of the nation’s best universities, it’s essential to acknowledge that college is not the only path to success, nor is it the right choice for everyone.
We recognize the value of skilled trades and vocational paths, and we are committed to supporting and promoting these valuable career options. Our young people should have access to diverse opportunities, and we will do everything in our power to elevate the availability and awareness of such essential jobs in our region.
What is your view on Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban with restrictions?
The proposed abortion bans by MAGA Republicans represent a grave threat not only to the rights and safety of Virginia’s women but also to Virginia’s economy. Future employers and Fortune 500 companies do not want to set up their businesses in locations where their employees won’t have access to the healthcare they need and will look to relocate to states with more inclusive economic climates. This will cost Virginia millions, if not hundreds of millions, in revenue and job opportunities. Our Commonwealth’s growth and prosperity require an environment that is welcoming and supportive for everyone.
How do you feel about the politicization of public education?
The MAGA Republicans have used divisive rhetoric and tattle-tell tip lines to pit parents and students against teachers. It has produced nothing but headlines and headaches. It’s a strategy without any constructive outcomes, creating unnecessary tension within our education system. Virginians seek concrete solutions and fully funded schools, not inflammatory and unproductive discourse. Despite having control for 22 of the last 24 years, MAGA Republicans lost $200 million from the education budget and tried to defund our schools rather than creating substantial, positive change for Virginia’s schools.
What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?
As the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, I hold a distinctive role, enabling me to work closely with all members of the House Democratic Caucus and to engage collaboratively with my colleagues across the aisle. Our legislative agenda for the upcoming session is sharply focused on providing relief to families, devising tangible solutions to enhance our education system, and facilitating avenues to expedite Virginians’ return to work.
I encourage all Virginians to exercise their voice in the forthcoming elections and engage with their representatives as we approach the 2024 General Assembly session. Your voices are pivotal in shaping our legislative priorities and in steering the trajectory of our great state. Thank you.
What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?
Transparency should be at the forefront as we explore avenues to enhance our campaign finance system. Our primary focus will be on augmenting transparency in campaign finance. The process must be clear, fair, and accountable, allowing the electorate to make informed decisions and reinforcing the integrity of our democratic institutions.
How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree with?
I encourage all Virginians from various perspectives, backgrounds, and ideologies to stay involved, stay engaged, and share their voice. Everyone must have a platform and a voice in this democracy. By embracing our diverse thoughts and experiences, we enrich the democratic dialogue and ensure a more inclusive and representative governance.