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Tue Oct 26, 2021, 10:14 AM

Here's a little-noticed reason the Virginia race is such a big deal


It’s widely known that the Virginia gubernatorial race will offer clues on what the 2022 midterm elections might look like. If Democrats win, they might campaign aggressively on vaccine and mask requirements. If Republicans win, they’ll see that demagoguing on critical race theory and feeding former president Donald Trump’s lies about 2020 energize the base with no serious cost among swing voters.

But there’s a less obvious way the Virginia outcome could help shape future campaigns. A Democratic victory might show that another issue has unexpected political potential: Paid leave.

To an underappreciated degree, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s candidacy has put paid leave in the foreground. McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, has pledged to institute statewide paid sick, family and medical leave if elected, vowing to make Virginia the “first Southern state” to do so.

Numerous ads from the McAuliffe campaign have placed paid leave front and center. One ad casts passing a new paid-leave measure as pivotal to ensuring that “everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

Apologies if it's paywall. The opinion piece is about paid leave.

This is the year to do it. Secretary Pete took parental leave. My doctor is unreachable because he is taking parental leave. People should be able to care for loved ones or take medical treatments without worrying how to pay the bills. It's important in Virginia where a lot of workers are contractors. Some contracting firms are better than others. The best firm I worked for and the worst firm I worked for are both headquartered in the old dominion.

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