WASHINGTON — Democratic Delegate Dan Helmer defended his seat and won a critical race in HD-40 after fending off an anti-Semitic attack during the course of the campaign. Delegate Helmer condemned this hateful campaign tactic and focused on his impressive track record of protecting access to affordable health care, passing universal background checks, and expanding access to free breakfast and lunch for Virginia families. The RSLC failed to win back this seat, despite spending $12,840 with nearly $100,000 of Koch spending in support of their candidate, Harold Pyon, in a political environment that historically favors Republicans. This seat was held by the GOP for decades until Helmer flipped it in 2019.
“Throughout this campaign, Delegate Dan Helmer remained true to who he is: a fighter,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “He stood up for reproductive rights and fought for the needs and interests of his constituents. As a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, Delegate Helmer is a respected voice advocating for universal background checks and commonsense gun safety legislation. He will also continue to defend reproductive rights and affordable health care in the Virginia House of Delegates.”
The DLCC and its affiliated groups invested in Virginia to support candidates like Delegate Dan Helmer and provided critical political guidance, strategic planning, data analysis, and messaging support — all of which proved to be successful with the Democratic victory in this race.
Delegate Dan Helmer graduated from West Point and served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea, and remains a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. After flipping his seat in 2019, he kept his campaign promise and delivered on commonsense gun safety. He defeated Harold Pyon, who opposed Virginia’s minimum wage increase and recreational marijuana while supporting discrimination against LGBTQ couples seeking to adopt and promoting an insurrectionist to be the next House speaker.
The commonwealth has become a model for passing progressive legislation including making child care more affordable for working families, strengthening voting rights, passing sweeping criminal justice reform measures, creating tuition-free community college programs, raising the minimum wage, ending surprise medical billing, banning LGBTQ discrimination, providing eviction and utility aid, and making Virginia the “Top State for Business” while strengthening workers’ pay, benefits, and working conditions.