Health Care, Gun Violence Prevention, and Minimum Wage Top Issues for Voters as Cox and Bynum-Coleman Debate

Richmond, Virginia—As Speaker Kirk Cox and his challenger, Sheila Bynum-Coleman, prepare to debate tonight, voters are thinking about where the candidates stand on issues like health care, gun violence prevention, and raising the minimum wage. According to a recent poll, 53% of voters would support Democrats taking over the legislature, compared to 37% who want Republican control. Voters are looking for candidates who will represent their values in Richmond, but Speaker Cox has proven over and over again that when he votes, he is voting to protect the NRA and corporate special interests, not his constituents. 

“People who live in our communities are looking for candidates who will represent them and their values in Richmond. They want someone who will vote to ensure that their families have the opportunity to thrive and succeed,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “But Speaker Cox has proven that he is out of touch with his constituents on many issues like health care access, gun violence prevention, and raising the minimum wage. When voters go to the polls on November 5, they’ll be voting for someone will look out for them and their families, not corporate special interests and the wealthy few.” 


  • Speaker Kirk Cox voted against Medicaid Expansion five times before finally agreeing to expand health care access to more than 400,000 Virginians, but only with burdensome work requirements. 
    • In 2014, Cox said, “‘We’ve been clear that we’re not going to do Medicaid expansion…I don’t know how many different ways we can say it…I’m not sure how many different ways [Governor McAuliffe] can propose it. But I guess we’ll go through this dance for the next week or two.’” [McAuliffe Seeks Authority to Expand Medicaid, The Virginian Pilot, January 2014]
  • Speaker Cox voted to adjourn a special session on gun violence prevention after just 90 minutes without taking a single vote. Instead of taking meaningful action to address the gun violence crisis we are facing, Republicans sent all of the bills to the toothless crime commission that can’t even vote on the bills. 
  • Speaker Cox voted for a bill that would prevent localities from raising the minimum wage.