Spotlight on House Districts 72 and 76: Matchups between Raychouni and Ware, Gardner and Truong

Two candidates opted not to be interviewed for this story.
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 11:40 AM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Knocking on doors in Chesterfield County, Bilal Raychouni hopes to unseat a long-standing lawmaker.

“A lot of the biggest issues that are really eating away at people are not political issues. They are life and livelihood issues,” said Raychouni, the Democratic candidate for House District 72.

Raychouni wants to knock off Republican Lee Ware, saying he brings a fresh perspective to the commonwealth’s complex problems.

The 31-year-old says he’s running for his students to provide them with a better future.

“And I have 12, 13, 14-year-olds who have already told me that they’re convinced that there’s nothing for them out here. So once they graduate high school, they’re going to pack up and move away,” said Raychouni.

House District 72 stretches from Chesterfield County to Nottoway County.

Ware, who has served in the Virginia General Assembly since 1998, would not agree to an interview.

It’s the same case for the Republican race in House District 76.

Duc Truong was also silent for the profile.

But the Democratic challenger in this race is speaking out.

“We tend to think that everybody’s voices are being heard, but I don’t think they are. Especially individuals and working families who are having a hard time trying to make ends meet every day,” said Debra Gardner.

Gardner, who spent three decades in state government, says schools must be better funded, including a living wage for teachers and staff.

She also says economic policies must be inclusive so everyone thrives.

“The fluctuating economy. They’re worried about grocery prices, gas prices, worried about getting their medication, worried about educational issues,” said Gardner.

House District 76 covers portions of Chesterfield County.

The Virginia Public Access Project indicates that based on redistricting, the race for House District 72 strongly favors Republicans.

Meanwhile, House District 76 strongly favors Democrats.