Virginia – Singing for Votes!


Your 1st chance to be heard is this Tuesday, June 13th. Please vote in the Primary.  I’m not on the ballot because I won the nomination in the caucus. But — you can help us WIN on November 7th and turn #18 BLUE by donating to the campaign now.

People frequently ask what my strategy is, where the votes will come from. The truth is we need votes from ALL areas of District 18 to beat Webert and the Republicans.  One of the biggest hurdles we must overcome is teaching people that they can vote THIS YEAR in Virginia.  So I took a song from one of my favorite rock stars, Johnny Cash, and wrote new lyrics for District 18. If I missed your town, send me an email.

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I’ve Been Everywhere In District 18

I’ve been making my way, around the 18th District lines
Talking to people, you know it’s almost Election time
Driving down the road on route 229
I ask girlfriend in which town I should be focusing my mind
She said, “aw Honey don’t you understand?”
Tristan you’re Democrat, you need every vote in this here land

I’ll go everywhere man
I’ll go everywhere man
From Skyline down to Midland
Culpeper to up to Delapane
Woo the 18th’s Gerrymanned
I’ll go everywhere

I been to
Warrenton
Bealton,
Arlie, Opal, Rectortown
Upperville is such a thrill
The horses jumping chasing hounds
Doulas in Zulla, I got some folk in Atoka
Yeah you can drive up to Paris, go to The Plains for a mocha
Markham, Marshall, Hume, Ada and Orlean
New Baltimore, Old Tavern see what I mean

I’ll go everywhere man
I’ll go everywhere man
From Skyline down to Midland
Culpeper to up to Delapane
Woo the 18th’s Gerrymanned
I’ll go everywhere

I been to
Front Royal
Linden
Apple Mountain Lake
All of Warren County do the
Shenandoah shake
Down in Culpeper
Been to Elkwood, Rixeyville,
South Wales, Kelly’s Ford,
Waterloo, how do you do?
Catalpa up to Jeffersonton
All around the District we’ve been having some fun

I’ll go everywhere man
I’ll go everywhere man
From Skyline down to Midland
Culpeper to up to Delapane
Woo the 18th’s Gerrymanned
I’ll go everywhere

I been to
Sperryville, Fletcher’s Mill, Flint Hill, Woodville, Rock Mills, Round Hill, Slate Mills, Amisville
Messed around in Viewtown, babbled in Scrabble, did some washing in Washington, broke the tap up in Chester Gap

Huntly, Massanova no it don’t get better
Than riding on a raft down the Rappahannock River

I’ll go everywhere man
I’ll go everywhere man
From Skyline down to Midland
Culpeper to up to Delapane
Woo the 18th’s Gerrymanned
I’ll go everywhere
I’ll go everywhere
I’ll go everywhere
VOTE Shields!

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If We Run Safe, We’ll Be Sorry

Vote Tristan Shields
Virginia District 18 – 2017

I was happy to see coverage of the upcoming Virginia House of Delegates race in the Jeff E. Shapiro article titled, “The House, a new ad and Howell’s nightmare,” from May 27, 2017. However, as a first time candidate myself (District 18, D), I have some different thoughts.

I think the question stemming from the deluge of Democratic candidates this year should not be “will they flip the house?”, but what effect will this have on civic engagement and the Democratic Party over the next 10 years? This is especially important in rural communities where Democrats have previously felt isolated but are now finding each other and organizing for political action.

There is no better way to learn about running for office than actually running for office. The current Democratic crop are young; bringing in new ideas and providing strong and diverse candidates. Even if these candidates don’t win their upcoming elections, they will run again in both competitive districts and races the Democratic Party of VA has all but given up on. This is something we haven’t seen in a long time.

As a Democrat running in a “safe” Republican district I know it is our responsibility on the local level to make the change we want. We are energized and in this for the long haul. No one asked us to do this, we are doing it for ourselves and our communities. This awakening is something much larger than “can Democrats flip the house?”; this marks a fundamental change in Virginia Values and the Virginia Way.

Politics of Coffee, Not Tea


A primary objective of the Trump administration/ Republican party is to push more responsibility to the states. They do this to keep the Freedom Caucus happy and to avoid having to make hard choices. We are seeing this again and again – the latest healthcare debacle, the attack on the EPA, etc. The result of this strategy is that major policy decisions directly impacting the lives of Virginians will be made at the state level. This is why the House of Delegates race in 2017 is critical to the future of Virginia.

We need more than just a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion. We need a functional and productive legislature that represents the best interests of all Virginians.  The rural District 18 must go Blue in November. Here are some of the things I stand for:

  • Education:  keep and put our public schools and universities on top. This means keeping local school boards in charge, access to affordable college, and especially for our District, a rural internet that works for students.
  • Healthcare: ensure all Virginians have access to healthcare. This means finally expanding Medicaid and being ready for whatever form of TrumpCare arrives at our doorstep.
  • Civility & Fair Elections: move political discourse to problem solving and abandon polarization.  Politics is the problem, not policy. Gerrymandering and campaign finance laws have created a monster that leaves the majority of rural Virginians in the cold, feeling their votes don’t matter.
  • Immigration:  develop  smart, strategic and thoughtful policies that help our small businesses, our local police and legal immigrants. Immigrants are essential for our economy.
  • Women’s Issues: today’s politics are all about women’s issues. You cannot have a conversation about work, healthcare, family, education and retirement without involving and listening to women.

There couldn’t be a more critical time to put Democrats in the House of Delegates. My opponent, Michael Webert, is Republican Tea Party “yes” man. Things will only get worse for Virginians if he is allowed to stay in office.  Be sure to sign up for my Vote Shields mailing list so you can learn more about my positions and campaign. And, of course, DONATE!

Make the Blue Ridge “BLUE”

As the letter puts it, “Given the Democrats’ recent streak of statewide victories, the question has been publicly muted — can Republicans still win statewide in Virginia?”

The VA GOP is running scared! Check out today’s investigative article from the Washington Post about Rural Virginia.

If the Republican strategy is to win Virginia this year by investing in registering 200,000 voters in our rural counties, you MUST help me capture new voters and get them to vote BLUE!  Help me reach these new voters in District 18 so we can turn the tide in Virginia — Donate now!

Voices Heard, Not Hijacked

Virginia District 18 – 2017

Our political discourse has been hijacked. The more divided we are, the less focused we are at making life better for Virginians. We’ve been left lonely by our legislature.

Take Medicaid for example. Last week in a special session, the Virginia State legislature broke down along party lines to continue refusing Medicaid expansion. Here’s what Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had to say: “Every taxpayer should know we have forfeited $10.4 billion … we could bring back to Virginia, at no obligation to the state, to help 400,000 Virginians get healthcare.”

This is bad business — all in the name of partisan politics. Who’s losing here? We are. In Richmond, the majority of the elected delegates govern with fingers in their ears saying to the people of Virginia “we can’t hear you … la la la.”

As individuals or even activist groups, under the Virginia constitution, we don’t have lots of options to legislatively make changes. Unlike populist traditions you see in other states like California or Colorado, Virginia does not allow citizen groups to propose statewide ballot initiatives. Only the General Assembly can put a referendum on the ballot, and it rarely chooses to do so especially during this hyper-partisan era.

If we were allowed to put issues like Medicaid, gerrymandering, minimum wage, and social issues to protect individual rights on the ballot, Virginia voters would not feel so disconnected and ignored in the political process.

Essentially, our current situation is like this:

You go to your boss to schedule your vacation. She says “sounds like fun. Let’s get it on the calendar.” You try and try but she always avoids setting a time to work out the schedule. Guess what? You’re never getting that vacation. And we’re never going to get to vote on issues that impact us the most.

This is our experience with Republican Delegate Webert. Delegate Webert votes party line, every time. Delegate Webert is representing the interests of the extreme parts of the Republican Party in Virginia, not the interests of the people in District 18.

This is why I’m running for office. When I’m Delegate, the people of District 18 come first. We need people in the Statehouse who will bring issues forward that matter to us. Put me in the Statehouse and get a seat at the table.