WINCHESTER — Attorney Delmara “Deetzie” Bayliss announced today that she is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 29th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in the Nov. 2 election.
The 29th District, which encompasses Winchester and parts of Frederick and Warren counties, is currently represented by Republican Bill Wiley of Winchester, who won a special election in November.
Bayliss, 65, has lived in Virginia for most of her life, having grown up in Frederick County and Winchester. She attended Frederick County and Winchester schools, graduating from Handley High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and her law degree from Washington & Lee. She lives in Frederick County’s Back Creek District and previously served as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Loudoun County in the late 1990s.
She said she has great respect for the rule of law and that she witnessed its demise under the Trump presidency and “the Trump Republican party.”
“It is crystal clear that any Republican candidate must now support Trump and his conspiracy theories, continuing to spread his ‘Big Election Lie,’ which damages our democracy and strengthens our enemies and adversaries throughout the world,” Bayliss said in a news release. “Our country was built on truth, not lies, and disregarding facts solely to please and promote a narcissistic defeated president in no way furthers the best interest of the citizens of Virginia. Trump lost the election, and more than 60 court rulings have found no systemic fraud; even his attorney general has stated there was no evidence of systemic fraud. I am running because I believe citizens of Virginia House District 29 need a candidate who respects the rule of law.”
Bayliss said that, as a mother of two grown children, she understands and recognizes the power of a good education — calling it “the greatest gift that a community can give to any child.”
If elected, she plans to strongly support public education, particularly teachers “who work hard everyday inside and outside the classrooms.” She also said she wants to help students recover from the rigors and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. She criticized candidates “who falsely accuse our school systems of teaching communism and socialism or threaten to withhold needed funding.”
“This kind of slander is counterproductive to learning and simply a lie,” Bayliss said.
She said there is an “absolute and immediate” need for expanded broadband (high-speed internet) and believes that efforts to expand broadband access “deserve generous funding.” She commended Virginia’s Democratic-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam for allocating millions of dollars to expand broadband, particularly to areas not already served.
She describes herself as a person of faith and said she believes that all people deserve to be treated fairly, “regardless of nationality, race, or sexual preference.”
She accused Trump for helping perpetuate acceptance of white supremacy in America. She said she had been devastated to learn of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes within the past year, which she attributed to Trump’s blaming and labeling of the coronavirus on China. She also is concerned that Republican legislatures have recently enacted laws that adversely affect transgender Americans.
Bayliss said she knows people who cannot afford the high cost of dental care or who cannot afford to go to the hospital when they are sick. She said she believes health care is a right, not a privilege, and supports expanding both Medicare and Medicaid so that people who are sick or in need of treatment are not left to suffer.
“More than ever, we need access to mental health care for so many adversely affected by the pandemic,” Bayliss said.
Bayliss also supports abortion rights, saying it is “a woman’s right to choose.”
“It is often a difficult and heart-wrenching decision that the individual woman needs to make, and no state government should try to interfere with her decision under the protections of ‘Roe vs. Wade,’” Bayliss said.
She also strongly supports increased penalties for animal cruelty.
“These animals express fear, pain, and sadness,” Bayliss said. “They are thinking and feeling creatures, and cruelty against them needs to be treated seriously by our courts.”
She said there are many “honest, experienced, and dedicated” delegates on both sides of the aisle and believes that it is in the best interests of the Commonwealth to work across the aisle. She encourages citizens of Virginia House 29 to “tell the truth, work together and keep Virginia strong and proud.”
So far, Bayliss is the only Democrat running for the 29th District seat. Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee Chairman Bill Fuller told The Star that Democrats have until June 8 to file their candidacy with the committee.
Fuller said the committee plans to hold a caucus on June 10 to select the Democratic nominees for Frederick County Shawnee Supervisor (Richard Kennedy), First Ward City Council (Richard Bell), the House of Delegates 29th District (Bayliss) and the House of Delegates 33rd District (Paul Siker). The candidates are currently running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. If no challengers announce their candidacy by June 8, Fuller said the committee will cancel the caucus and the declared candidates will automatically become the Democratic nominees.