Independent candidate collects enough signatures, meets adjusted requirement.
RICHMOND-Independent candidates didn’t have a primary on Tuesday, but they did have a deadline. For Princess Blanding, that meant in order to get on the November ballot, she had to collect at least 2,000 signatures.
Blanding, who’s running as a member of the Liberation Party, needed at least 50 qualified voters from each congressional district. She met that, so Blanding will be on the ballot alongside Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.
“The statewide response to our call for support enabled us to keep hope alive and to keep fighting for a place on the ballot,” said Blanding.
The Commonwealth used to require candidates for governor to obtain 10,000 signatures from qualified voters. That included 400 from each congressional district, in order to qualify for the ballot. However, that requirement was suspended this year after Democratic candidate for governor Lee Carter successfully sued state election officials to reduce the signature requirement due to the impact of the pandemic on campaigning.
A Campaign Rooted in Activism
Blanding entered Virginia politics in 2018 after Richmond officers shot and killed her brother, Marcus-David Peters.
His death sparked a movement calling for an end to police brutality and alternatives to policing throughout Virginia. Blanding led that movement in 2018 and was among the leaders of the Richmond protests last summer.
Since then, she’s worked with General Assembly members to address demands that Black liberation protesters made last year. That includes demands for the development of community care alternatives to policing in the Commonwealth.
“When we launched our campaign and Party platform, we vowed to expand our fight from the streets to the seats of these key elected positions, and to claim the full-course meal for all Virginians. The working class, our Black and Brown community members, and our most marginalized communities,” Blanding said.
Who is Princess Blanding?
Blanding is a middle school science teacher and founder of Justice and Reformation, an advocacy organization that works to increase mental health care access and public safety among communities most impacted by police violence.
Her platform for governor includes reparations for Black and indigenous Virginians. It also includes the legalization of sex work in the Commonwealth, and a guaranteed minimum wage adjusted for inflation.
For more about her policy priorities, you can visit her website here.