Full Name: Dan Helmer

Nick Names: 

 

Office Sought: House of Representatives, 10th Congressional District of Virginia

 

Party Affiliation: Democrat

 

 

Campaign Website: https://danhelmer.com/

Campaign POC: Unavailable

Phone Number: Unavailable

Campaign Email: info@danhelmer.com

Structured Interview Request Sent: Refused 2024.

Structured Interview Response and Date: Refused.

Vetting Panel Selected: Refused

Structured Interview Completed: Refused

Biography: Delegate Dan Helmer is the son of an immigrant and the grandson of Holocaust survivors. Growing up, he ended Passover Seder the same way every year: with the singing of God Bless America. Why? Because for Dan’s family, America has always been the Promised Land. And that is why Dan has always stood up to defend our democracy when it has been under attack.

It’s why after 9/11 and graduating from West Point, he served in Afghanistan.

It’s why when Donald Trump was elected president and attacked our democracy from the highest office in the land, Dan quit his job to run for office.

It’s why Dan said on TV in 2018 that after 9/11 the greatest threat to our democracy was Donald Trump.

Dan defeated the only Republican incumbent who survived the 2017 blue wave in Northern Virginia and did it without compromising on our values or taking a dime of corporate money. That opponent had voted time and again to criminalize abortion and stopped every single gun violence prevention measure from passing in Richmond.

And when Dan got to Richmond as a freshman legislator, he got right to work, championing gun violence prevention laws like universal background checks, red flag laws, and making sure domestic abusers couldn’t have access to guns. He also led on bills ensuring the victims of sexual assault on college campuses are protected. That leadership is why the Washington Post said Dan “displayed guts, independence, and intelligence as a freshman lawmaker.”

But the attacks on our democracy haven’t stopped. We could have never imagined in our lifetime that we would witness a president of the United States leading insurrectionists and white supremacists in an attack on our Capitol. Or that an extreme Supreme Court would take away a 50-year right to safe and legal abortion, which is something that’s deeply personal to Dan and his wife, Karen, because after their second son was born, Karen’s cardiologist told her to never get pregnant again or she could die.

So Dan was devastated in 2021, when despite the fact that he won reelection in a swing district, we lost our majority in Richmond, putting those rights at risk, and Dan knew we had to do something different.

So, he took on a leadership role in our caucus, serving as our campaigns chair, and led the first successful effort in 60 years to flip a chamber of the General Assembly while the other party’s governor held the Executive Mansion.

And that majority is why we’re going to be able to pass a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in Virginia, and why we passed Dan’s bill, House Bill 2, the Assault Weapons Ban. And that’s the kind of effective fighter Dan will be in Washington, and we need members of Congress who are going to stand up for our democracy, so that the country that welcomed his family as refugees and survivors is still here for our grandchildren. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

 

Why you? Refused to answer.

What are your priorities? Right now, Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are promising to tear up our Constitution, strip away our rights, and take control of our lives—if we let them.

That’s why we need to send Dan to Washington to:

Defend Our Democracy
Dan has spent his life fighting extremists threatening democracy—first as a soldier in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea, and then as a legislator in Virginia standing up to MAGA extremists in Richmond to protect our fundamental rights. With Donald Trump and his MAGA allies in Congress on the march, we need a fighter like Dan to fight for us. He’s stood up against corruption—never taking a dime of corporate money and working for the people, not special interests.

In the Virginia State House, Dan:

Wrote and passed legislation to expand voting rights to military service members, people with disabilities, and students. HB 216
Consistently proposed and passed legislation to loosen the grip of corporations on our politics by increasing transparency and limiting the power of special interest groups. HB 1302
Introduced a bill in 2024 to ban insurrectionists from serving in office and positions of public trust by clearly defining political violence and attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 as an insurrection. HB 280
In Congress, Dan will continue to fight policies proposed by extremists to strip away voting rights and ensure that everyone has the right to vote. He’ll also vote to overturn the disastrous Citizens United ruling that allowed corporations to take power away from individuals having a say in their legislators. As he did in the State House, Dan will continue to fight against extreme partisan gerrymandering to prevent long-standing voter suppression. And, he will continue to fight back against the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol and assaulted our democracy. In Congress, he’ll champion HR 1 – For the People Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure that the fundamentals of our democracy are strong. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Read an article about Dan’s voting rights bill here. (https://virginiamercury.com/2021/03/08/the-va-gops-2021-convention-is-a-mess-a-new-law-might-make-them-even-harder-in-the-future/)

Stand Up for Our Reproductive Rights
Reproductive rights are personal to Dan and his family. When his wife, Karen, had their second son, her cardiologist told her that another pregnancy could be fatal. Access to safe and legal abortion protects her and tens of thousands of other women across Virginia—as well as the tens of thousands more in neighboring states with abortion restrictions. Dan first won election in 2019 against an extremist who voted to criminalize abortion.

Since then, as a Delegate, Dan:

Led the charge to flip the State House as campaigns chair to stop Republicans from stripping away reproductive rights in the last state in the South with no abortion bans.
Drafted and passed legislation to increase accessibility and funding for IVF and other assistive reproductive treatments. HB 776
Sponsored and passed a bill in 2020 with Planned Parenthood to support providing reproductive care medication such as misoprostol and methotrexate at free clinics and nonprofits. HB 1654
Now, Trump and MAGA Republicans aren’t just stripping away abortion rights. They’re bragging about it. Trump’s Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade after more than six decades of protection of the right to an abortion. Virginia remains the only state in the South with no abortion bans—that’s why in Congress, Dan will work to codify Roe v. Wade and abortion and reproductive rights across the country, helping the one in eight parents with fertility issues.

Watch Dan’s wife, Karen, talk about her story here.

Read about the need for IVF funding and Dan’s bill here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyIJyuxlyjw) (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Fight to Take Weapons of War Off Our Streets
Serving our country in uniform, Dan has witnessed the damage firearms can do in the wrong hands. His wife, Karen, has been an educator in our public schools for over a decade—two times a year, she has to huddle in the corner of her classroom with her students for active shooter drills. His two sons have to do the same. That belongs in military training, not our schools.

That’s why, as a Delegate, Dan:

Closed the Gun Show loophole and Charleston Loophole to prevent people from buying guns without necessary background checks. HB 2
Passed legislation implementing red flag laws and getting guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. HB 674 and HB 1004
Led on legislation in 2020, 2023, and 2024 to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. HB 2
There have been 24 mass shootings in 2024 and there were over 600 in 2023.1 We desperately need to stand up to the NRA and their funded politicians to get weapons of war off our streets and protect our children. In Congress, Dan will fight for a national assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban, as well continue to push for other common sense gun control legislation.

1 https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting

Read about Dan’s assault weapons ban here. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/12/29/virginia-general-assembly-gun-bills-youngkin/)

Watch Dan show the danger of the Gun Show Loophole on NowThis News here. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Protect Our Environment
The climate crisis is the greatest challenge we face as a country today. Dan’s political awakening started in 2000 when he cast his first vote from a barracks at West Point for Al Gore—because of his commitment to addressing the climate crisis that we continue to face today.

As a Delegate, Dan:

Passed the VA Clean Economy Act, bringing Virginia to net-zero emissions on power generation by 2050. HB 1430
Drafted and passed critical legislation to ensure that all public sector buildings met federal and state environmental and efficiency standards. HB 2001
Championed a bill to ensure big business listens to the community and protects our environment when building data centers. HB 338
Defeated the bill that would have prevented innovative alternative protein companies from marketing their products. HB 1382
Beyond being the greatest threat to our country, the climate crisis also poses a significant opportunity. In Congress, Dan will support policies that invest the resources required to save the planet while also building an economy that provides opportunities to working families and union households to strengthen economic stability. This includes investment in plant-based proteins that can help combat global hunger, mitigate the negative impacts of meat production, and ensure US leadership in food production. Dan will continue to push legislation like President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to tremendously expand the investment the federal government makes in addressing climate change. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Read an article about Dan standing up against VA’s Republican Governor’s threats to our climate here. (https://vadogwood.com/2022/07/12/climate-challenges-virginia-panel-holds-youngkin-administration-accountable/)

Grow Our Economy to Support the Middle Class
Dan lives in a union family, and as a small business owner, he knows that small businesses and working Americans are the backbone of our economy. He understands the importance of harnessing new, innovative technologies, such as how he developed AI-informed approaches to research and evaluated applications of blockchain technology in supply chain security. As a legislator, Dan has led the charge to invest in protecting workers, expand labor rights, and increase wages and benefits.

Dan has been a champion for working Americans, as he:

Authored and passed legislation that expanded SNAP benefits to provide food to more than 25,000 families. HB 1820
Served as chief co-patron on legislation to create a legal market for marijuana, promoting new business opportunities and their necessary regulatory framework. HB 698
Was one of only 13 legislators who voted to repeal Virginia’s so-called “Right to Work” law that prevented employees from being able to form and join unions. HB 1755
Passed legislation to repeal the prohibition on collective bargaining by public employees, requiring public employers to negotiate in good faith with their employees. HB 1001
Dan will continue to fight to put more money into Virginians’ pockets while increasing the number of good job opportunities across the district and state and promoting economic stability. With our country facing profound challenges from climate change, a volatile international environment, fast moving technologies, and fewer ladders of opportunity to the middle class, industry partnership on tackling these goals and creating markets to do it remains essential. For example, Dan recognizes that we must invest in building policy frameworks that allow new, innovative technologies like digital assets and blockchain to continue to challenge the status quo and improve the financial and digital lives of Americans, while ensuring necessary protections are in place for consumers. If Congress doesn’t act on priorities such as this, Americans will see good jobs leave and head overseas.

Read Dan’s op-ed about ending hunger in Virginia here. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Make Health Care Affordable and Attainable for All
Dan has always prioritized improving healthcare quality and access. In building his small business, Dan has been deeply involved in the delivery of government services, including ensuring veterans have access to quality healthcare. He’s worked to develop innovative advancements to large-scale supply chains to increase efficiency and save costs in healthcare systems at state and federal levels.

Dan has followed similar priorities as a Delegate, where he:

Passed bipartisan legislation to ensure hospitals provide fair prices and to help make healthcare affordable. Read Dan’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal here.
Championed legislation to bring down the costs of health insurance on exchanges and to lower the costs of prescription drugs and insulin. HB 819, HB 570, HB 66
Fought to provide infertility coverage to families facing challenges having a baby. HB 560
In Congress, Dan will continue to work to increase access to affordable healthcare, lower the cost of prescription medication, and ensure that all Virginians and Americans around the country have the power to access the quality care they need and deserve. Too many people face crippling medical debt; that’s why Dan will keep fighting to reduce hospital costs and force hospitals to disclose the costs of care, empowering families to find necessary care without unknown, inflated hospital bills. Dan will also champion legislation to protect reproductive healthcare, because he believes that women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions—not the lawmakers in Washington. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Secure Peace and Democracy Around the Globe
As Dan has served our country in uniform for almost two decades, America’s role in the world and our national security and foreign policies have been central to Dan’s life and the focus of much of his service. Dan’s service in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea, and studies as a Rhodes Scholar deeply shaped his views on our country’s role in the world.

Dan believes that Congress must take an active role in our national security and that we avoid wars of choice like those that killed his friends in Iraq. He believes that we need to be the beacon of freedom, democracy, and opportunity that drew his family here after the Holocaust. That means domestically fighting for our democracy and economic opportunity and overseas that we lead with our values and stand with those who share them. America has a critical role in managing peacefully the rise of China, building a close partnership with the world’s largest democracy in India, defeating Russian aggression through support to Ukraine, stabilizing and securing peace in the Middle East, containing Iran, sustaining the international financial system including the centrality of the dollar through innovative technologies like stablecoins, and supporting democratization, economic development, and global health initiatives in the global South and around the world. America has a responsibility to uphold our commitment to diplomacy and democracy, which Dan believes will protect our national and international security interests.

As the grandson of Holocaust survivors who hid in the floorboards underneath a dacha to survive the Nazis in modern day Ukraine, the horror of the 10/7 terrorist attacks hit home for Dan. He is one of the only state-level elected officials in Virginia to have watched the video of those heinous attacks, and he believes that Israel, like any state subjected to such attacks, has a right and imperative to defend its citizens. Hamas is a dangerous and brutal terrorist organization that executes members of the LGBTQ community for who they are, wantonly targets and uses civilians in its military operations, and engaged in widespread sexual assault as part of the 10/7 attacks and against hostages. Hamas continues to hold US citizens hostage. Permanent, lasting, and just peace, Dan’s ultimate goal, cannot be achieved while Hamas remains in power.

Dan supports a two state solution that realizes the aspirations of two peoples who seek to live in peace side by side and hopes that, out of this horrible tragedy, that Israelis and Palestinians can forge such peace. Any such peace must ensure the return of the hostages and Hamas’ removal from the governing structure of the Palestinian movement as well as the rebuilding of Gaza. Such a peace would include continued US support for Israel, as Dan believes the US special relationship with Israel is special and critical to our own national security.

As a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Dan believes that the burdens of war should be born by combatants and not civilians. He supports the immediate passage of HR 815 – The National Security Act, 2024 to provide significant aid to Gaza and the West Bank as well as Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. In Congress Dan will fight for a strong United States that stands for human rights and liberal democracy both at home and abroad. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Endorsements: No endorsements listed on website.

Education: Graduate from West Point. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Relevant Employment History: See biography above.


Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge:
Graduate from West Point and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

Past Offices Held and Tenure:

Virginia House of Delegates 2024
Member Since: 2020
D – County of Fairfax (part)
10th District (Source: https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php?id=H0317)

Community Service: See biography above.

Leadership Experience: See biography above.

Personal Strengths: Refused to answer. 

What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? Refused to answer.

How would your friends and family describe you? Refused to answer.
 

What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? Refused to answer. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

    

What are your thoughts on religious liberty? Refused to answer. No reference to religious liberty on website. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

    

What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? Refused to answer. No reference to the preservation of history on website. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thought on government transparency? Refused to answer. No reference to government transparency on website. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on national defense? Refused to answer. Professes support to veterans and for national defense on website. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? Refused to answer. No reference to the free enterprise system on website. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? Refused to answer. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? Refused to answer. No reference to the role or importance of the family  on website. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? Refused to answer. No reference to equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes on website. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? Refused to answer. No reference the 2nd Amendment on website. Demonstrates values strongly contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://danhelmer.com/)

  

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