Organization focused on young voters buys $122,000 worth of social media ads

New social media ads by NextGen Virginia compare candidates in competitive Congressional races in the state on issues like abortion, health care and how much they support President Donald Trump.

An organization mobilizing young voters to flip competitive congressional seats launched a $122,000 digital ad campaign on various social media sites.

NextGen Virginia will run 30-second ads comparing candidates in four of Virginia’s most competitive congressional races: the 2nd District between GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor and Democrat Elaine Luria; the 5th District, between Democrat Leslie Cockburn and Republican Denver Riggleman; the 7th District, between Republican U.S. Rep Dave Brat, Democrat Abigail Spanberger and Libertarian Joe Walton; and the 10th District between U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock and Virginia Sen. Jennifer Wexton.

The ads are set to a traditional circus music and compare the candidates on issues like affordable health care, abortion, ties to certain interest groups and various ways they may or may not oppose President Donald Trump.

“Using these digital ads in tandem with our peer-to-peer organizing on campus and in communities is the best way to ensure young voters are getting to the polls on Nov. 6 and voting out Republicans who don’t listen to us,” NextGen Virginia State Youth Director Carter Black said in a statement.

NextGen primarily focuses on registering college-aged voters, but branched out into high school registration this year.

The organization is also known in Virginia for its zealous voter-registration push that prompted a new state law last year to protect college students’ contact information


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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.