Candidate Profile: Amanda E. Batten (Va. District 71)

October 3, 2023

Amanda E. Batten is a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 71. Her name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.

Batten is running against Jessica L. Anderson.

The first day of in-person early voting at your local registrar’s office for this election is Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Click here to see who is on your ballot.

10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race with specific questions. The responses below came directly from the candidate and are unedited. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.

Name: Amanda E. Batten

Age: 44

Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 71

Party: Republican


Biography: First elected in 2019, Delegate Amanda Batten currently serves as Majority Caucus Chair in the Virginia House of Delegates. She is a member of the House Commerce and Energy, House Education, and House Public Safety Committees. Amanda also serves on the
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, the Commission on Civic Education, the
Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, the Online Virginia Network
Authority, and the Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council. Prior to her election, Amanda
worked as a legislative aide for members of the General Assembly. She resides in Toano with
her husband, Rick, and has one adult son and three adult stepdaughters. Amanda is a James City
County Ruritan member and a board member of the Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts
of America.

Why are you running for this office?

I take seriously the privilege of participating in our representative democracy. Over the course of
the past fifteen years, my political volunteerism evolved into a vocation, thereby affording me
the privilege of working with local residents and stakeholders to address the challenges and
opportunities facing our region. I know firsthand the issues affecting the district, and I look
forward to continuing to serve constituents and champion commonsense solutions.
What is the most important issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Pandemic-induced learning loss poses a grave challenge to our Commonwealth. Ensuring that
students are reading and achieving math competency is critical to the future success of our
nation, and we must pursue every option—and seek innovative solutions—to tackle this
challenge. Science-based reading instruction will be critical to this outcome, and I look forward
to expanding Virginia’s literacy programs.

What it the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?

As I speak with constituents, the high cost of living is constantly mentioned. I will work to
carefully assess the costs—both hidden and overt—of each policy to ensure that the price is not
simply passed along to consumers. For example, a substantial percentage of the cost of new
construction is directly tied to regulatory requirements. Similarly, energy bills include a growing
list of fees (known as “riders”) that are the direct result of legislation passed by the General
Assembly. Well-intentioned policies can often place an undue burden on those already facing
financial struggles.

What is your view on Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban with

I believe Virginians can reach consensus on commonsense policies regarding abortion. Most
Virginians oppose late-term abortion and are rightfully appalled by the concept of abortion for
any reason up until the moment of birth. Governor Youngkin’s proposed 15-week restriction
(with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother after 15 weeks) mirrors many
longstanding European policies. I expect Virginians can use this proposal to begin a reasonable
and science-based policy discussion.

How do you feel about the politicization of public education?

Virginians expect high academic standards and student proficiency in basic subjects. Every
instructional minute is valuable, and parents rightfully believe the classroom needs to be an
orderly space in which demonstrable academic skills are acquired and measured. Time spent
pursuing partisan or subjective issues detracts from instructional time. The focus and goal must
remain on teaching students how to think—not what to think.

What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?

During my fifth year in office, I plan to reintroduce bipartisan legislation codifying consumer
protections for users of earned wage access (EWA) services. These widely used services allow
workers to access the pay they have earned at work but have not yet received due to the payroll
cycle. No current protections exist in state law, leaving consumers vulnerable to potentially
predatory practices.

What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?

As demonstrated on the federal level, fixed campaign contribution levels shift much of the
spending to outside organizations that have no requirement to disclose donors. I prefer a fully
transparent system wherein all donors (and expenditures) are clearly identified and voters have
the ability to use this information when determine make judgements.

How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree?

Disagreement on policy is a feature of our democratic republic; however, every perspective is
unique and valuable. As an elected legislator, I serve and represent all constituents—regardless
of their political affiliation—and consistently act with respect and civility.

Do you think James City County and Williamsburg should continue sharing a school
system or would you help to create two new separate systems?

The decision to either maintain or separate the joint Williamsburg-James City County Public
Schools is currently being studied on the local level. I trust our city and county representatives to
carefully analyze the data and determine the best outcome for students, and I look forward to
working with them throughout the process.