Michelle Maldonado.jpg

Michelle Maldonado

A Bristow small business owner is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat held by Del. Lee Carter.

Michelle Maldonado, 52, is filing paperwork to challenge Carter, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, for the nomination in the 50th House District, which covers the city of Manassas and nearby parts of Prince William County.

Carter is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor and, like many candidates running for governor or lieutenant governor, is simultaneously running for another two-year term in the House of Delegates. If he wins the governorship, a special election would be held for his House of Delegates seat.

Maldonado is a native of the Cape Cod town of Falmouth, Mass. She received an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies and Spanish literature and language from Barnard College in New York before coming to Northern Virginia in 1993 to attend George Washington University Law School.

Maldonado said she was moved to make her first attempt at public office after she was “shook to my core” following a string of high-profile killings of Black people across the country in 2020, including George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, Ky., and Ahmaud Arbery by a group of white men in Georgia.

She said the racial strife brought out by the killings followed by the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 pushed her to serve. 

“I couldn’t believe that it happened,” she said of the riot, which left five people dead and has led to hundreds of arrests. “It was in that moment I said I needed to do something.”

Maldonado wants to restore “dignity and respect in politics” through her campaign. 

Maldonado’s campaign centers around investment in education and the economy. She supports more raises for teachers and increased resources in classrooms.

Maldonado supports Virginia's recent move to raise its minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, which she called a “good start.” 

“No person should be working 40 hours a week and still be at, below or close to the poverty line,” she said.

As a small business owner, Maldonado said she understands the impact of increasing the wage on businesses and said it needs to include a graduated scale and be regularly adjusted for inflation.

Maldonado said improving the economy, wages and education ties into themes of equity and equality.

“We have to think about when we develop these things, when we grow these things, there’s an impact among various communities,” she said.

Carter won his first two-year term in 2017, knocking off six-term Republican incumbent and House Majority Whip Jackson Miller by almost nine points. Two years later, he held off challenges from two sitting Manassas City Council members, first beating Democrat Mark Wolfe in a primary, then defeating Republican Ian Lovejoy in the general election.

Maldonado will join Carter and Manassas activist Helen Zurita in the Democratic primary. Mike Allers Jr. and Dr. Steve Pleickhardt are seeking the Republican nomination.

No independent or third-party candidates have announced plans to run in the district.

Party nominees will be chosen in primaries on June 8. 

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.


(12) comments

Robert Austin

The Democrats are sending a message to the Communists like Carter trying to hijack their party. Go run on the Communist Party ticket and see how the voters react.

George Lawton

Politics attracts such scum of society. Here we go again with another radicalized professional racialist thinking “she’s going to do something” LMAO...these people are such a f****** joke.

Brad London

She clearly is yet another poor candidate by the democrats. They rely on falsehoods such as systemic racism and police targeting blacks. Totally a lie on both accounts. If America is so racist how did we elect a black man not once, but twice. People need to wake up to the lies of the democrats. They have no policies on which to convince people to vote for them so they try to divide our country. And this candidate appears to be horrible as well. Realize when she says "invest in" that's code for "I'm going to raise your taxes even higher". You get what you vote for people.

John Dutko

The fact that we have to STILL explain the root causes of the Civil War lends credence to the claim of systemic racism.

What policies do the republicans have, other than being contrary? Is it stupid cultural war crap? Dr. Seuss waving a rainbow flag saying "Happy Holidays"?

You can't claim fiscal conservatism when you blow the debt out of the water.

You can't claim to be the friend of minorities when you embrace white nationalists.

You can't rail against the "elites" when you support the exploitation of the workforce.

I love how the RNC platform was unchanged from 2016:


And how they kept railing against Pres. Obama.

Four years later and not one iota of leadership was demonstrated.

Allen Muchnick

The collection of negative comments here is prima facie evidence of racism among the Inside NOVA readership.

Paul Benedict

I blame Ms. Maldonaldo's ignorance on the media. January 6 had nothing to do with racial issues. It is sickening that she thinks "high-profile killings of Black people" are a major issue, when 90% of black people are killed in low-profile killings that have nothing to do with white people, white supremacists or racial strife. What they have in common is that they always occur in Democrat-Party controlled hell-holes. But again that doesn't align with the narrative being spread by the dishonest media and dishonest Democrats. I suspect Ms. Maldonado is not as ignorant as she pretends. Democrats have never improved the quality of life for anyone, ever.

Change Craford

Soily, Your ignorance to true facts is showing again. You keep complaining that Democrats have improved the lives of Republicans as well, but you keep pushing lies just like Republicans do without no facts. You support Trump who is a racist and pathological liar just like you are deplorable. You support your fellow deplorables storming the Capital and defecating and urinating all over it. I see that you haven't said one word on those other anti-Americans like yourself who broke and stole government and personal belongs in the insurrection. How about being an adult and stop you lying! You know a lie when you hear one, so tell the dam truth and back them up!!!

Brad London

Derek005 the ignorance is clearly yours. Trump did far more to help minorities and black folks in general. All you have to do is look at the data. Lowest unemployment rate in history for blacks and hispanics. And of course Jan 6 had nothing to do with racism. But the left, and apparently people like you who slurp up the lies, have no real policies so they rely on lies (e.g. systemic racism) and pure emotion. Biden has been in office two short months and we have a massive border crisis, Putin and China taunting Biden and America, and massive spending bills that are not needed at the level the democrats are ramming through. So you do you, but the facts matter and you have no facts to rely on.

John Dutko

Being friendly with known despots like Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong-Un is a weird flex, but ok.

The border crisis is seasonal and has been for the past 50 years.

The spending bills are needed and are being allocated properly. Unlike a crappy wall and an "infrastructure week" that never materialized. It's like dems have to make up for all the crap that happened the last 4 years.

Duke Nukem

Derek probably believes the FBI doesn't know the true motives of the Vegas mass shooter. Stop being so gullible 005.

Comment deleted.

You wanna know which race commits the most crime?

Black Lies Matter.

John Dutko

Maybe the police should provide the same due process to white people as they do to blacks.

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