Vivian Watts

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Vivian Watts
Vivian Watts.jpg
Virginia House of Delegates District 39
In office
1996 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2016
Years in position 19
Base salary$17,640/year
Per diem$170/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First elected1995
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Michigan, 1962
Date of birth06/07/1940
Place of birthDetroit, MI
Office website
Campaign website
Vivian E. Watts is a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing District 39. She was first elected to the chamber in 1981, and was elected to her current tenure in 1995. She previously served from 1982 to 1986


Watts earned her B.A. in English at the University of Michigan in 1962. She has worked as Executive Director of Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates, a consultant for the United States Advisory Committee of Intergovernmental Relations, and as an author/researcher for the United States Department of Justice Grant.[1]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Watts served on the following committees:

Virginia Committee Assignments, 2015
Courts of Justice
Science and Technology

2014 legislative session

In the 2014 legislative session, Watts served on the following committees:


In the 2012-2013 legislative session, Watts served on the following committees:


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Watts served on the following committees:


  • HB 1895 Estate tax; reinstates federal credit amount State would receive payments from deaths.
  • HB 2195 Income tax; in-home health care tax credit.
  • HB 2196 Income tax, state; deduction for certified nursing assistants and home health aides.[2]

Campaign themes


Watts’s website highlighted the following campaign themes:[3]

  • Budget & Taxes

Excerpt: "Fiscal integrity must be maintained which has earned Virginia our long-standing AAA bond rating and rank of best-managed state. Open processes with full discussion of alternative economic viewpoints and actuarial projections are essential – no blue smoke and mirrors."

  • Transportation

Excerpt: "No solution can be off the table in tackling this major problem; including enhanced transit, increased road capacity, Department of Transportation accountability and management, coordinated land use, private/public financing, user fees that track inflation, increased state and federal funding to Northern Virginia, intersection improvements, telecommuting, etc."

  • Education

Excerpt: "Fairfax County's schools and her taxpayers are not treated fairly in the distribution of state public school support. Fairfax schools have larger average class sizes at every grade level than three-quarters of the rest of Virginia's school districts. Smaller maximum class sizes are critical to meeting the needs of mainstream students as well as students with special needs and to retaining teachers in the face of growing teacher shortage."

  • Higher Education

Excerpt: "Virginia has some of the best colleges and universities in the country. We must make sure that this history of excellence continues and that there is room for all qualified children coming from Northern Virginia. Higher education must be available based on the student's academic ability -- not on ability to pay -- through financial aid and alternatives to residential universities."

  • Human Services

Excerpt: "The Commonwealth of Virginia has a duty to assure that professional standards are met in the delivery of health care for all citizens. For those who cannot provide for their own basic needs, state government actions should enhance the delivery of services; focus on developing maximum abilities that may lead to independence; and not add cost or delay to private, charitable, or local government providers."

Delegate Watts speaking at a 2012 rally for women's rights


Watts' answers to the Virginia State Legislative Election 2007 National Political Awareness Test are available. When asked what her top priorities were, she responded:[4]

  • 1. "Mental health services and procedural reforms to address needs identified as contributing to the Virginia Tech tragedy and the needs of veterans who've experienced brain injuries and post dramatic stress"
  • 2. "Adequate, sustained, dedicated state transportation funding from broad based taxes that at least matches what Northern Virginia is raising locally"
  • 3. "Staffing standards for nursing homes funded by taxing estates of over $5 million that are not family farms or wholly owned businesses"



See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2015

Elections for the office of Virginia House of Delegates will take place in 2015. A primary election will be held on June 9, 2015, and the general election November 3, 2015. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 9, 2015.[5]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2013

Watts won re-election in the 2013 election for Virginia House of Delegates District 39. Watts ran unopposed in the June 11 Democratic primary. She was unopposed in the general election, which took place on November 5, 2013.[6]


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2011

On November 8, 2011, Watts won re-election to District 39 of the Virginia House of Delegates. She was uncontested in the August 23 primary and defeated Dimitris Kolazas (I) in the November 8 general election.[7]

Virginia House of Delegates, District 39 General Election, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngVivian Watts Incumbent 76.8% 11,297
     Independent Dimitris Kolazas 23.2% 3,409
Total Votes 14,706


See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2009

In 2009, Watts was re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She defeated Joe Bury, Matt Cholko, and James Leslie in the General Election.[8]

Virginia House of Delegates General Election, District 39 (2009)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Vivian Watts (D) 10,391
Joe Bury (R) 7,281
Matt Cholko (L) 580
Jim Leslie (I) 170

Delegate Watts discussing her projects

Campaign donors


In 2011, Watts received $87,185 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[9]

Virginia House of Delegates 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Vivian Watts's campaign in 2011
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association$3,000
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association$2,500
AOL Inc$2,000
Total Raised in 2011 $87,185
Total Votes received in 2011 11,297
Cost of each vote received $7.72


The top five donors to Watts' 2009 campaign:[10]

Contributor 2009 total
Medical Society of Virginia $4,500
Virginia Dental Assoc $3,000
Dominion $2,500
Northern Virginia Assoc of Realtors $2,500
VTCA - PAC $2,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Virginia

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Virginia scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 8 through March 10. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly will be in session from January 14 to February 28, 2015.

  • Legislators are scored based on their support of pro-business issues during the 2014 legislative session.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on business and quality of life issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on bills that VMA introduced or was part of an coalition that introduced it.


In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly was in regular session from January 11 to March 10. In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 9 to February 25.

  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • Legislators are scored based on important legislation affecting business and industry.
  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on the issue of equality.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their voting record on the issues of the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.



In 2009, Watts’s endorsements included the following:


Watts and her husband have two children.

Additional reading

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Political offices
Preceded by
Virginia House of Delegates District 39
Succeeded by