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Statement from Del. Michelle Maldonado

Michelle for VA

Jun 14, 2024

In a statement this week, former Loudoun County Democratic Committee (LCDC) chair Avram Fechter and others confirmed that “[Congressional candidate Dan] Helmer’s inappropriate behavior with our member was the primary motivation behind our involvement in adding a sexual harassment policy to LCDC’s By-Laws.” Shortly thereafter, legal counsel for that member disclosed additional details and serious allegations concerning what took place.

The heightened tensions and emotions within the political landscape of our crowded primary have motivated many to contribute to public judgment and commentary, even as new facts are coming to light. When a legal process is underway, it has been my practice to avoid comment. This policy protects the accused, who must have the ability to defend themselves, and also protects victims. Too often our fervor to learn the truth creates conditions that may be more difficult or punishing for women who courageously bring to light difficult or traumatic claims. In this instance, I am mindful that public discourse also impacts Delegate Helmer’s spouse and children, as well as the family of the accuser.

Speaking as a woman who advocates for the advancement of women, and as an elected official who has worked with many members of the General Assembly to protect women’s rights, I understand our responsibility to defend women’s rights with dignity. As we wait for legal processes to unfold, I will note that women who come forward under these kinds of circumstances far too often do not get justice.

I will further note that the alleged behavior is unbecoming of a Veteran, unbecoming of a state Delegate, and unbecoming of a Congressional representative. This Congressional seat has stood for integrity as well as the empowerment, progress, and protection of women. We should expect no less in the values, integrity, and behaviors of our next representative. We must use discernment and diligence to reveal truth and justice now. Out of respect for the seat, I call on Delegate Helmer to withdraw from the race.


Maldonado Statement_06.13.24
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