Virginia Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy announces gubernatorial campaign

Virginia Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) launched her campaign for governor Wednesday, becoming the first Democrat to enter the Old Dominion’s 2021 gubernatorial race.

Carroll Foy launched her campaign with a digital video, casting herself as a trail blazer in Virginia politics and citing her upbringing in Petersburg and her 2017 campaign for the House of Delegates while she was pregnant with twins.

“All of my life, people have been telling me ‘no,’” Carroll Foy said. “People told me ‘no’ when I decided to run for the House of Delegates. Told me to my face, ‘we have our candidate, you would never win, you are a joke.’ But when they found out that I was pregnant not with one but with two babies, they said, ‘definitely no, you need to have a seat.’ And I knocked on thousands of doors with morning sickness and swollen ankles.”

“In order for there to be a trail, there has to be someone who’s willing to blaze it.”

Carroll Foy, a defense lawyer who unseated a Republican in 2017, has emerged as a high-profile member of the Virginia state legislature and has been outspoken on issues of gender, the environment, criminal justice reform and more. She was also the chief sponsor of a House bill to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment.

Carroll Foy said she would advocate for a string of top Democratic priorities if elected governor, including expanding access to health care.

“We are still being told no. No to affordable health care. No to criminal justice reform. No to a clean and safe environment. No to common sense gun safety legislation,” she said. “‘No’ is not serving us. So now it’s time for us to have a leader that says ‘yes’ to the people of Virginia.” 

Carroll Foy is expected to be joined by a large field of Democrats vying for the nomination, including high-profile lawmakers like former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and state Attorney General Mark Herring.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) cannot run next year since Virginia law bars governors from serving consecutive terms.

Virginia has tilted heavily toward Democrats in recent elections, electing Northam by 9 points in 2017 and handing the party complete control of the government in 2019.

Tags Jennifer Carroll Foy Justin Fairfax Mark Herring Ralph Northam Terry McAuliffe Virginia
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