Jennifer Carroll Foy enters race for ’21 Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination
Woodbridge Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy announced Tuesday her candidacy for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination.
A little history here at the outset: Virginia has not to this point elected a woman to serve as governor, and has had just one African-American governor, Doug Wilder, who was elected back in 1989.
One more bit of history: no U.S. state has ever elected an African-American woman to serve as governor.
“I have a clear vision for how to move Virginia forward: one where healthcare is affordable for all. Where everyone has a good job that helps their family get ahead, instead of barely get by, and where we implement solutions to our infrastructure crisis. Where the criminal justice system is no longer broken, and all Virginians are treated with dignity no matter what they look like or who they are.
“We can’t wait for problems to be solved — the time for action is now. It’s time we listened to those who haven’t been listened to before, and it’s time for fresh leadership. I’m ready to be the leader Virginia needs,” said Carroll Foy, 38, who is serving her second term in the Virginia House of Delegates, after winning the Second District seat in 2017, flipping a Republican-held district in an open-seat race with 63 percent of the vote.
A Petersburg native, Carroll Foy was in the third class of female cadets to enroll at Virginia Military Institute, from which she graduated in 2003.
She also has a master’s degree from Virginia State University and a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and is a public defender in Northern Virginia.
In the General Assembly, Carroll Foy was a leader in the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, supported the successful fight to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians, and led the passage of a bill to bring better broadband to rural Virginia.
She also worked with fellow Democrats in the 2020 session to secure support for commonsense gun safety legislation.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carroll Foy has led the call for comprehensive paid sick leave, an increase in unemployment benefits, stronger support for public school teachers and students, and a new vote-by-mail system for the November election.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for all Virginians,” Carroll Foy said. “This crisis has exposed what was just beneath the surface: in the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, in one of the wealthiest states in the country, working families don’t have what they need to thrive. The status quo has left us with a deeply broken system where too many Virginians are working too hard for too little and can’t catch a break.
“Growing up, my family faced challenges — many of the same challenges Virginians face today. Back then, I was taught by my grandmother, ‘If you have it, you have to give it.’ I’m ready to give my all to Virginians — that’s why I’m running for governor.”