• Age: 65
• Party: Democrat
• Education: B.A., Politics, Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Lynchburg, VA; Central High School, Woodstock, VA
• Work: Currently – Archive Specialist at the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; formerly – Sales, Systems Admin at Bernal Inc., Rochester Hills, MI; Advertising, Shenandoah Valley-Herald; Senior Citizen Coordinator, Shenandoah County Parks and Rec.
• Why are you running for public office?
I am running because I believe people deserve a choice, and they also deserve a representative that will truly represent their interests. For too long the citizens of District 15 have struggled without help from Richmond. Residents need good jobs with benefits, clean air and water, mental health services and the ability to go for a drive without being mired in traffic and gridlock on I-81. My opponent is hyper-focused on his signature personal belief issues rather than basic needs affecting folks in District 15. If elected, I will represent all my constituents.
• What makes you the best candidate?
I am not a politician. I am a regular person who has been active in my community my whole life. I grew up here, know the people and see their struggles. I am a hard-working, intelligent woman with life experience, empathy and commitment. And I stepped up when no one else would. Mr. Gilbert has occupied his seat for 15 years and for 15 years voted “no” on any major legislation that would help his constituents, such as the Medicaid expansion. In recent years we have made progress in Virginia despite his representation, not because of it. It is time for his long reign to end. We are ready to move forward in District 15.
• What is the most pressing issue facing the people of the 15th District?
Covid. We all feel stymied by masks, restrictions, and mandates. But the truth is that until we get Covid under control, businesses, the education system and families will continue to suffer. We need to be vigilant about preventing the spread of the virus so that we can get back to enjoying the freedom of living life without the constant threat of becoming deathly ill or infecting the people we love. We particularly need to shield the children who are too young to enjoy the protection of a vaccine.
• What is the one thing that you would most like to change or improve about Virginia?
I would like to move towards eradicating racism and intolerance once and for all. Events in recent years have uncovered an ugly truth that we need to confront. Everyone is still not treated equally in this society. That and the reaction by some to the local movement to change the names of schools honoring Generals who fought to preserve slavery, tells us that we still have work to do to live up to the aspirations of our forefathers, that all men are created equal. We need to enshrine that truth in our hearts to fully reach our potential as a commonwealth.
• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.
I served on the vestry at my church. We are a small congregation that strives to do good for our community. Before the pandemic, I advocated strongly for the food pantry run by our church. I knew there was a need, and that we had an opportunity to help. I am so grateful that I fought to preserve this service because when the covid pandemic occurred, before the economic relief package was enacted, we were serving 200 families a week. I hate that it was necessary, but am so pleased that we were able to alleviate some of the pain brought about by the pandemic.