FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2018
Contact: Molly Banta, (804) 564-3023
HENRICO, VA – Today, Delegate Debra Rodman (D-Henrico) announced her decision to seek the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 12th State Senate District. She enters the race endorsed by local Henrico legislators, including the entire Legislative Black Caucus House delegation from Henrico.
Del. Lamont Bagby, Del. Schuyler VanValkenberg, Del. Delores McQuinn, Del. Jeff Bourne, Supervisor Tyrone Nelson, and Del. Lashrecse Aird have endorsed Rodman because they witnessed in the General Assembly what her community has always known: Del. Rodman is a fighter for all people.
Said Rodman, “My life’s work has been about making the American Dream accessible: for our students, for our children, and for some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. My district knows how hard I fight for them – on the campaign trail and at the General Assembly. When there is an opportunity to do more good for more people, I’m going to take it.”
Rodman won a race deemed “un-winnable” in 2017 without any help from the Democratic Party establishment through hard work at the grassroots. Rodman notes an equally competitive race ahead, “I have a hard primary in front of me, and if I’m honored with the nomination, an even harder general election. But that is good and worth it – competitive, positive primaries should be encouraged. I worked hard to win my primary in 2017, and that prepared me to defeat a well-funded, entrenched incumbent. I have proven to the 73rd district that I am a relentless campaigner and a relentless fighter for their values in the General Assembly. I look forward to proving that to the 12th Senate district.”
Her colleague, Del. Jeff Bourne, said of Rodman’s commitment to fighting every day for her constituents: “As a former member of the school board, it's been incredible for me to watch Debra fight so adamantly for Henrico county schools. She has proven extremely effective at pushing back against budget cuts and working across the aisle to protect higher education. I'm proud to endorse her run for Senate.” This year, Rodman successfully pushed back against a state budget that originally cut $15 million in financial aid for higher education.
Del. Schuyler VanValkenberg, a high school civics teacher, agrees: “I watched Debra step in 2017 even when no one thought she could win. Because of her determination in the General Assembly, Virginia will make long-overdue updates to our teacher evaluations. I am so excited to endorse her for Senate.” Rodman’s bill was killed for political reasons, however she still achieved its desired results through countless meetings with leadership resulting in a letter that works with the Department of Education to revise teacher evaluations. Said Rodman, “I don’t stop when a bill is killed for political reasons, as has happened to many bills of freshmen in tough districts. I turn around and get the legislation incorporated elsewhere, or find another way to deliver results. Because for me, it’s not about politics, and it’s not about optics. It’s about making sure that my constituents have a fighting chance.”
Her colleagues continuously recognize Debra’s ability to put results for her district over politics. Commented Del. Lashrecse Aird, "Debra is a legislator of integrity and principle. Her values have guided her stances and the strong advocacy she has displayed for her constituents. As our Commonwealth moves forward, I am proud that we have leaders like Debra willing to serve. Because of that, I am committed and excited to support her run for State Senate." Del. Lamont Bagby, Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus agrees, “Debra is a leader. I've gotten to know her well as we work closely together to help our constituents in the general assembly. She's a strong candidate for Senate and she'll make an excellent Senator.”
Henrico Supervisor Tyrone Nelson recognizes Debra as a hard worker and inclusive advocate on the campaign trail and upon election, "I first met Debra at the beginning of her race in 2017. She won me over quickly with her compassion and commitment to serving all the communities in her district. She has continued to prove that through her legislative priorities and constant work for all of Henrico."
Delegate Debra Rodman is running for Virginia’s 12th State Senate District. She is an Associate Professor at Randolph-Macon College, and regularly use her academic expertise to serve as an expert witness in US Federal Court where she advocates for families and LGBT refugees fleeing violence. She was first elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2017, a historic grassroots victory in what was considered to be an un-winnable race.