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by Brandon Jarvis

Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-Henrico) announced Tuesday that he will be running for the state Senate in SD-16. The incumbent in this district is Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico). VanValkenburg included endorsements from several prominent legislators in his announcement.

VanValkenburg was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2017.

“For the last five years, it has been my honor to represent Henrico in the Virginia House of Delegates,” VanValkenburg said in his announcement. “In the House, I am proud of my work protecting reproductive rights, strengthening our democracy, and ensuring that Virginia remains a leader in public education. But as a parent and Henrico County teacher, I see firsthand the issues facing families in our community and hear how people feel that our leaders in higher office don’t represent our values or are serious about solving the issues most affecting them.”

VanValkenburg talks more about what he wants to bring to the Senate. “I am announcing my run for the state Senate because Henrico needs legislators who will focus on middle-class job growth, making health care more affordable, and improving our school system until it is the best in the nation,” VanValkenburg continued. “We need a state Senator who will stand up for equality and women’s rights – because our Commonwealth is strongest when it works for all of us and we all have a fair shot.”

He announced endorsements from prominent legislators who represent parts of Henrico in the Senate and House. “At a time when reproductive freedom is under a clear threat in Virginia, Schuyler VanValkenburg will protect our right to make our own decisions,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond). “Schuyler has proven to be a fierce pro-choice advocate and is prepared to fight back against any threats to our freedom – including dangerous abortion bans. He will ensure that patients and providers make medical decisions, keeping politicians and the government out of the exam room and these most intimate decisions.  I’m proud to endorse Schuyler VanValkenburg for the 16th Senate District and look forward to welcoming him as my next Senate colleague.”

Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) also endorsed VanValkenburg. They were both drawn into the same House district during redistricting last year. “As a parent, teacher, and legislator, Schuyler is a champion for quality public education in Henrico County,” Bagby said. “When it comes to delivering school funding, raising teacher pay, and ensuring parents and students have a voice, Schuyler always gets the job done. I know that he will continue this work in the Senate, and I am thrilled to endorse him.”

“I’m pleased to wholeheartedly endorse my colleague, Schuyler VanValkenburg, for State Senate,” said Del. Rodney Willett (D-Henrico). “As a public school teacher, Schuyler sees and hears firsthand the struggles Virginia families are enduring, squeezed by higher costs on everything from fuel to food. Schuyler will work to build an economy that works for all of us, lowering costs on family necessities from prescription drugs to groceries, while bringing good-paying jobs to Henrico. Schuyler is the trustworthy, honest, and hardworking representative we deserve in the State Senate, and he has my full support.”

Dunnavant is currently serving her second term in the state Senate. According to an analysis from VPAP, this district voted for Democrat Terry McAuliffe by six points in 2021.

VanValkenburg announced his campaign with the following videos:

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By vascope