Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Prince William County) is resigning her 2nd district House of Delegates seat to focus on her campaign for Governor.
“Jennifer Carroll Foy is resigning from the House of Delegates because she is all in to run for Governor and build a movement to tackle the problems that impact working families,” said the Foy campaign in a statement. “She is choosing to resign to focus on building a people-powered movement that will take Virginians out of the broken status quo that’s left them behind for far too long.”
State legislators are not allowed to fundraise while they are participating in a legislative session. Resigning will free up Foy to fundraise and campaign during the General Assembly’s upcoming session in January. “It’s definitely a gamble,” said Richard Meagher, Associate Professor of Political Science at Randolph-Macon College. “But in a short session, as a junior Delegate, there’s not much that Foy can do to distinguish herself, especially when so many other legislators are running for higher office. She would definitely be in the shadow of McClellan, a senior legislator, and even Fairfax, who presides over the Senate.”
Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) have also declared their candidacy for the top spot in the Executive Branch.
Foy’s campaign acknowledged in a statement that they believe the Delegate’s resignation is necessary for them to fundraise and be competitive in the primary. “The reality of our broken political system is that a campaign to help Virginia escape the status quo requires funding,” said the Foy campaign. “Resigning is the only way for Jennifer Carroll Foy to strengthen her movement in a serious way.”
Former Governor Terry McAuliffe is expected to join the race this week as well and he will not be constrained to the legislative session.
“If [Foy]resigns, she’s at least free to run around with McAuliffe to try and keep up with his fundraising and public campaigning,” said Meagher. “She may try to use the time to position herself as the main alternative to him.”
McClellan released a statement on Tuesday morning saying that she is keeping her seat in the state Senate. “I have served the people of Virginia for 15 years and will continue to do so in the midst of this unprecedented crisis,” said McClellan. “I will always put public service first: That means fighting for my constituents to build a stronger and more equitable Virginia as we navigate the Coronavirus crisis every day. I look forward to working this session on legislation to support our workers and small businesses, invest in Virginia’s education system from early childhood to career, stabilize and rebuild our economic and health care safety nets, and support families during the crisis. Virginians elected Democratic leaders to get things done in Richmond, and that’s exactly what I plan to do this legislative session and as Governor.”
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