From the Tom Perriello for Governor campaign.
In New Digital Ad, Candid Testimonials From Those Who Know Him Best Reveal Tom Perriello’s Lifelong Conviction to Fight Injustice and Do Good
Today, Tom Perriello, Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, is releasing a new digital ad highlighting his lifelong conviction to fight injustice and do good at all costs, as told through testimonials from those who know Tom best — from family, to former colleagues, staffers, and constituents. The stories articulate Tom’s conviction to do good for his community as what will drive him as governor of Virginia.
The ad opens with Tom’s congressional colleague, former Rep. Henry Waxman, describing Tom as driven “by a sense of obligation to serve the public.” Tom and the veteran lawmaker got to know each other as Tom, a freshman congressman, took a leadership role in fighting to pass the Affordable Care Act and backed a landmark climate change bill authored by Waxman, despite representing a red district. Waxman, also the former chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, goes on to say, “He will be exactly the kind of leader people want, who follows his conscience to do what’s right, not influenced by the special interests, and is doing what he can to make this a better state and a better country for everybody.”
Bernadette Atuahene, Tom’s law school classmate and friend, goes on to describe Tom as “a social justice warrior…that’s what drives him to do everything he does.” Tom was active in progressive advocacy both in college and law school, and instead of joining the private sector post-graduation, Tom decided to move to Sierra Leone and join the grassroots movement of courageous women and former child soldiers to demand peace and accountability. He later remained in Sierra Leone to serve as Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone that forced brutal Liberian dictator Charles Taylor to peacefully surrender power. He continued working on peace and transitional justice efforts in conflict zones around the world, including work in the Balkans, Darfur, and Afghanistan.
Following his time abroad, Tom made a long-shot bid for Congress, where, after winning election in 2008, he fought to save the country from another Great Depression, reform our broken health care system, tackle climate change, support LGBTQ and immigrant rights, while standing up to special interests. While many Democrats from conservative districts like Virginia’s Fifth ran away from President Obama and his agenda, Tom did not.
Leah Greenberg, who was a congressional staffer for Tom in the heart of the ACA fight in 2009 and 2010, recalls in the ad how, after one of the many town halls Tom held as congressman, Tom told her, “This is gonna be tough, but at the end of the day what matters isn’t whether we win or lose, what matters is whether we deliver for the people who sent us here. What matters is whether we stand up for what we believe in, and fight for it, and make the case for it because we’ll never have real change without that.” It was this conversation with Tom that inspired Leah to later co-author the Indivisible Guide, which is mobilizing progressive grassroots activists all across the country to resist Donald Trump’s presidency.
Leah Puryear is a Charlottesville School Board Member and former congressional constituent who has known Tom since he was a child. She campaigned for him in 2008 and has endorsed him in his bid for governor, describing Tom as “a man of conviction, he understands the importance of what everyone needs. He understands the downtrodden, he understands minorities, he understands health care and things that affect us from a socioeconomic standpoint, and he works tirelessly, diligently to achieve that effort.” As governor, Tom will fight to ensure that no Virginian is left behind or forgotten — from fighting to close the racial wealth gap, to ensuring we invest in education and give the next generation the skills they need to achieve success.
The ad closes with the woman who has known Tom the longest: his mother Linda Perriello. She says, “Just like he said in 2008, Tom believes in the common good of the Commonwealth, and together, I know that he is going to be able to help us forge a great future.”
As governor, Tom will fight to make Virginia’s economy work for everyone. Median household income in Virginia is currently essentially the same as it was in 1996. That’s why Tom has proposed the most progressive agenda to support working families and grow our economy in modern Virginia history—including raising wages, making two years of community college free, guaranteeing paid family and medical leave, and ensuring pre-K is universal. He has also put forward a sensible plan to fix Virginia’s tax system to generate the revenues to fund this growth-oriented investment in the working and middle class.
The two-minute digital ad, titled “The Tom I Know,” will begin running online this week.