by Ronnie Ross, candidate for Virginia State Senate in SD 27 (includes parts of Frederick County, Fauquier County, Winchester, Clarke County, Stafford County, Culpeper County, Loudoun County)
My name is Ronnie Ross, and I am running for Virginia’s 27th Senate District, located on the western edge of Northern Virginia. I just wanted to take a moment and introduce myself to you.
To be honest, I never saw myself running for political office. I’m a teacher, have been for going on ten years, and I love what I do. I can think of nothing better to do with a life than to help young minds grow. I never intended to be doing this. But, ten years ago we lived in a different world. It was a world that felt like the norms and rules with how we governed still applied. It was a world that felt like it was getting kinder and safer and more just for everyone.
But, two years ago, things changed in a really seismic way; you could really feel it. And then, 13 months ago, my world was rearranged forever when my wife and I had a beautiful baby boy. As new parents, we worried about everything. Is my son okay? What was that noise? Let me go check one more time to see if he’s breathing… But I also began to worry about what kind of world I was leaving for my son. Then, though, I realize that that’s a little selfish. It’s not just about my son; it’s about all of our sons and daughters and the world we’re leaving for them as well as the world we’re creating for us now.
While I grew up in Appalachia on the Ohio side of the mountains, I have lived and taught in Virginia for these past ten years. I lived in Fauquier County for six, and my family and I now live in western Loudoun. As a teacher, I care deeply about public education. That is why I will work to make Virginia a state that provides universal Pre-K. We also need to move away from SOL testing and move towards a more portfolio-based approach. Lastly, we need to work to reduce class sizes.
We also have more work to do on healthcare. It was so exciting to see our General Assembly expand Medicaid to nearly 400,000 Virginians. The next battleground is to expand Medicaid Dental for adults. It currently only covers emergency services; it should cover preventative care.
There are a myriad of other issues as well. Growing up, I saw firsthand the damage that hilltop removal and fracking can do. We need to be much better stewards of our environment. And, while I myself shoot firearms, we still need reasonable restrictions on them, from universal background checks to the ability to take firearms away from those with a history of domestic violence and stalking. Lastly, we need to take care of our first responders by addressing their cancer presumption bill.
For all of these reasons and more I am running for the Senate, and I need your help to win. Together we can make a difference, and we can flip the General Assembly. Can I count on your support?