As I walk door to door with my petitions down long crooked roads or speak with people after an event, I hear the same thing: “Nice to have a Democrat to vote for!” My opponent has been in office for 19 years and has never had a serious challenger. I am that serious challenger.
My name is Virginia Smith and I am running as a proud Democrat for Virginia’s State Senate in District 15. I am honored to have earned my Master’s degree from the University of Virginia, home of the reigning NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. Go Hoos! I spent my career as a teacher and later an adjunct professor. In my retirement, I have written several books, and I mentor at-risk children when I am not spoiling my nieces and nephews or spending time with Joe, the love of my life.
As I spend time traveling throughout the 15th district, I’m constantly reminded of the days I spent growing up in Greensville and Sussex County Virginia with my sister and brother. We spent many Sundays and summer days playing in the sun with our cousins on our grandparents’ and uncle’s small farms. My family instilled the importance of treating others as you want to be treated and working to improve the lives of others. These lessons are the foundation of my definition of a successful life. They are the reason I dedicated my life to teaching, and ultimately, they are what led me to run for State Senate.
In the 15th district, our public schools have class sizes that are too large, and teachers that are overworked, underpaid, and restricted by SOL testing pressure. Many schools in the district are on 100% free lunch due to extreme poverty. Some of the counties in our district have multiple prisons but no hospitals. Although Medicaid expansion has helped many families in Virginia, there are still people falling through the healthcare cracks. I have seen people in my own family forced to split daily life-saving medications in half or take it every other day because it is too expensive to buy the appropriate refill every 30 days. This has to change – now!
We face many problems in the 15th district, and we will only get through them if we stand united. This campaign is about bringing people together, neighbor to neighbor throughout the district, to work towards a common goal. We seek to build bridges rather than put up obstacles, to foster solidarity rather than sow seeds of division, and to seek solutions instead of scapegoats.
We need your help. With hundreds of races in Virginia this year, our state party is strained. And as a former educator, unfortunately I am not independently wealthy although I have contributed thousands of dollars of my savings to this race. It is important to me that after almost 20 years, people finally have a Democrat to vote for. I hope that it is important for you as well.
Thank you all for everything that you do!
Yours in Service,