by Lindsey Dougherty, Democratic nominee in the 62nd House of Delegates District
In 2016, I was pregnant with my daughter, Brianna, when my husband, Brent, unexpectedly lost his job. Our family was already stretched thin when my son, Grayson, was diagnosed with PANDAS, a serious auto-immune disease. Not only were we fighting for my son’s wellbeing, but we were also fighting with insurance companies that did not want to treat him. By a twist of fate, due to Brent’s unemployment, our children qualified for Medicaid. It was one of the few insurances that would ultimately cover my son’s treatments.
In our moment of greatest need, Medicaid was the difference maker, providing my son the treatment he needed. Medicaid was, at best a short term fix, Grayson’s disease will require constant medical care throughout his life. Without quality insurance coverage, our family, and any family facing a similar situation would constantly struggle. No family should face financial ruin to save their child.
I joined forces with advocates seeking to require public insurance plans to cover the necessary treatment my son and those who suffer from PANDAS need. Advocates like Leader Filler-Corn have been tremendous allies, but we still have not been able to pass policies in Virginia that would protect families like mine. That’s because Republican leaders in the General Assembly don’t see these day to day issues facing working families, like mine, as priorities. Instead, they focus on representing corporations and special interests who want to influence policy in Richmond. As I came face to face with this inaction, I realized that we need to elect leaders who understand our needs, because they face our struggles. That’s when I made one of the easiest decisions of my life and chose to run for office.
Objectively, running for office was not the best decision for someone like me. I don’t come from a wealthy family, I don’t have rich friends, and I still have to work a full-time job to make ends meet. I wake up every morning at 5 am to get to work by 7 am, so I can finish up at 3 pm, allowing me to fundraise and talk to voters until 8 pm when I spend time with my family, before again catching up on campaign work until midnight. Then, I go to sleep and do it again the next day.
It might be hard, but if people like me don’t run for office, we will continue to see our issues ignored by the state government. We need leaders who understand the powerful role that good government can play in our lives. That’s why I am running to represent the people of the 62nd district.
Lindsey Dougherty is a mom of two, local government budget analyst, and candidate for the 62nd House District. Outside of her three full-time jobs as a mother, public servant, and candidate, She enjoys riding horses, coffee, and sleep and is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University. Lindsey lives in Chester with her son, Grayson, daughter, Brianna, and navy veteran husband, Brent.
The 62nd District is just south of Richmond with parts of Chesterfield and Prince George County and all of Hopewell City. In 2017, Shelia Bynum-Coleman came within 3.5 points of winning the district, and since then, the district has been redistricted fairly and has become an open seat. This year we can flip the 62nd and the House of Delegates, blue.