See below for video of State Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s press conference at the Maggie L. Walker National Statue in Richmond a few minutes ago, in which she responded to Gov. Ralph Northam’s endorsement earlier today of Terry McAuliffe for governor. According to McClellan:
- Virginia “needs someone with a new perspective to meet the moment that we are in now…I’ve been doing the work for 16 years in the government…As we recover [from COVID], we need a governor who will bring a new perspective, and I bring a perspective of a Black woman and a working mother who, before COVID, saw the challenges that our Commonwealth faced...”
- She’s been leading in the General Assembly on a “wide variety of issues” – voting rights, civil rights, expanding access to healthcare, addressing inequity in the education system and strengthening it, etc.
- “All of our governors have men…we have the opportunity to change that.”
- On Northam’s endorsement of McAuliffe, she responded, “Virginians are not looking backwards, they’re looking forward…for who is going to be the governor to meet their needs now.” She added that the endorsements which matter the most are the voters. She said she has more state government experience than all of her opponents combined, that she’s “been the brick wall, I’ve built the brick wall” against assaults on women’s reproductive health and voting rights. She emphasized that Virginia needs a new generation of leadership and a new perspective “to break down the legacy of Jim Crow.”
- She said that Black women have been doing the work and leading since the beginning of the Commonwealth’s history are ready, and that she’s the most qualified candidate, “doing the work on every issue…ready on Day 1.”
- Asked about how she’s distinguishing herself from “another Black woman in this race” with the “same first name,” McClellan responded, “Experience matters…and doing the work, being out in the community, listening to and working with them…Pick the issue, I have done the work…I’ve passed over 300 bills.”
- Asked about former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy’s assertion that the governor’s race is between McAuliffe and her (Carroll Foy), McClellan responded: “There’s only other candidate’s name that Terry McAuliffe uttered on the stage on Wednesday night…and the fact that he has tried to take credit for my work…at least two of his policy platforms are built on *my* work…”
- She said she was NOT given a “heads up” on Northam’s endorsement of McAuliffe, but found out after it was announced.