See below for Del. Dawn Adams‘ press release announcing her candidacy for the State Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who almost certainly will be heading to the U.S. House to represent the 4th Congressional District. Adams was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2017, then reelected in 2019 and 2021. Three other Democrats – Del. Jeff Bourne (who was “drawn in” to the new 78th House of Delegates district with Del. Adams and Del. Betsy Carr; so by running for State Senate, Adams avoids the House of Delegates primary) and Del. Lamont Bagby – are also likely to run for this seat. It’s elections like this, by the way, where we really need to use Ranked Choice Voting!
Delegate Dawn M. Adams Announces Run for State Senate Bid to fill seat potentially vacated by Senator Jennifer L. McClellan
Now in her sixth year in Virginia’s House of Delegates, Democratic Delegate Dawn M. Adams of Richmond City announced Tuesday that she is running to represent the Senate District soon to be potentially vacated by Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-9th).
“Senator McClellan has been a tremendous advocate and leader for the Richmond area, and a true friend and mentor to me since I first ran for office in 2017. As her journey leads her to Capitol Hill, it would be a privilege to carry on her legacy as a thoughtful, pragmatic, and successful champion of the people of Richmond and the Commonwealth,” said Delegate Adams.
Delegate Adams made history as part of the “Blue Wave” of 2017, flipping House District 68 after decades of Republican representation. She made history again as the only out lesbian in the General Assembly and the only state legislator from the LGBTQ community elected outside of Northern Virginia.
Delegate Adams is a nurse practitioner, small business owner, and the only Democratic clinician practicing medicine in the Virginia General Assembly. As a health policy expert, she provides much needed medical expertise to the state legislature.
“After talking with my family, friends and constituents about the best next steps to be of service, and after much consideration, I believe the time is right to bring my years of health policy knowledge, business experience, and commitment to my community to the State Senate,” I would be deeply honored to serve this area in
the Senate, which would bring me full circle from where I started in Richmond as a home health registered nurse in the mid 90s.”
“The Richmond area needs a legislator who truly understands the relationship between housing and health, the environment and health, education and health, transportation and health, and food quality and health, and the many inequities in healthcare. These are all issues I understand and can lead on with experience caring for patients on what can only be described as the ‘Medicaid circuit,’” noted Delegate Adams. “These experiences led me to public service and fuel my passion every day to be a champion for the people of Virginia and the communities I represent. In the current political environment where worker’s rights, women’s rights, equal rights, gun safety and equitable education policy is debated every day, I know my track record as a fighter on those issues will make me a great fit in the senate.”
At a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher on issues of reproductive health, the environment, education, and justice, Delegate Adam’s professional expertise, real world experience, and unique perspectives will ensure her constituents in Richmond and all Virginians are represented fairly and equally in the State Senate.
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About Delegate Adams
Delegate Dawn M. Adams is a nurse practitioner originally elected to represent House District 68 in 2017 and re-elected in 2019 and 2021. She was the first Democrat elected to represent the district in three decades and the first openly lesbian member of Virginia’s General Assembly. She has been an incredibly effective representative working across the aisle and across chambers to pass key legislation important to her and her district.
She is a healthcare and environmental champion and served as the Health Professions Chair within the Health Welfare and Institutions Committee in 2020 and 2021. Her other committee assignments include General Laws, and Privileges and Elections. In 2020 she was appointed to the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Disability Commission, the Committee on Coal and Energy, and the Joint Subcommittee on Block Grants. In 2021 she was also appointed to the Cannabis Oversight Commission, the Task Force on Maternal Health Data and Quality Measures, and the Human Services & Public Safety Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments (CSG). As of 2022, she remains a member of the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Cannabis Oversight Commission, the Task Force on Maternal Health Data and Quality Measures, the Committee on Coal and Energy, the committee for Reproductive Health Service Coverage, the School Health Services Committee, and the Workgroup to Study Policy Proposals for the Expedited Sales of Cannabis.
Dr. Adams has more than thirty-five years of diverse clinical, administrative, and healthcare policy expertise. From 2014-1019, she designed the curriculum and
taught Health Policy in the doctoral nursing program at Old Dominion University. She holds four academic degrees from four Virginia universities and is currently a small business owner and clinician specializing in alternative pain management, medical cannabis, and internal medicine. She is particularly passionate about addressing the crisis in healthcare, specific to aging, mental health, dementia, and physical and emotional pain.