As noted yesterday, Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) is reportedly retiring (I’m hearing he sent out an email this morning announcing this decision) after more than 40 years (!) in the House of Delegates. This is a deep-“blue” district, and several Democrats are expected to toss their hats in the ring. One of them, Paul Berry, just announced this morning; see his press release below.
Reston, VA – Today, Paul Berry (hi-res photo) announces his candidacy for the 7th District House of Delegates Democratic Primary. This follows Delegate Ken Plum’s announcement that he will not seek re-election. Paul teaches in Fairfax County Public Schools, works in data science, and is a former budget & policy advisor to Governor Northam. In his announcement, Paul shared the following:
“Ken Plum’s legacy of progressive leadership and history-making community involvement has served Virginia exceptionally. His experience and knowledge have been invaluable in ways we will all benefit from for decades to come. We have much to be thankful for his dedication as an agent of positive change that has transformed the Commonwealth.
I am offering my progressive leadership in the Democratic primary to continue building on Ken’s legacy of transformative change. As the highest-ranking Latino in the Office of Governor Northam, I helped create legislation that kept people in their homes during the pandemic, expanded maternal care access, created an emergency childcare fund, and more.
I am proud to offer my experience for consideration and am excited to announce my candidacy for the 7th District in the House of Delegates. As an educator, union member, and medical reserve corps volunteer I want to advance policy goals that reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’m launching this campaign to take my proven track record of delivering real change in Governor Northam’s administration to the General Assembly to ensure that no one in our community is left behind.”
In 2018 Governor Northam appointed Paul to the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, and reappointed him in 2019. In 2020, Paul became Chair of VLAB, making him the highest-ranking Latino in the Office of the Governor and responsible for policy outcomes impacting more than 800,000 Virginians.
In 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic response, Governor Northam later assigned Paul to the:
- Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce
- VA Department of Education’s Coronavirus Education Recovery Workgroup
- VA Department of Social Services’ New Americans Advisory Board
- VA Department of Education’s K-12 History & Social Studies Review & Revision workgroup
Paul has also served as Chairman of Fairfax County’s 2021 Redistricting Advisory Committee and on the Virginia Community College System’s Law Enforcement Curricula Review Taskforce.
Paul is proud to receive the endorsements of current and former elected officials, including:
- Virginia Delegate Alfonso Lopez
- Virginia Delegate Kaye Kory
- Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman
- Alexandria City Councilman Kirk McPike
- Former Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni
- Former Virginia Delegate Alex Askew
- Former Arlington Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada
- Former Manassas City Councilman David Farajollahi
- President and CEO, Sky Communications Inc., Bill Bouie
Paul attended public school in a rural area near his father’s farm before being accepted to Brown University where he successfully graduated with a degree in Pure Mathematics. He later obtained a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the University of Geneva and a second Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. His first job following undergrad was as a full-time ESL teacher, and he has held full-time, part-time, or volunteer teaching positions for the past 20 years. He and his wife Carly can often be found with their 1-year-old son on the W&OD trail near their home in Reston.
Read more about Paul’s bio on the Virginia Latino Advisory Board website.