See below for a press release from “Marine veteran and local business leader” Joel Griffin, who today “announced his run for Virginia State Senate District 27, which encompasses the city of Fredericksburg as well as areas of Stafford and Spotsylvania County.” Griffin joins two other Democratic candidates (Luke Radley Wright and Ben Litchfield) plus two Republican candidates (Tara Durant and Matt Strickland) and an independent/conservative candidate (Monica Gray) in a potentially district that Glenn Youngkin won (by 8.5 points) in 2021 and that Ed Gillespie won (by 2.5 points) in 2017.
So what makes this district potentially competitive? First of all, Democrat Abigail Spanberger apparently won the district by ~2 points in 2022. Second, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner all won the district – so it’s “blue” leaning in federal elections, at least. Third, as mentioned above, there’s an independent candidate who appears to be pro-Youngkin/anti-abortion in the race, so she could draw votes from the Republican nominee in November.
Of course, Democrats will need a VERY strong nominee who can appeal to both core Democratic voters and also to “swing” voters in the district. So, we’ll see how the Democratic primary goes, but my top priority is winning this seat (since keeping control of the State Senate is absolutely crucial to women’s reproductive freedom and everything else we care about), so whoever appears to be the strongest candidate in November will almost certainly have my support.
Marine veteran and local Business leader Joel Griffin announces run for State Senate District 27
FREDERICKSBURG, Va., Feb. 21, 2023 – Today, Marine veteran and local business leader Joel Griffin announced his run for Virginia State Senate District 27, which encompasses the city of Fredericksburg as well as areas of Stafford and Spotsylvania County.
Griffin joined the Marines shortly after high school to serve his country. He was a member of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and later the Intelligence Activity Command, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Following active duty, Griffin transitioned to civilian life as a government contractor. While working in his first civilian job, he was awarded the Patriotic Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Army for actions taken immediately and following 9/11 at the Pentagon in 2001.
Presently, Griffin is a small business owner and leads a successful growth management firm that supports the growth of entrepreneurs and veterans like himself. He knows what it takes to build a successful small business and most importantly how our government in Richmond can hurt and help small business owners. This is the same sort of common sense approach that he will take to Richmond once elected.
Griffin is also committed to philanthropic work that improves the safety of those living within our community. In 2015, he established Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation with Jennifer Griffin, a 501(c)(3), in honor of their oldest daughter. The Foundation’s mission is to provide free Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. Their work seeks to create a ‘Culture of Action’ where everyone has the knowledge and ability to save a life.
Griffin is also a fervent advocate for women’s rights. Having raised two daughters, Griffin understands and has seen the impact of legislation on the lives of women in Virginia. He is a strong proponent for equality under the law, which extends to healthcare decisions and a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion. This right is under attack in Virginia in 2023, and if a Republican is elected to serve State Senate District 27, a full ban on reproductive health is not off the table.
“The arc of my life is service,” said Griffin. “Whether it’s serving our country in the Marine Corps or protecting the next generation through Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, I strive to be a servant leader in all that I do. My goal as State Senator will be to continue that service for District 27 and to advocate in the best interest of its citizens.”
Senate District 27 is the district that President Biden won in 2020, and Congresswoman Spanberger won by two points in 2022. Although it is a blue trending district, the district has swung towards Republicans in odd-year elections.