Home Jennifer McClellan Video: Congresswoman-Elect Jennifer McClellan’s Emotional Farewell Speech to the VA State Senate

Video: Congresswoman-Elect Jennifer McClellan’s Emotional Farewell Speech to the VA State Senate

"I thank you all for making me part of your family, and for making me - especially you Madam Clerk - for making me the public servant and the legislator I am today."

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See below for Congresswoman-elect Jennifer McClellan’s emotional farewell speech from the Virginia State Senate, preceded by a tribute from her colleague, State Senator Jeremy McPike.

  • Sen. McPike extolled Sen. McClellan’s “passion for social justice, for schools, for the environment and so many other causes”; adding that her “tone and tenor and thoughtfulness has always brought the respect of her peers.”
  • Sen. McPike added, “As we look at historical figures, it is not often that we have one of those in our midst…the honorable Congresswoman-elect Jennifer McClellan.”
  • Sen. McClellan talked about how Tuesday was a “bittersweet day” for her, that she “never thought I would make history in quite that way, so I’m clearly elated, excited and honored.” She said she’s going to “miss the place that shaped me,” where she got her start as a college student interning for Gov. Wilder’s policy office. She recalled doing a paper on then-Lt. Governor Don Beyer, and about sitting in the corner watching Senators like Janet Howell, Dick Saslaw and Louise Lucas, “and that’s where my love of state government was solidified, and I said, I think I want to be a part of that.”
  • Sen. McClellan talked about how when she came back to the Senate as a member after 11 years in the House of Delegates, she remembered thinking, “I’ve returned home.”
  • Sen. McClellan said she “learned a lot” from Republican Senators Tommy Norment, Steve Newman and Mark Obenshain, “about how even when you don’t agree with people, you listen  respectfully, and you try to understand where they’re coming from, and they made me better legislators.” She also said she learned a lot from Sen. Jill Vogel and other “political adversaries,” all of whom she considers to be friends.  She related a couple Dick Saslaw stories about how his family used to be involved with the mafia and about being hung out a window by his ankles by his teacher – LOL.
  • “I will take those stories with me. I will take everything I learned about how to be a good legislator with me. And in those moments when I get frustrated by the slower pace in Washington, I will probably turn on – if it’s in January or February or March or one day in April – the live stream of the Senate. I will just be a text away. And I thank you all for making me part of your family, and for making me – especially you Madam Clerk – for making me the public servant and the legislator I am today.”

Wait, is that dust in my eyes? I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying! 😉

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