Leading Virginia Legislators Respond to Debate: ‘McClellan is the most experienced and effective candidate for governor. Full stop.’

Sen. Mamie Locke: ‘No other legislator in this race comes close to her record of achievement’


RICHMOND, Va. – Last night, at the third Democratic primary debate, candidate for governor Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) laid out how her unique perspective and her 15 years delivering historical change in Virginia’s legislature makes her the clear Democratic choice to beat Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin in November. As a Black woman, working mom, and leader in the Democratic party, McClellan has the fresh perspective and experience needed to deliver the progress Virginians demand. 


McClellan received praise from leading legislators, community activists, voters, and the media, who highlighted her achievements in the Virginia General Assembly and pushed back against other candidate’s claims about legislative success:  


“Senator Jenn McClellan is one of the most effective legislators that I have ever served with,” Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said. “No other legislator in this race comes close to her record of achievement. She has delivered generational progress time and time again, and when her constituents were struggling in the midst of a pandemic, she stayed in the General Assembly even while she was campaigning. That’s the leadership we need in our next governor.”


“Jenn McClellan is the most experienced and effective candidate for governor. Full stop,” Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) said. “Jenn McClellan’s visionary leadership has transformed Virginia more in the last two years than many legislators are able to do over the course of their entire careers. As a Delegate, I’ve seen the difference between legislators who lead when the going gets tough, and those who don’t. Jenn McClellan is a leader who lifts up all Virginians.”


“No one is better prepared and more experienced to be our next Governor than Jenn McClellan,” said Delegate Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax). 


“The most effective and experienced candidate for governor by far is Jenn McClellan,” Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond) said. “I’ve seen her work up close over the past four years and have seen her service year after year improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Virginians. Jenn is the only candidate with the record and perspective to defeat Glenn Youngkin this November.”


“I’ve worked with Jenn McClellan for over 15 years. I can say without a doubt that she is one of the most effective and accomplished legislators I’ve ever worked with,” Senator Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack) said. “Jenn has an unmatched record of achievement in this campaign for governor. She’s got the best experience and vision to lead our Commonwealth forward.”


Here’s what other people are saying about Senator McClellan’s performance…



Hands down the best response to the question why you? Why now? @JennMcClellanVA is the best candidate for this moment! Ready on Day One! #VaDemDebate


It’s called being EFFECTIVE and RESPECTED. @JennMcClellanVA


“Veteran State Sen. Jennifer McClellan made the pitch that she has both the fresh perspective, in a nation that’s never had a Black woman governor, and deep policy experience needed to take on Youngkin.


‘I came to the General Assembly as a 32-year-old Black woman from the most Democratic district in the state, operating in a body that was mostly white Republican men over 50. And yet I’ve been able to pass over 300 bills,’ she said.”


Yes! @JennMcClellanVA just gave the best response to why she should be our next Governor of Virginia! She has the support of the people directly working towards achieving equity in our state! #TeamMcClellan, #ShesGotNext #VADemDebate, #VAGOV, #McClellan4Governor


@JennMcClellanVA looks more like a @GovernorVA than anyone else on this panel tonight. The most poised, most experienced, most professional. There is no doubt she can do this job. 


It’s @JennMcClellanVA’s receipts for me. “I wrote . . . I patroned . . .  ” It’s so much stronger than “I voted for . . . I supported” #VaDemDebate #Shesgotnext


I met @JennMcClellanVA through Young Dems and she was gracious to stump for Qasim in Fredericksburg. It was there that she impressed me because of her kindness. I always knew she was an impressive legislator but I didn’t know how kind she is. She has my support.


@JennMcClellanVA has the most political experience and is the agent of change we need in Richmond. I am enthusiastic about her candidacy!


“McClellan, a legislator since 2006 and a senator since 2017, recounted joining the General Assembly as a young Black woman surrounded by white Republican men over age 50.


‘And yet I’ve been able to pass over 300 bills,’ she said.”


“McClellan pointed to her experience in the Legislature to frame herself as the compromise candidate who ‘has the experience but also brings a fresh perspective.’


‘As a working mother, as a Black woman who has seen how our state government has left many communities behind, I have worked to address those problems for the past 15 years,” she said. “I have more governing experience than any other candidate running for governor, all of them combined. And I’ve used that experience to lead.’”


Senator Jennifer McClellan says the former governor’s plans are stale. “It’s, frankly, not bold. It’s old.”


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