McClellan Campaign Announces 30 New Endorsements from Virginia Leaders

Sen. McClellan Now Has 75 Endorsements from Across Virginia

RICHMOND – Today, Senator Jennifer McClellan announced 30 new endorsements for her gubernatorial campaign from Virginia leaders, including former cabinet officials, local elected officials, community advocates, faith leaders, and business owners.

Sen. McClellan now has 75 total endorsements, including: 12 members of the General Assembly, 5 former cabinet officials, and 23 local elected officials. McClellan’s endorsements come from 29 different localities in Virginia.

McClellan’s 30 new endorsements are:

  • Hon. Viola Baskerville, former Virginia Secretary of Administration under Gov. Tim Kaine, former Delegate (Richmond), and first African-American woman to run for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor
  • Hon. Patrick Gottschalk, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce under Gov. Kaine
  • Hon. Javaid Siddiqi, PhD, former Virginia Secretary of Education and former Chesterfield County School Board Chair
  • Henrico Co. Sheriff Alisa Gregory
  • Prince Edward Co. Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark
  • Harrisonburg Vice Mayor Sal Romero
  • Roanoke City Council Member and Vice Mayor-Elect Patricia White-Boyd
  • Lynchburg City Council Member Treney Tweedy, who became the first African-American woman mayor of Lynchburg in 2018
  • Alexandria City Council Member John Chapman
  • Staunton City Council Member Brenda Mead
  • Richmond City Council Member-Elect Katherine Jordan
  • Dumfries Town Council Member Cydny A. Neville
  • Chesterfield County Commissioner of Revenue Jenefer Hughes
  • Newport News Commissioner of Revenue Tiffany Boyle
  • Pastor Michelle Thomas, faith and community leader; member of the Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors
  • Rev. F. Todd Gray, faith and community leader, Richmond
  • Dr. Rodney D. Waller, faith and community leader, Richmond
  • Dr. Lance D. Watson, faith and community leader, Henrico
  • Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington
  • Stephen Adkins, community leader, Charles City County
  • Debra Gardner, community leader and former candidate for Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors
  • Deanna Fierro, education advocate and former candidate for Richmond City School Board
  • Morgan Goodman, environmental scientist & former candidate for Delegate, Hanover County
  • Lakshmi Challa, immigration attorney, Richmond
  • Dr. Wendy Klein, physician & health equity advocate, Richmond
  • Amy Wentz, community leader and former candidate for Richmond City Council
  • Leni Gonzalez, Latino community leader, Arlington
  • Glenda Scales, community leader, Blacksburg
  • Joseph Papa, community advocate, Richmond
  • Mahmud Chowdhury, business leader, Richmond

“I’m proud to have the endorsement of so many grassroots community leaders and elected officials from across Virginia,” Sen. McClellan said. “Our campaign continues to pick up momentum with support from across the Commonwealth. Virginia Democrats are ready to move forward with a future-focused vision that rebuilds the economy and strengthens our education and health care systems in every community.”

“I’ve known Jennifer for decades, and I encouraged her to run for the 71st House District seat upon my retirement,” said Viola Baskerville, former Virginia Secretary of Administration and former Delegate. “I realized then that she was a natural leader. Jennifer embodies principled, authentic and knowledgeable leadership. She is well aware of Virginia’s past and deeply committed to a better and brighter future for everyone.”

“Coronavirus has made it painfully clear that our current economic situation is unlike any we have ever seen before,” said former Commerce Secretary Patrick Gottschalk. “To build a future economy that works for all Virginians, we need innovative solutions from an experienced leader with a new vision. Jennifer McClellan is that leader and that is why we need her to be the next governor of Virginia.”

“Throughout our lives and careers Jennifer and I have always connected when it comes to education issues. We both had parents who taught us that education is the bedrock of a successful community, and I have watched Jennifer as she has worked throughout her entire career to improve access of quality education to every person, regardless of their zip code,” said Javaid Siddiqi, former Virginia Secretary of Education and Chesterfield County School Board Chair. “I believe in Jennifer’s vision for Virginia and I fully support her campaign to be the next governor of Virginia.”

“I am supporting Senator McClellan because I believe her experience and character will allow her to be a governor that will unite and move us forward,” said Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory. “She has demonstrated through servant-leadership, a willingness to listen to and address the concerns of her constituents, and her commitment to the inclusion of all Virginians that she is ready to be the first!”

“Senator McClellan truly works ‘for the people’ and will not be swallowed or swayed by politics,” said Prince Edward Co. Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark. “Her previous work as a delegate and current work as a senator illustrate her dedication to tackling the tough issues facing the Commonwealth of Virginia. Senator McClellan understands that this is a pivotal time within the Commonwealth, and will boldly lead in the quest to rebuild trust, address oppressive policies, and solidify a successful future for everyone in Virginia.”

“Everyday I work with families that are fighting daily battles to take care of their children,” said Harrisonburg Vice Mayor Sal Romero. “We cannot be content with just doing what we have always done, we must move forward in education and in providing families with the resources they need, so that every child in Virginia has the opportunity to be great.”

“The people of Virginia need an advocate,” said Roanoke City Council Member and Vice Mayor-Elect Patricia White-Boyd. “With Jennifer we get someone who is capable of doing the work, with the heart of advocacy to make sure her administration looks out for the people of Virginia. I am happy to support Jennifer McClellan for governor.”

“Jennifer listens! She genuinely understands citizen concerns, and takes those citizen concerns to heart,” said Treney Tweedy, City Council Member and former Mayor of Lynchburg. “As the former Mayor of Lynchburg, I know how important it is to have state leaders who listen to local leaders and our citizens.”

“Everyday city and county officials are working to understand the needs of our communities and work hard to solve them and move us forward,” said Alexandria City Council Member John Chapman. “Having true partners at the state level can make all the difference in the world. Jennifer McClellan understands that although we are one Virginia, each community is different and she will work with local officials to do what is best for each of them.”

“Virginia needs a governor that is going to ensure our rural communities move forward and have what we need to thrive,” said Staunton City Council Member Brenda Mead. “I fully support Jennifer McClellan for governor because I know her vision is for all of us.”

“Senator Jenn McClellan is an outstanding legislator with the experience, vision and tenacity to lead Virginia’s recovery,” said Richmond City Council Member-Elect Katherine Jordan. “I trust her to do what is best for my family and know she will be an active partner for local governments.”

Two key areas of focus for our recovery are going to be: helping our small businesses stabilize and thrive, and strengthening our public schools,” said Dumfries Town Council Member Cydny A. Neville, MAEd. Jennifer is a proven leader who will work to support our small, woman and minority business owners across Virginia – who are the backbone of our economy. As an entrepreneur and educator. I am proud to endorse Jennifer McClellan for governor.”

“Jennifer McClellan is an experienced legislator, who has got things done, whether she served in the minority or the majority,” said Chesterfield County Commissioner of Revenue Jenefer Hughes. “Now, more than ever, we need those qualities of tenacity, empathy and advocacy in Virginia’s state leadership and I am honored to support this remarkable woman as our next governor.”

“I’ve always believed that politics in its purest form, is about the people,” said Newport News Commissioner of Revenue Tiffany Boyle. “Senator McClellan’s background is people-focused and service oriented. I’m supporting Sen. McClellan because as a mother of young daughter, a business owner, and my city’s Commissioner of the Revenue, I know taxpayers need a governor who understands, appreciates, and values all of us and will include us in her work towards a better Virginia.”

“Jennifer McClellan is going to put in the hard work needed to get things done,” said Pastor Michelle Thomas, a faith and community leader from Loudoun County and a member of the Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors. “And she will make sure everybody has the same opportunities regardless of who they are or who they know.”

“Jennifer is an impressive and dedicated legislator who conscientiously approaches issues and works tirelessly, and in a bipartisan fashion to reach solutions,” said Rev. F. Todd Gray, a faith and community leader in Richmond. “She is fully aware of Virginia’s history but also aware of what we, as a commonwealth, can achieve in our future. She is one of the most exceptional persons I’ve met in public service and I’m proud to endorse her to be our next governor.”

“As a member of the faith community, I often hear from members of my community when they are at the end of their rope,” said Dr. Rodney D. Waller, faith and community leader, Richmond. “As a legislator Jennifer has always reached out to the faith community to discuss how she can help the people who need it most. That is what Virginia needs in a governor.”

“As a restaurant owner, my business was hit hard by this pandemic,” Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington. “In my conversations with Jennifer, not only does she have a firm grasp of the totality of the issues business owners are facing, but she has plans that will help us get back on track. With Jennifer McClellan as governor of Virginia, I am confident that small businesses like mine, will not only return, but will be stronger.”

“I’ve known Senator McClellan for several years as my Senator,” said Stephen Adkins, a community leader in Charles City County. “I was and continue to be struck by her desire to listen and understand the needs of all people. She is a true believer in reaching out to every member of the community and working with them to address their issues. I fully support Jennifer McClellan for governor; she is exactly what Virginia needs.”

“There are politicians and there are public servants. Jennifer McClellan is a public servant!” said Debra Gardner, community leader and former candidate for Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. “In her 15 years in the legislature, she has never forgotten her charge to represent the people of Virginia and put all she has into helping to create a Virginia that is for all of us to enjoy.  I am excited to have Jennifer McClellan as the next governor of Virginia.”

“Jennifer McClellan has always been a friend of the education community,” said Deanna Fierro, education advocate and former candidate for Richmond City School Board. “She listens to not just the administrators or officials, but she listens to the teachers, the parents, and even the students. We can count on Jennifer to fight for our children and for the respect and resources our teachers and education professionals deserve.”

“As an Environmental Scientist, my whole life has been about the environment,” said Morgan Goodman, environmental scientist and a former candidate for Delegate in Hanover County. “I know the science of climate change and I know we must act. I trust Jennifer to be the governor who will lead us to a better environmental and economic future. She will not only make lives better now, but help improve the lives of our children and lives of generations of Virginians yet to be born.”

“I have served the Commonwealth for the past 25 years as an attorney and a small business owner,” said Lakshmi Challa, an immigration attorney in Richmond. “The challenges that face the Commonwealth in a post-COVID economy require leadership that understands the daily difficulties of the average Virginian and the experience and leadership to implement strategies to address that immense undertaking. Jennifer is uniquely qualified to lead that charge, leveraging her background and vast experience spearheading legislation to advance the concerns of all Virginians.”

“At this time in our country, it is even more imperative that we have leaders in the state level that are committed to women’s health and reproductive rights,” said Dr. Wendy Klein, a physician and health equity advocate from Richmond. “Jennifer’s commitment is exactly what Virginia needs and I am excited to share my endorsement for Jennifer McClellan for governor.”

“Jennifer McClellan has been in the community doing the work as long as I have known her,” said Amy Wentz, community leader and former candidate for Richmond City Council. “She will show up and listen. She is not going to promise the world just to tell you what you want to hear. She is going to tell you the truth and she’s going to back it up with action!”

“Jennifer has proven herself as an ally to all people across the Commonwealth,” said Leni Gonzalez, a Latino community leader from Arlington. “She believes that all Virginians deserve to be heard and know that their governor wants them to thrive! Virginia deserves Jennifer McClellan for governor.”

“When I met Senator Jennifer McClellan over 5 years ago, I knew then that one day she will be governor of Virginia,” said Glenda Scales, a community leader in Blacksburg. “She was very clear then about her passion for solving issues in the Commonwealth and what it would take to make change happen. I have never supported a political campaign, yet I decided right then, at that moment, I would be there to support Senator McClellan. Why? Because she is genuine, impressively smart, and experienced. I trust her leadership. She is confident with who she is and what she stands for. She loves family and knows how to listen to others to navigate ‘win-win’ opportunities for all people. With these qualities combined with her Faith I am confident she will be able to lead the Commonwealth.”

“Like the rest of the country, Virginia will have difficult work to do on the other side of the pandemic,” said Joseph Papa, a community advocate from Richmond. “I can think of few leaders more qualified to tackle the obstacles COVID-19 presents while also meeting the moment of addressing racial and social justice. Sen. McClellan is a public servant who listens, and she has been an integral part of the progress Virginia has made in recent years. As governor, I know she’ll keep the Commonwealth moving forward.”

McClellan’s full list of 75 endorsements is:

  • Senators: Sens. Mamie Locke (Hampton), Jennifer Boysko (Fairfax), Ghazala Hashmi (Chesterfield), Monty Mason (Williamsburg), and Lynwood Lewis (Accomack)
  • Delegates: Ken Plum (Fairfax), Jeff Bourne (Richmond), Rodney Willet (Henrico), Betsy Carr (Richmond), Paul Krizek (Fairfax), David Bulova (Fairfax City) and Kathy Tran (Fairfax).
  • Former Cabinet Officials: Virginia Secretary of Administration and Delegate Viola Baskerville; Virginia Secretary of Commerce Patrick Gottschalk; Virginia Secretary of Technology and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra; Virginia Secretary of Education and Chesterfield County School Board Chair Javaid Siddiqi; Virginia Assistant Secretary of Education Douglas Garcia
  • Former Delegates: Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (Henry), Albert Pollard (Lancaster)
  • Mayors: Justin Wilson (Alexandria), Deanna Reed (Harrisonburg)
  • Vice Mayor: Sal Romero (Harrisonburg); Vice Mayor-Elect Patricia White-Boyd (Roanoke),
  • County Board: Phyllis Randall (Chair, Loudoun), Katie Cristol (Arlington), Faye Pritchard (Hanover)
  • Sheriff: Alisa Gregory (Henrico)
  • Commonwealth’s Attorneys: Jim Hingeley (Albemarle), Megan Clark (Prince Edward)
  • City Council Members: Treney Tweedy (Lynchburg, former Mayor), John Chapman (Alexandria), Chris Jones (Harrisonburg), Brenda Mead (Staunton), Katherine Jordan (Council Member-Elect, Richmond)
  • Town Council Member: Cydny A. Neville (Dumfries)
  • Commissioners of Revenue: Jenefer Hughes (Chesterfield), Tiffany Boyle (Newport News)
  • City Treasurer: Daun Hester (Norfolk)
  • School Board Members: Atoosa Reaser (Vice Chair, Loudoun), Jacinta Green (Alexandria), Lawrence Webb (Falls Church),
  • Democratic Party leaders: Susan Platt, 2017 Lt. Gov. candidate and founder of EmergeVA; Terron Sims, II, Vice Chair of DNC Veterans and Military Families Council; Toni Radler, former Chair of the Hanover Democratic Committee; Marques Jones, former Chair of Henrico County Democratic Committee.
  • Community leaders and advocates: Robert Barnette, Jr. (Hanover), civil rights advocate; Rodney Robinson (Richmond), 2019 National Teacher of the Year; Stephen Adkins (Charles City), community leader; Kati Hornung (Chesterfield), women’s equality activist; Erin Matson (Arlington), women’s rights advocate and former VP of National Organization for Women; Dr. Wendy Klein (Richmond),physician & health equity advocate; Sindy Benavides, advocate; Leni Gonzalez (Arlington),Latino community leader; Amy Wentz (Richmond), former candidate for Richmond City Council; Dr. Andrea Douglas (Charlottesville), art & culture historian & community leader; Faith Elizabeth “Liza” Walker Mickens (Richmond), community leader; Amanda Pohl (Chesterfield), community leader and former candidate for State Senate; Debra Gardner community leader and former candidate for Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors; Deanna Fierro, education advocate and former candidate for Richmond City School Board; Morgan Goodman (Hanover), environmental scientist & former candidate for Delegate; Patsy Watson, grassroots community advocate (Farmville); Cale Jaffe (Charlottesville), community leader; Glenda Scales (Blacksburg),community leader; Joseph Papa (Richmond), community leader; Lakshmi Challa (Richmond), immigration attorney.
  • Faith leaders: Rev. Randell Williams (Hanover); Dr. Rodney Waller (Richmond); Pastor Michelle Thomas (Loudoun), Rev. F. Todd Gray (Richmond), Dr. Lance D. Watson (Henrico)
  • Business leaders: Kelli Lemon (Richmond), owner of Urban Hang Suite; Mike Hamlar (Roanoke), owner of Hamlar Properties, Adrienne Whitaker, business leader (Richmond); Stephanie Wilkinson (Lexington), owner of the Red Hen restaurant; Mahmud Chowdhury (Richmond), business leader