Kelly is running as the Democratic candidate for Delegate in Virginia’s 21st District, in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia.
Kelly’s Story: I am running for Delegate because I have two daughters and I’m accountable for the world they live in. When my 8 year old daughter came home from school one November night, she was heartbroken. Her rainbow “vote for Hillary” button was missing from her backpack. She wouldn’t wear her Hillary shirt anymore. She declared she was going back to being a girly-girl, playing with dolls, and being like everyone else. The message she’d heard was that even strong girls (women) can’t do the same thing as boys. She could not make sense of it. “How could Donald Trump have won?” she asked. “He’s a bully, Mom, and he’s mean.”
And that’s when I woke up. I knew I had to do something to save her spirit. In January, I took her to the Women’s March in D.C.
During the March, I realized I needed this as much as she did. The calls for action included me too. In an effort to save my daughter, I found myself and was forever changed. The next month, I decided to show both my girls what democracy looks like by running for office. I won’t lie to you: it is hard every day. I ask that you support me. In turn, I will work for you, and for the world my daughters live in, for our future.
Bio: Kelly is a lifelong resident of the 21st District. Her grandfathers were from the Philippines and served the U.S. Navy, which allowed them to become U.S. citizens. Kelly was the first member of her family to attend college and graduated from Virginia Wesleyan in Virginia Beach. She then obtained her Masters in Education from Old Dominion University and taught school in Virginia Beach for several years. Kelly now runs a successful small business assisting military families relocate to the Virginia Beach area. She and her husband, Dave – a deputy in the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Department – are raising two daughters.
Issues: Kelly supports women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, common sense gun laws, and affordable health care. She is passionate about (1) making health care affordable and expanding Medicaid in Virginia; (2) restoring funding for public schools and finding innovative solutions to address growing class size and ways to encourage students to think creatively – not just take multiple choice tests; (3) increasing opportunities for small entrepreneurs, particularly women and minority owned businesses; (4) preventing gun violence through background checks, closing gun show loopholes and keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill; (5) conserving Virginia’s natural resources and the Chesapeake Bay; and (6) supporting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions with her physician.
Opponent: Ron Villanueva has been the incumbent in District 21 since a close win in 2009. Since then, he has garnered an A+ rating from the NRA; voted consistently to defund Planned Parenthood; opposed a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions; ranked poorly on environmental issues; and, in 2016, co-sponsored a bill to prevent local governments from removing Confederate statues from parks and downtowns. Furthermore, he was president of a company recently implicated in a fraudulent scheme to procure government contracts reserved for minority, women, and disadvantaged companies. The Department of Justice filed suit and last week the “parent” corporations paid $16 million to settle the suit. Villanueva has received most of his campaign contributions in recent years from the companies involved in the alleged fraud scheme. https://pilotonline.com/…/article_da839b20-f7f4-501e-99fc-0…
Odds: This District voted for Hillary Clinton by a margin of 4.52% over Trump, and for Obama by a margin of 5.14% over Romney. The District is winnable, although the incumbent has the name recognition advantage and Kelly’s campaign chest was depleted during the primary.
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