Jennifer McClellan builds major support for her governor’s bid in Virginia

McClellan, who is aiming to become the nation's first Black woman governor, earns a major endorsement from Fund Her

Virginia state senator Jennifer McClellan is gaining traction on the gubernatorial campaign trail as she snags an endorsement from Fund Her.

Jennifer McClellan
Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, Jennifer McClellan. (Photo: Jennifer McClellan for Governor)

Fund Her is the sole political action committee dedicated to electing progressive women with an emphasis on supporting women of color and first-time candidates.

Read More: Democrat running for VA governor reacts to racist attack by GOP candidate

“Senator McClellan has a proven track record of leadership and advocacy for the Commonwealth. Her grounded approach, wealth of experience, and fresh perspective gives her the lens needed to continue moving the Commonwealth forward,” said Fund Her Founder and President Valerie McGinty

Clinching this endorsement speaks volumes in a primary race that includes three Black candidates including former state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax — of which Jennifer is one of two women, seeking the Democratic nomination. 

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
Virginia gubernatorial candidates Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. (Photo: Getty Images)

Senator McClellan’s competition, Foy, has positioned herself as the Black woman who is poised to be the first to lead a state as governor. But this endorsement in McClellan’s opinion showcases her wide-ranging support and backs her record as an effective leader in the state. 

Fund Her has done amazing work to elect record numbers of women to office, and that’s why I’m proud to receive their endorsement for governor,” McClellan said in a statement. “With their support we will continue to uplift Democratic women and women of color to positions of leadership and ensure that every child in our Commonwealth understands that women don’t have to wait their turn. Our turn is right now.” 

To paint a broader picture of the Democratic landscape in the commonwealth, it’s important to note that former Governor Terry McAuliffe threw his hat into the race after the three Black candidates announced their pursuit for office. 

An organizer and supporter of McClellan questioned the intentions of the former governor’s resurfacing. 

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“When we talk about equity and getting to the root of systemic racism and all of this I find it so interesting when I hear a white man say that he is the best option,” said Monica Hutchinson, community organizer at Campaign for Family Friendly Economy, Virginia. “To hear someone throw around their money, power and privilege, it bothers me because you are trying to discount and discredit the capable Black voices in the room.”

Hutchinson contends, while current Governor Ralph Northam was not perfect, he signed into law significant pieces of progressive legislation. But now, she thinks it is time for McClellan to elevate the advancements of women, people of color and those historically underserved in Virginia. 

Jennifer McClellan (Credit: Jennifer McClellan)

“We need something we’ve never had before,” added Hutchinson. “We need the leadership of someone who is a tested leader who can deal with the extra stresses that society places on us and we know won’t crumble.”

Virginia’s primary election is set for June 8 and the general election will be held in November.

The opportunity to see a Black candidate emerge as the victor of this gubernatorial race has theGrio’s attention. Our newsroom will continue to track this race through the primary season to the general election date.

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