Soon after Donald Trump was elected president, Jennifer Carroll Foy, a 36-year old public defender from Woodbridge, made a life-changing decision to run for the Virginia House of Delegates. Three weeks after she launched her campaign, she found out she was due for another life change. She was pregnant with twins.
The news did not shake her decision to run for office.
“I don’t question blessings,” she said. “I take things as they come.”
Stafford County, Virginia—Under a dazzling purple-and-orange sunset at the Stafford County Fair last weekend, Jennifer Carroll Foy, a candidate for the state House of Delegates, strolled confidently toward a skinny young white man wearing a Confederate-flag “Don’t tread on me” T-shirt. One of the first black female graduates of the Virginia Military Institute, Carroll Foy was there to ask for his vote. The man looked stunned as she approached, while his wife seemed mildly curious. And then Carroll Foy was really there—smiling, standing tall, handing out literature, explaining why she was running to represent the good people of Virginia’s Second District.
It's no coincidence that both Barack Obama and Mike Pence were in Virginia recently – the upcoming election is garnering national attention because its impact will be broad. This year the election of the entire lower chamber (100 seats) as well as the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the attorney general takes place. Democrats and progressives see it as an opportunity for the state to flip blue, which would be a loud and clear message to the White House, as well as the White Nationalists in Charlottesville and beyond. Republicans see it as a chance to harden their lines on reproductive rights, the environment, immigration, and the Second Amendment.
2nd District: This swing district, which stretches along the Potomac River from Belmont to Aquia, once appeared to be among the most competitive in the state. However, the withdrawal from the race of the first Republican candidate has left Democrat Jennifer Foy in the driver’s seat. On top of that, the GOP’s replacement candidate, Mike Makee, has been largely invisible, failing to show for campaign forums and not even replying to our request for an endorsement interview. We’re impressed by Foy’s down-to-earth style, and her experiences as a mother of young children and a public defender will bring new perspectives to the legislature. Foy deserves your vote.
A woman who recently gave birth to premature twins says she never considered dropping out of the running for Virginia's General Assembly. News4's Julie Carey reports she hopes to be an example of how women can do it all.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, a 35-year-old public defender who was admitted to the Virginia Military Institute during one of the first years women were legally allowed to attend the school, did an Emerge training for her run for Virginia state legislature this fall. "There are Republicans in a lot of these [local] offices who are taking hold of Trumpism, which is very dangerous, so we need a counterbalance to that," she says. "We need progressive Democrats to go to the General Assembly to ensure that people's civil rights are not trampled upon, to make it known that Virginia is not a place for intolerance and bigotry and discrimination."
After going through what she describes as "the stages of grief" after Election Day, she says, "I thought to myself, if not me, then who? And if not now, then when?
After more than a month of suspense in the lead-up to a recount, Jennifer Carroll Foy is officially the Democratic nominee in the race for the Second District seat in the House of Delegates.
Though a group of Prince William County judges still needs to officially certify the results, election officials say the July 20 recount confirmed Foy’s narrow victory over Josh King in the June 13 primary.
With primary elections coming on June 13, 61 women are seeking a seat in the Virginia legislature — about 30 percent of the field. The overall crop of 206 candidates is far bigger than usual, and the number of women may be a record. The 50 women running as Democrats are the most for that party in at least a decade and probably ever — up from 27 who filed in 2015, according to the state party. Republicans are fielding 10 female candidates, and one woman is running as an independent.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and specifically, what in your background and/or temperament makes you the best qualified of the Democratic candidates to represent the 2nd House of Delegates district in Richmond. I have dedicated my life to public service. As a public defender, I represent some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens including children, the indigent and the mentally ill.
Voter participation is one of the most important things in any democracy but not all citizens are given equal access to that franchise- and we are learning that this week here in Woodbridge. Virginia has a long history in this area and none of it has been positive.