A Northern Virginia delegate who led the charge to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified this year has announced plans to step down from the General Assembly to focus on her bid for governor.
“I’m stepping down from the House of Delegates to focus 100% of my time on building a grassroots movement to meet this moment,” Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-2nd District, said in a statement.
The two-term delegate from Prince William County says her goal is to help families and workers struggling as the pandemic threatens citizens' health and the economy.
“Helping families and workers recover and building a post-COVID economy will be tough, but so are we. Together, we can rebuild a Virginia that leaves no one behind,” Foy said.
Foy was raised in Petersburg by her grandmother, went on to become one of the first female graduates of Virginia Military Institute, then went to law school and now works for the Arlington public defender’s office.
In 2017, during her first run for the General Assembly, Foy gave birth to premature twins. She campaigned by day and spent evenings in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“I was honored to serve the people of the Second District and proud of what we were able to accomplish. And now, I’m ready to keep working for you as Governor,” she said.
Right now, Foy is competing for the Democratic nomination against State Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is also expected to join the race soon.
If Foy were to win the 2021 contest, she would be Virginia’s first female governor, the first African-American female governor in the United States and only the second woman ever elected to statewide office in Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday afternoon that he has set a special election for Jan. 5 to fill Foy's seat. Candidates seeking the Second District seat will need to file to appear on the ballot no later than Dec. 14.