For nearly twenty-eight years, my husband Tim and I have pushed each other to grow personally and professionally, and together we have built a beautiful family and two successful careers rooted in public service.
Today, we see more and more Virginians who balance career and family. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come, considering less than fifty years ago very few could establish the kind of equal partnership Tim and I enjoy today. As supportive as I have been of his service as a city councilman and mayor of Richmond, and lieutenant governor and governor of our Commonwealth, Tim was equally supportive of my legal career and my work as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge.
Leaders across Virginia, including my husband, fought hard to create more economic opportunities for women, and as a result, Virginia and our nation have moved forward.
As governor, Tim’s first action was signing an Executive Order to ban discrimination based on gender and other factors in Virginia’s workforce. During his term, he also increased government contracts with small, women, and minority-owned businesses and created the Virginia Sexual Violence Commission.
Throughout his career, Tim has consistently supported measures that promote economic success for women and their families, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act. And today he continues to support affordable, quality health care for women, including free preventive health services (like mammograms), access to contraception, and measures to prevent insurance companies from dropping women who get sick or pregnant.
However, in the last year, we have seen folks in Richmond and Washington threaten to roll back the clock on the progress we’ve made. The efforts of some to come between a woman and her doctor, and to block legislation that would ensure equal pay for equal work, have made it clear how much is at stake when we cast our votes this November.
As Tim likes to say – access to health care and equal pay aren’t just ‘social issues’ and they’re not just ‘women’s issues.’ We know they’re family issues and they’re economic issues. Virginia women and their families cannot afford to be represented by leaders who are determined to move us backward.
The women I’ve talked to across Virginia are tired of the paralyzing gridlock in Washington; they want leaders who will focus less on the issues that divide us, and will work hard to find common ground to strengthen our economy and create jobs. They are looking for a leader like Tim who has proven throughout his career of public service that a balanced, results-oriented approach to leadership can benefit all of us. As our next senator, you can count on Tim to bring folks to the table to take a balanced approach to reduce our deficit that will allow for investments in key priorities like education and infrastructure to strengthen our workforce and our economy.
If Tim is given a chance to represent Virginia in the Senate, he will ensure, as he always has, that our daughters and our sons have the opportunities they need to build bright, successful futures.