Why I’m Running

My job frequently takes me to Washington D.C. to engage federal leadership and be involved in policy issues at the national level. Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched as many of the resources and safeguards that are not only critical for my own work as a wildlife biologist, but also for ensuring we have healthy forests and streams, are systematically dismantled and sound science ignored when it should be the foundation of good policy.  We’ve seen this play out locally in the construction of the Mountain-Valley pipeline.  I felt compelled to do more to change this, and running for office was the best mechanism for creating that change. As elected officials, I believe we should invest in the citizens we represent and proactively work with you to develop solutions that address the challenges we all face, and I don’t feel we have that in the 7th district.  Too much of politics now is based on narrow ideologies and retreating to partisan corners whenever there’s a difference in opinion.  This moves nothing forward, and it certainly does not prioritize the needs of the people elected officials are meant to represent.

As your delegate, I will work with you to put people over politics, and I pledge to bring the voices and needs of the 7th District to Richmond. We live in a diverse region that includes two major universities, a strong community college, small family farms, a thriving local artisan and cultural community, a variety of small businesses, an airport, a major interstate, and wonderful outdoor and recreational opportunities. However, our district and surrounding region face many challenges.  I coordinate a 12-state conservation partnership, and a big part of my job is bringing together a diverse group of partners in a collaborative way to address challenges that can’t be solved by any one organization.  I want to put this collaborative leadership experience to work for the 7th District to build a stronger local economy, combat substance addiction and expand access to healthcare, and bring more resources to our public schools.

I pledge to be open and honest about where I stand, especially on difficult issues. I will not give vague answers, pivot, or otherwise skirt difficult questions or cover up differences of opinion. However, I am a firm believer in teamwork, partnerships, and developing effective solutions that create positive change. I will take your views on issues seriously and respect them, regardless of whether or not we agree, and work with you to advance solutions that push all of us forward in constructive and beneficial ways.