FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2021
NEW YORK — Vote Mama, the first PAC focused solely on electing Democratic moms, today announced its endorsement of three candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates.
- Jennifer Kitchen — Virginia House of Delegates District 25
- Debra Gardner — Virginia House of Delegates District 27
- Rachel Levy — Virginia House of Delegates District 55
“I am proud to endorse these three mothers running for the Virginia House of Delegates, and am thrilled that two of them will be the first moms in their seats,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley, Vote Mama’s Founder and CEO. “As mothers, Jennifer, Debra, and Rachel are the best voices for women and families in Virginia, and I know they will work tirelessly to solve the issues they are facing, especially during this pandemic. I have no doubt these trailblazing women will hone in on their lived experiences as mothers and commitments to healthcare, economic opportunities, and education, to build a Virginia that every child deserves.”
“These amazing Virginia mamas are doing it all — raising their kids, working, and running for Delegate to make Virginia a better place for their kids to grow up,” said Vote Mama’s Virginia State Chair and former Virginia Delegate Debra Rodman. “I am proud to be Vote Mama’s Virginia State Chair and help get these incredible moms elected.”
Jennifer Kitchen, who is running for Virginia House of Delegates District 25, said, “Running for office as a mom isn’t easy. I have constantly shifting, frequently competing priorities that require a lot of mental acrobatics daily. But, I’m trying to leave this world a better place than I found it for my kids, and knowing that I’m actively working toward that goal, every day, makes it all worth it.”
“As a social worker, I promised myself that I would take at least one child out of the system. I did by adopting my daughter, and it was love at first sight,” said Debra Gardner, who is running for Virginia House of Delegates District 27. “She has truly been the joy of my life, and it is important to me that I do what I can to make this Commonwealth a place where she, and all children, can prosper.”
“As a mother, teacher, and advocate, I run with my own children and family in mind and to improve the lives of ALL Virginia children and families. As a mother, I felt helpless when my child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes six years ago, but then I realized there were legislative solutions. As a private citizen, I fought with other parent advocates for the passage of the insulin cap bill to lower and cap insulin prices at $50 dollars, and we were successful. But that was just a small drop in the bucket. There is so much more I can do,” said Rachel Levy, who is running for Virginia House of Delegates District 55. “I run to strengthen and improve our public education system, to preserve our environment for generations to come, to ensure access to affordable healthcare, and to work for an economy that works for ALL children and families, no matter what the color of their skin is, who they love, what their gender identity is, how they worship or don’t, what their abilities are, how much money they have, or how they vote.”
Women, and particularly moms of young children, face unique challenges when running for office. Vote Mama seeks to increase the political power of moms by stepping in to disrupt the systems that hold women back through direct financial support, mentorship, and endorsements. As with all of Vote Mama’s endorsed candidates, these three candidates support family-friendly legislation and are committed to making this country a better place to raise children.
Vote Mama endorses, funds, and trains Democratic moms running for office up and down the ballot and across the country. Vote Mama is increasing the political power of mothers by providing the tools and training to break down the systemic barriers that hold women and mothers back. Since Vote Mama was launched in 2019, 49 endorsed candidates have gone on to win their races across 13 states.