December 6, 2023

In Richmond-area Senate District 16, Democratic Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg is difficult incumbent Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant.

Dunnavant is a working towards obstetrician-gynecologist who has repeatedly pushed for abortion bans throughout her time period within the Senate. Throughout this yr’s election-year legislative session, she tried to mitigate her opposition to reproductive rights considerably, however in an advert she launched this summer time, Dunnavant echoed Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push for a ban on abortion after 15 weeks. She’s additionally beforehand been recorded saying that she’d prefer to ban abortion after 12 weeks.

Moreover, regardless of working on-line adverts presenting herself as a doctor who’s labored to make pharmaceuticals extra reasonably priced, she’s repeatedly voted towards measures that may assist cut back the price of medicine and well being look after Virginians.

VanValkenburg, who’s served within the state Home since 2017, co-sponsored a measure earlier this yr to ascertain a prescription drug affordability board, which might have the ability to impose price limits on sure medicine which might be unaffordable or have excessive out-of-pocket prices.

Dunnavant voted towards the Senate model of the invoice, which handed with bipartisan help earlier than dying within the GOP-controlled Home.

Along with his constantly robust help for reproductive rights, VanValkenburg has relied on his years of expertise as a public faculty instructor to successfully advocate for improved training alternatives and higher faculty funding

SD-16 went 57-41 for Joe Biden within the 2020 presidential election and 52-47 for Democrat Terry McAuliffe within the 2021 gubernatorial race.

Dogwood just lately related with VanValkenburg about what motivates him on and off the marketing campaign path and what’s on his thoughts within the waning days of the 2023 election.

What’s your closing pitch to voters as to why they need to vote for you in November?

There may be an excessive amount of on the road to take a seat this election out. We have to shield a lady’s proper to make her personal healthcare choices, improve funding for our public faculties, struggle for gun security reforms, and a lot extra. I’d be honored to signify SD-16 within the State Senate and proceed to work for Henricians. 

What’s been your favourite a part of working for workplace this yr? Least favourite?

I like listening to from people on the doorways in regards to the points that matter most to them and their households. My least favourite factor about marketing campaign season is that even after six years in public workplace, I’m nonetheless not used to seeing my face on tv!

What’s one thing most individuals wouldn’t learn about you?

I’m an avid runner and I like to be energetic! I’m additionally a diehard Liverpool soccer fan. 

In the event you may change one factor about Virginia, what would it not be?

Virginia’s [lax] legal guidelines round secure storage necessities for firearms. 

What’s your favourite factor to do/place to go in Virginia whenever you want a break from the marketing campaign path?

I like to hang around with buddies for a beer at Last Gravity Brewing in Lakeside and dinner subsequent door at Hobnob and hang around with my children at any variety of Henrico’s parks and public areas. 

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can be the nation’s foremost skilled in state politics with nearly 20 years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian ebook assortment might be greater than yours.