Despite Saturday’s relentless rain, a crowd of supporters showed up to Democratic Del. Jennifer Boysko’s campaign office in Sterling that morning to help her knock on doors and get the word out about the Jan. 8 special election.
Boysko, who has represented the 86th District in the House of Delegates since 2016, is vying for the 33rd State Senate seat, vacated by Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton. She faces Republican Joe T. May, founder and owner of electronics manufacturer EIT in Leesburg who served in the House of Delegates from 1994-2014.
Boysko’s canvassing event Saturday doubled as the official kick off for her state Senate campaign. The 52-year-old shared about how she’s wanted to help others from an early age when she saw firsthand how her mother struggled to make ends meet. Her mother dropped out of college to marry her father at 18. The marriage did not work out, and she was suddenly a single mother who had never before held a job. She found a minimum-wage job without any sick leave, “so if I was sick she’d have to decide if she was going to pay a babysitter more than she made for the day, or leave me at home by herself,” Boysko said.
Her mother eventually re-enrolled in school because her father could help cover the cost. But Boysko said, “not everyone has a dad who will swoop in and help…That’s why I’ve spent my entire adult life working to improve others’ lives.”
Of her work in the General Assembly thus far, Boysko said she’s most proud that she had a hand in expanding Medicaid coverage. “That’s health care for 400,000 Virginians who wouldn’t otherwise have it,” she said. “That’s probably the most important thing I’ll ever be able to do.”
Wexton asked supporters crowded into the campaign offices to tell their neighbors, family members and coworkers to mark their calendars for Jan. 8 and vote for Boysko. “In the state Senate, we don’t have any seats to spare,” she said, noting that the Senate is split 19-21, with Republicans in the narrow majority. “We need to ensure the 33rd District stays in Democratic hands, and there is no one I would be more honored to take my seat than Boysko.”
Boysko has also been endorsed by Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, all six members of the House of Delegates whose districts overlap with the 33rd Senate District, and local officials including Loudoun County Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg), Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk, and Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), who also spoke at Saturday’s campaign kick off.