While few have yet turned their attention to the 2021 state office elections, the field of candidates for the lieutenant governor’s seat grew to nine this week when Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman jumped in as the fifth candidate for the Democratic nomination.
He said he is hoping to keep the commonwealth moving forward on progressive issues following recent Democrat-led General Assembly sessions that have advanced LBGT rights, racial justice and racism reckoning, and police reform. Among his priorities are the legalization of cannabis, freeing of those incarcerated for marijuana convictions, and repealing right-to-work laws, and also fighting to protect reproductive rights while holding the tie-breaking vote in the Virginia Senate.
“Some of these half measures we’ve taken are harmful,” he said. “There are some things we need to push further on.”
It is the first campaign for public office for the attorney who grew up in Manassas. He works as the director of social impact policy and counsel for the tech lobby firm, Internet Association. He previously served as counsel for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He plans to focus on education, the economy, equity and the environment—issues that range from ensuring access to broadband internet service to combating climate change and addressing the threat of rising seas to Virginia’s coastline communities.
With the COVID-19 restrictions, Perryman hasn’t yet been able to introduce his campaign around the state and elected to make his formal announcement during a webcast. One of his first campaign appearances will be Saturday in Leesburg, joining the Loudoun NAACP’s March to the Polls event.
Others who have announced runs for the Democratic nomination are Prince William County Delegates Elizabeth Guzman (D-31) and Hala Ayala (D-51); former state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman of Richmond; and Xavier Warren, a lobbyist and an NFL player agent living in Arlington. Roanoke delegate Sam Rasoul and Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan also are considering campaigns.
On the Republican side, there are four running for the party nomination so far: Puneet Ahluwalia, Lance Allen, Glenn Davis and Tim Hugo.