March 12, 2009
Several people have asked for the full press release I used for my decision not to run for the House of Delegates seat that William Fralin will be vacating. Probably should have posted earlier, but please see the full release below-
Press Release 3-8-09
Certainly for me, and I would think for most, the idea of running and winning a House of Delegates seat would be an enormous honor and great experience. Since the announcement last week of William Fralin’s retirement, I have given this fairly rare opportunity a lot of thought. I have been flattered by the support and encouragement of many people whose opinions I value and cherish. While I tend to be optimistic and mostly try to say yes at every opportunity- this time around I have decided to say no and not run.
The decision was difficult as I believe this is a seat the Democrats can win and I feel I could bring much deliberative decision making to the issues that the Commonwealth will be facing over the next few years: especially Job Creation and Health Care delivery and costs. Only when these are impacted will the state budget be able to address mounting concerns over Education and Transportation funding. Health care issues with our shrinking state budget need to be firmly addressed in the next year- especially with a possible new national plan, and especially (as I see all too often in my day to day work) with the effects of health costs on all of us– in particular those losing jobs in this economy and the newly retired. From arts and cultural funding to passenger rail to school funding there are many needs in SW Virginia that I would love to advocate for and find positive solutions.
I am primarily choosing not to run at this time because I believe, no matter how you prepare for it, having two city council members running against each other in a difficult race would be a distraction to the many urgent issues facing our city – especially in a district as competitive as this one. I also believe we have weathered a lot of change recently in City Council and it would be wise to avoid too much further upheaval. Finally, I do relish my job serving the citizens of Roanoke and would miss that day-to-day role. While I am an active physician, faculty member and small business owner, I do believe I have much to offer and have the time and energy for a statewide office. I absolutely would consider a run for state office down the road, but at this particular time in this particular race, it just doesn’t feel right to me.
Last but most definitely not least, I indeed would be running against my “sister”, Gwen Mason. She is eager, hard working, and a skilled politician. I know she will run an incredible campaign and that she has thought long and hard about working in the General Assembly. She would represent the 17th District extremely well and I am proud to give her my full support in this campaign.