State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) is determined to bring a fresh progressive voice to the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate and advocate for the Commonwealth’s working class if elected as lieutenant governor next November.
Guzman, who has represented the 31st House of Delegates District since 2018, announced her campaign for the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election at the beginning of October.
“I think that we need more progressive voices in the Senate and more diversity as well,” Guzman said in an interview with The Virginia Star. “There has never been a woman or a Latinx person to hold the position of lieutenant governor, and I think that our perspectives are important and representation matters.”
“I deliver on the promises I make to my constituents,” Guzman added. “And I’m very proud of the work I’ve done to champion bills that have expanded healthcare access, raise the minimum wage, make historic investments in public education, reform our criminal justice system and give our workers a voice.”
Guzman said that she sees lieutenant governor position as a promotion for an effective legislator, and, because of her experience in the General Assembly, she could hit the ground running and be active in the role by caucusing with Senate Democrats every day.
The sophomore legislator also mentioned that a factor in deciding to run was due to a Senate committee killing her legislation – calling for businesses with 25 workers or more to give their employees paid quarantine leave – during the recent special session and a desire to be a part of that process within the chamber.
If elected, Guzman’s top priorities will not be different from the issues she finds important as a legislator. Those priorities include: helping Virginia’s working class, criminal justice reform, public education, healthcare – specifically lowering drug prices and expanding telehealth services – as well as protecting the environment, she said.
As far as an agenda, Guzman said that will be up to the people.
“The agenda is built by people, by having conversations with voters,” Guzman told The Star. “I’m planning to hold listening sessions in every area of Virginia. This campaign is not going to be about only one area, I want to be a leader that believes in inclusiveness and that means listening to the voices from every corner of Virginia.”
That plan has already been put in action as Guzman has visited several counties and cities, Richmond, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Loudoun and Campbell counties and other places, throughout the Commonwealth so far.
Guzman, who described herself as a progressive leader that believes in participation and listening, has worked in government for the past 17 years and is the current division chief for the City of Alexandria’s Center for Adult Services, helping vulnerable populations like the elderly. Guzman also holds two master’s degrees: one in social work and the other in public administration.
Also featured on the Democratic ticket is Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William), former Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Paul Goldman, lobbyist Xavier Warren as well as former NAACP President Sean Perryman.
The Republican candidates are Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), former state legislator Tim Hugo, veteran Lance Allen and lobbyist Puneet Ahluwalia. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman has been rumored to be entering the race.
“I think for this job, at the end of the day, [the winner] is going to be someone who has delivered on the promises they’ve made,” Guzman said. “Everything that I promise, I deliver on and I always fight for the things Virginians care for the most, and I will continue to do that.”
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