Jennifer Carroll Foy is a Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor. Her name will appear on the ballot on June 8 during the Democratic Party primary election.
Name: Jennifer Carroll Foy
Biography: Jennifer Carroll Foy has dedicated her life to service. As one of the first women to graduate from Virginia Military Institute, a former foster mom, a magistrate judge, and public defender, Jennifer has embodied the ideals of community, honor and commitment in every facet of her life.
During her time in the legislature, Jennifer led the way on the Equal Rights Amendment, proudly supported the successful fight to expand Medicaid to over 500,000 Virginians, and passed a budget that includes a 3% salary increase for teachers. She is a proud mother to twin three year olds, and wife to her husband Jeff, who she met her first week at VMI.
Why should Virginians elect you as Governor?
I grew up in Petersburg, which has one of the highest poverty rates in all of Virginia. I was raised by my grandmother, Mary Lee, who taught me that “if you have it, you have to give it,” even if you don’t have much to give.
That’s why I spent my career fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, as a former foster mom, public defender, and member of the Virginia House of Delegates. It’s also why I’m running for Governor — because the broken status quo that has left communities like Petersburg behind won’t do.
We need a leader who is willing to solve problems, not apply band-aids that get us from one crisis to the next. Virginians deserve a Governor who has walked in their shoes and will fight for working families every single day. As Governor, I will give everything I’ve got to ensure we keep moving Virginia forward, because we don’t get change by recycling the same old policies and politicians of the past.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
All of my life, people have been telling me “no.” No, I wouldn’t make it out of Petersburg. No, women shouldn’t attend Virginia Military Institute. No, I couldn’t flip a seat from red to blue while pregnant with twins.
Too many Virginians are being told no, too. No to affordable healthcare. No to criminal justice reform. No to a clean and safe environment. No to getting big money out of our politics.
But “no” is not serving us. It’s time for us to have a leader who says yes to the people of Virginia. I will never back down from doing what’s right for the people of Virginia, I will never take no for an answer.
As Governor, I’ll be laser focused on tackling the pandemic and addressing the impact it will likely have on our Commonwealth for years to come. I’ll bring diverse, high-paying jobs to every corner of the Commonwealth as we build a post-COVID economy. I’ll bring down the cost of healthcare and ensure every student has access to the first-class education they deserve. I will work everyday to ensure that we build a Virginia where no one is left behind and one where we all have an opportunity to thrive.
What is the most important legislative issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
I’ll never forget when my grandmother had a stroke and became a quadriplegic, having to sit down at the kitchen table with my aunt and face the impossible choice of paying for the medication keeping my grandmother alive, or paying the mortgage on the house keeping a roof over our heads. No Virginia family should have to face an impossible decision like that, because I firmly believe that every Virginian deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare.
That’s why one of my proudest accomplishments in the legislature was successfully expanding Medicaid to more than 500,000 Virginians across the Commonwealth, and why I’m committed as Governor to continue working to lower costs and expand access because healthcare ought to be a right, not just a privilege for those who can afford it.
What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?
This crisis has made the past year long and difficult for so many families, but Virginia has been very lucky to have state officials like Governor Ralph Northam at the helm working tirelessly to protect lives and livelihoods since day one of the pandemic. As Governor, I will continue building on this progress to get shots in arms and people in jobs so that we can get Virginians the care they need and the good jobs they deserve.
However, this pandemic has exposed the inequities that have persisted just beneath the surface. As a working mom, having worked the minimum wage, and gone without healthcare, I have faced the same challenges working families continue to face, and am ready to wake up and fight every day to not just ensure we leave these dark days behind us, but to build a post-COVID economy where every Virginian has the opportunity to thrive.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in Virginia, and how would you plan to address them?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed so many underlying problems that working Virginians have known for decades. Now more than ever, we need a leader who is willing to solve problems, not apply band-aids that get us from one crisis to the next.
First, this pandemic has shown how critical access to healthcare is. Virginia has some of the most expensive healthcare costs in the nation, and drug companies keep profiting while everyday Virginians struggle to make ends meet. As Governor, I’ll lower premiums for working families by building a Virginia Reinsurance Program, rein in the costs of prescription drugs by establishing a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, expand broadband so Virginians can access telehealth, and more.
COVID-19 has also made this year incredibly painful for working families and small businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy. I will help Virginia’s economy get back on its feet during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. My plan centers on providing relief to the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who lost work during the pandemic, as well as small businesses traditionally left behind in favor of massive corporations and special interests. Unlike policy platforms released by politicians of the past, my plan rejects the false choice that an economic plan of this kind must be either pro-business or pro-worker: Mine is both.
Third, the pandemic has exacerbated systemic inequalities in our education system that are shortchanging students in our Commonwealth who deserve an equal shot at success. I remember going to school and not having textbooks to take home, certified teachers in our classrooms, or counselors who kept after us. Education stands as one of the great equalizers in our society, and I am deeply committed to ensuring a quality education for all students as Governor, from supporting our teachers, expanding access to high speed internet to 97% of Virginians by end of my administration, equipping our students with the skills they need in a modern workforce, investing in early childhood education, and more.