While I support Hala Ayala for Lt. Governor, there have been a number of people who have expressed interest in the position who I believe would make excellent candidates. Elizabeth Guzman, for instance, is a strong progressive who represents parts of Prince William and Faquier Counties in the House of Delegates and is exploring a potential bid for the LG position. We have yet another interesting candidate now as Sean Perryman has announced that he’s considering throwing his hat in the ring.
Sean is the President of the Fairfax County NAACP, which is the largest NAACP chapter in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and has a long history of community activism. Among other things during his time at the NAACP, he’s done a tremendous job of highlighting how there are economic consequences to racism and other forms of bigotry. He’s therefore effectively highlighted how fighting hatred isn’t just a moral issue, but an economic justice one as well.
He hinted at this during his announcement when he said it’s crucial for Virginia to have leaders who will ensure everybody has the opportunity to thrive.
“Our nation and Commonwealth are in a period of crisis and our leaders are failing us,” Perryman said in a statement he put out this morning. “People are discouraged, disillusioned, and, in many cases, suffering. We must do a better job of responding to these crises and find more creative and effective ways to help everyday people not only get by but achieve their full potential.”
Many local leaders have had good things to say about Sean entering the race. Former Fairfax County School Board member Pat Hynes, for instance, highlighted how she frequently turned to him for information about the community and important issues.
“This makes me hopeful,” Pat said on Facebook. “Sean Perryman was my go-to community advocacy leader when I served on school bd. He is effective. He’s knowledgeable, tireless, focused, and honest. He builds capacity in others. Believe he will fight for our communities and win.”
Other activists have chiming in as Elaine de Leon responded to the announcement by saying she’s “been waiting for the day Sean Perryman decides to run for something basically since the day I met him. This is going to be so good for Virginia.”
A lot can obviously happen between now and next year’s primary as I imagine there are many folks who are waiting until after the November election to make a decision, but it looks like it’s stacking up to be a competitive primary. With so many strong candidates running, it’ll only strengthen the eventual nominee as the primary will force campaigns to fine tune their policy positions and run an effective field and fundraising effort (whatever that looks like in a post-Coronavirus world).