The three values that I ultimately settled on encapsulate the person, candidate, and congressman that I aspire to be. They are my personal values, but because an organization is the extension of its leader, they are those of my campaign as well. No one is perfect, but you should expect them to be displayed by myself and my team.
Like a lot of folks in the commonwealth, last November’s election was a wakeup call for me. When did America begin to feel like two separate countries, each with its own heroes, news outlets, and, occasionally, facts? Why do many of us seem to see our political opponents as our enemies? And when did pitting American against American become a successful political strategy? I knew I needed to do something, so I decided to run for Congress in Virginia’s 5th District.
How women make these incredibly personal decisions must be up to the women themselves, with support from their doctors and consultation with their clergy. A physician’s job is to counsel her patients based on medical science, not based on directives from Richmond or Washington. Ralph Northam understands this.
But what I’m struggling with is simply dismissing Mama Sue because of who she votes for, instead of honoring and learning from her. A person is not who they vote for. That narrow world view is exactly the country Trump is trying to create: one where what separates us is more important than what connects us.
Contrary to Trump’s myopic focus on winning, American greatness is not found only in our victories. American greatness is the enduring pursuit of a more perfect union — together.
We don’t need to look backward for a chance to stand up for principles. Life isn’t about always being right — I was wrong for a long time — but about learning from mistakes and making amends. So I started with those conversations and writing about the effect these two men had on me, about how someone raised a Southern Baptist can love everyone equally and can advocate marriage equality.