After hinting at a gubernatorial run for weeks, Del. Lee Carter of Manassas formally announced on Friday that he is running for the 2021 Democratic nomination for Virginia governor.
“For too long, we’ve listened to career politicians and pundits tell us that there is no other way,” Carter said in his launch video, released Friday, Jan. 1. “But no more. In this primary we can finally pick a governor that will fight for the rest of us.”
It's no secret that Virginia is divided, but it's not red vs. blue. It's the haves and the have-nots.— Lee J. Carter (@carterforva) January 1, 2021
One side has the lawyers and the lobbyists, but Virginia needs a governor that'll fight for the rest of us.
I'm announcing my candidacy for Governor today. pic.twitter.com/DTRpVrk5KS
Carter, 33, was first elected to the 50th House of Delegates seat in 2017 and re-elected in 2019. He is Virginia’s only socialist lawmaker.
“For the teachers and nurses. For shipbuilders and students struggling to make tuition. For everyone with a stack of bills on the kitchen table waiting to get paid. I’m running for governor so the rest of us can finally get what we need and deserve,” Carter said in press release announcing his candidacy.
Carter has said that he will not drop his run for re-election in his 50th District House of Delegates seat if he jumps into the gubernatorial race. Virginia law allows candidates in statewide primaries to run for their House seats at the same time.
Following the 2020 General Assembly session, several of Carter’s bills were signed into law, including a law banning strip searches of children and a law capping co-pays for insulin products at $50 a month which went into effect Friday, Jan. 1.
Carter has introduced legislation ahead of the 2021 General Assembly session to repeal Virginia’s “right to work” law, to allow public school teachers to strike and to abolish the death penalty -- all bills Carter introduced unsuccessfully in 2020.
Carter said several weeks ago that his decision to run for governor would be solely based on whether he “hears discussion from other candidates about making big, transformative change to our political system and to our economy to make sure we have an economy that works for the rest of us.”
Carter is the second candidate from Prince William County and the fourth overall to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2021 governor’s race.
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