Jun 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

5 Democrats face off in today's Virginia gubernatorial primary

Mike Allen
Jennifer Caroll Foy.
Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, greets a supporter at a rally in Hampton, Va., last week. Photo: Steve Helber/AP

Among the five Democrats in Virginia's gubernatorial primary Tuesday is Jennifer Carroll Foy, a former state delegate who shaved her head when she became a Rat — a first-year Virginia Military Institute cadet.

What she's saying: "I wore a man's uniform," she told me over coffee as she campaigned in Old Town Alexandria. "And it was some of the most trying times and experiences that I've ever had."

  • "I graduated," she said. "I marched, sweat, and bled beside over a thousand male cadets — and they all knew my name."

Foy, 39, a lawyer who's from Petersburg and lives in Woodbridge, today has another ferocious fight — running against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, 64, the huge favorite in today's primary.

  • "When I travel throughout the Commonwealth," Foy told me, "what I'm hearing is that Virginians want a governor who has walked in their shoes ... who has that 'Virginia-lived' experience."
Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe gets hair advice from Karin Harris (right), her daughter Nicole Harris (left) and Caroline Mayfield at Karen's House of Beauty in Petersburg on May 29. Photo: Steve Helber/AP

The big picture: The question for voters is whether McAuliffe, with decades of experience, is right for the moment in a state in the throes of unsettling change, AP writes.

  • The field also includes state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Del. Lee Carter, a socialist.
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