Political Note #68 Mike Mullin VA HD 93

Mike Mullin is a law and order liberal -- a politically effective position. He is running against the candidate he beat in the special election to win this seat. He continues to serve as a Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Suffolk. He stresses his commitment to opposing gang violence and has been certified by the Virginia Gang Investigator's Association as a Gang Investigator.

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Political Note #63 Schuyler VanValkenburg VA HD 72

Originally from New York, Schuyler VanValkenburg went to the University of Richmond. He married and stayed in Virginia. He has been teaching school. National Board Certified, he is good at it. Much as he may love to teach, but is now a politician -- running for an open House of Delegates seat. His first few issues include infrastructure spending, fixing the tax code, and adopting the medicaid expansion that is part of the ACA. He concludes with education spending.

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Political Note #62 Dawn Adams VA HD 68

Dawn Adams is a six foot tall athlete. She joined the US Coast Guard when she was 17 and left as a Captain. She served as a search and rescue pilot. An extremely hard worker, she made her way through college and graduate school. She became an RN, a nurse practitioner, and earned a doctorate. Now she is Head of the Office of Integrated Health for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. She is no bureaucrat. She is an inspiration.

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Political Note #61 Karrie Delaney VA HD 67

Karrie Delaney is the Democratic candidate for Virginia's House of Delegates District 67. She is originally from Florida and was originally a Republican. Having moved to Virginia, she became involved in the nonprofit world there. She chaired the County Citizen Corps Council and was appointed to the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees. She chaired that board, too. Governor McAuliffe appointed her to the to the Virginia Commission on Youth. One of her projects has been work with Voices for Vaccines, which provides parents with scientific information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable disease.

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Political Note #60 Jennifer Carrol Foy VA HD 02

Jennifer Caroll Foy is a graduate of VMI. That alone is news. She is one of the first African-American women to graduate from the Virginia Military Institute. Graduating from VMI is a demonstration of her courage and persistence, qualities she continues to demonstrate in her work. A public defender in Arlington, she has started a Foundation to support children in foster care. No small challenge for her, VA 02 is a 95% white district. She does have one surprise advantage. Although the recount forced her to have a late start in the general election, her Republican opponent had a later start. He is a substitute, required because the original Republican candidate falsified his educational credentials.

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Political Note #55 Shelly Simonds VA HD 94

A former teacher and current member of the Newport News School Board , Shelly Simonds stepped in as a substitute Democratic candidate for District 94 of the Virginia House of Delegates. Having lived in Spain, Costa Rica, and Chile, she is a fluent Spanish speaker. Her recent focus has been at home -- her family, her business, and her politics. She has been managing her family's real estate investments. She served as president of a middle school PTA which was followed by her successful campaign for the school board. She wants to help Newport News retain the last large piece of waterfront property and help the city make it a waterfront park.

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Political Note #54 Hala Ayala VA HD 51

Hala Alaya is a risk taker. She is a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates District 51. Moved by her experience in the Women's March on Washington, she resigned from her federal job and submitted papers as a candidate. A local of minority-majority eastern Prince William County. She still lives there. Her father had both Salvadorian and North-African roots. Her mother was Irish and Lebanese. She began her working life as a single mother -- in service jobs; living without health insurance. She was eligible for Medicaid. “Medicaid saved my son’s life." Hala Ayala's way out was to join the Coast Guard. She joined in 2008. She was on a trajectory. She enrolled in an online program at the University of Phoenix and completed the requirements in two years. She earned promotions to become an INFORSEC Specialist (IT Security). She persisted and became a cyber specialist program analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. She quit that job to run for Delegate.

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