Dec 1st, 2020

Andria McClellan, a Norfolk Council Member, Launches Run for Lieutenant Governor

Originally posted by: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan on Tuesday launched a bid to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, entering a crowded primary for the Democratic nomination.

McClellan was first elected to the council in 2016 to represent the 6th Superward, focusing heavily on regional development and coastal resiliency.

McClellan said she would focus her campaign and time in office on Virginians’ access to affordable health care, jobs, quality education, high-speed internet and a healthy environment.

In an interview, McClellan highlighted her years of experience in the business sector — first as a sales executive for Dow Chemical, then at the helm of two startup businesses and then serving on the boards of various local and regional private-public partnerships.

McClellan said she sees her role as lieutenant governor as the “chief engagement officer” and “wingman” to the governor “to attract more business to the state and attract workers to the state.”

McClellan said she also hopes to become “the statewide champion for broadband” — helping to bring high-speed internet to areas where there is no access and expanding affordable options to areas with limited access.

“It’s a statewide platform to bring attention to issues and to get things done. I think I would be a real asset to the commonwealth because of the work that I have done — bringing people together and creating solutions for problems that we have,” McClellan said.

McClellan becomes the seventh candidate seeking the Democratic nomination — a field that could grow further as the crowded field for governor tightens. The deadline for candidates to formally file to be on the primary ballot is in March. McClellan’s political fundraising arm has so far raised $130,000.

Other Democratic candidates who have announced runs for lieutenant governor are: Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William; Del. Hala Ayala, D-Prince William; Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke; Sean Perryman, president of the Fairfax County NAACP; Paul Goldman, former chairman of the state Democratic Party; and Xavier Warren, a lobbyist for nonprofits and an NFL player agent.

Four candidates have announced bids for the GOP nomination: Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach; former Del. Tim Hugo, R-Fairfax; Northern Virginia business consultant Puneet Ahluwalia; and Lance Allen of Fauquier County, an Air Force veteran who works for a national security and technology firm.

McClellan grew up in the Hampton Roads area, raised largely by a single mom after her father left their family. She described herself as a “typical latchkey kid from the ’80s,” who spent most of her time at school to avoid going home.

McClellan eventually got degrees from the University of Virginia and the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania. After working at Dow Chemical, and a California company that produced DVD and CD cases, McClellan led a tech startup based out of Northern Virginia. When the dotcom bubble burst at the turn of the millennium, her business went bankrupt.

The event prompted McClellan’s return to Hampton Roads full time with her husband and children, and allowed her to become immersed in her locality and region. She is the vice chair of the Hampton Roads Transit District Commission and chairs its Smart Cities & Innovation committee.

She also serves as vice chair of the Southside Network Authority, a five-locality government body helping expand high-speed internet in the area. She also served on the Small Business Advisory Board under the administration of then-Gov. Mark Warner.

McClellan ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2013 after Ralph Northam was elected lieutenant governor, losing the nomination to Del. Lynwood Lewis Jr., D-Accomack. She was also involved in Northam’s campaigns for state Senate, lieutenant governor and governor.

Andria McClellan is not related to Jennifer McClellan, the senator from Richmond running to become Virginia’s next governor.

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