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Del. Sally Hudson announces state Senate campaign

Though Virginia held its midterm elections just two weeks ago, State Delegate Sally Hudson has announced her campaign for the state Senate’s 11th District seat. The move will pit her against fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds in a Democratic primary.

It will also mean that she will relinquish her seat in the House of Delegates and not seek a third term in that body. Redistricting was a driving force, she said.

“Every seat in our House and Senate is back on the ballot next year,” Hudson said. “The Blue Ridge has a brand new Senate seat and that means voters get to decide what they want in their next senator.”

Hudson was first elected to the House of Delegates’ 57th District in 2019, and was re-elected in 2021. The delegate chose to campaign for the Senate so she could work on more ambitious projects, she said.

“The state Senate is really the policy engine of the General Assembly. The House is the swingy body that tends to slide back and forth with political winds,” Hudson said. “The Senate gets to take on those longer-term projects with longer time horizons.”

Those projects largely align with Hudson’s work in the House. As a delegate, she helped pass reforms that allowed same-day registration and made it easier to vote.

“On the top of the list have been projects like confronting climate change and protecting our democracy, both of which are essential to the long-term thriving of this community,” Hudson said.

If she were to run for the House of Delegates again, she would campaign for House District 54.

Recent redistricting has rendered the former 25th District—which included Charlottesville and Albemarle County—obsolete.

“This is the first time in the 400-year history of the General Assembly where the seated senators didn’t draw their own seats,” Hudson said. “Communities across Virginia have a chance to have fresh elections and choose their leadership for the next four years.”

Hudson’s decision to run for the Senate, rather than serving a third term in the House, will force her into a primary against incumbent Democratic Senator Creigh Deeds.

“I’ve dedicated my entire life to service of the Commonwealth, and the progress we’ve made since I’ve been elected is incredible. But with just one Senate seat away from a Republican trifecta, and with so much on the line, we cannot take any chances. I’m running for re-election to continue to be the voice that Albemarle, Charlottesville, and central Virginia have come to rely and count on,” Deeds said in a statement emailed to The Daily Progress.

District 11 is currently held by Republican Amanda Chase.

Hudson, however, doesn’t see herself as being in competition with Deeds.

“I’m not running against anybody, I’m running for this district,” Hudson said. “We have an energetic, innovative community. We need to be leading the charge to get Virginia back on track.”

For Hudson, getting Virginia back on track means putting Democrats back in power in the Virginia state government.

“In my first term, we made tremendous progress with the Democratic trifecta in the House and Senate, with Governor Northam at the helm… and then that pendulum swung back, and now a lot of the progress that we made in those two years is under attack,” Hudson said.

Hudson said she thinks that her experience as a labor economist at the University of Virginia makes her uniquely suited to serve in the Senate.

“I’m the only economist in the General Assembly, and that means I bring a financial lens to most of the problems we face,” Hudson said. Most other state politicians are business owners or lawyers.

Representing Charlottesville and Albemarle County in the House helps her teaching, too.

“That firsthand experience in the trenches of the legislature have taught me how to help students focus on the kinds of skills that will help them really make meaningful change in the real world,” Hudson said.

The primary election date has not yet been announced. The general election will be held Nov. 7, 2023.


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