Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chair Donna Price says she is running as a Democrat for the 55th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The district is new, having been approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia late last year. The 55th District now includes a large swath of Albemarle County, plus parts of Nelson County, Louisa County and a small portion of Fluvanna County in the Town of Scottsville.
The district now includes much of what was the former 58th District, which has been represented by long-time incumbent Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle. He has not announced if he will run for the 55th District seat.
In fact, it’s not completely clear whether the new districts will be up for election this year or in 2023 due to a pending federal lawsuit.
Price, an attorney and retired U.S. Navy Capt., said she filed Monday morning. She announced her candidacy in a Facebook post early Tuesday. She said the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade announced Monday night made “my decision to decide to run ever more important than it was before.”
“I believe that we are facing a legal existential threat to civil rights in America, based upon what the Republican Party is doing, and this leaked Supreme Court decision yesterday clearly reflects that,” she said.
“As I understand it, the basis for overturning Roe v. Wade will be the same theory that will be used to overturn all of the recent advancements in civil rights for marginalized groups, such as LGBTQ on marriage equality, transgender rights and public accommodation and education,” she said. “We are one vote away from losing a woman’s right to choose in Virginia.”
Price, who is a transgender woman, ran in 2019 for the Scottsville Magisterial District seat in Albemarle and won. She was selected to be chair of the board earlier this year, and her term on the board is up at the end of 2023.
“I love representing here, locally,” she said. “I love Albemarle County. I’m very honored to be the chair, but the limitation on what a Board of Supervisors [member] can do goes to the ability to move things forward at the state level. That had me looking at the General Assembly.”
She said the redistricting, “which for the first time in a decade makes Albemarle County a competitive district,” was another part of what pushed her to run for the House seat.
If elected, Price said her priorities are education, physical security and financial stability, while protecting the environment.
She said it’s important that people know “the good, the bad and the ugly” of history. She supports law enforcement and first responders “while simultaneously demanding accountability.”
Price said she supports collective bargaining “at all levels,” but is “generally opposed” to public employees having the ability to strike.
Kellen Squire, an emergency room nurse who lost to Bell in 2017, has also filed as a Democrat to run for the 55th District seat, and plans to announce his candidacy Friday.