District Description: Henrico County (Part), Hanover County (Part)
Current Senator: Siobhan Dunnavant since 2016 (R)
According to Ned Oliver of Virginia Mercury:
“Democrats say Henrico is solidly blue now. Ergo, they say, it makes sense the district would elect a Democrat. To make their point, they note Dunnavant, who has held the district since 2015, doesn’t note her party affiliation or the fact that she’s conservative in television spots she’s been running. But their margins in the districts are still narrow. Northam won by just 5 points. Republicans counter that Dunnavant’s status as a doctor puts her on solid footing during a year health care is expected to be a major subject of debate. She faces Rodman, an anthropology professor who won election to the House in 2017.”
VA Senate District 12
Current Position: State Senator for VA Senate District 12 since 2016
Candidate: 2019 State Senator VA Senate District 12
For more information, see Siobhan Dunnavant’s post.
Siobhan was sworn in her first term of service in the Virginia Senate on January 13, 2016. The Virginia General Assembly is a part-time body that meets for sixty days in even numbered years and forty-five days in odd numbered years. Virginia has forty senators who serve four-year terms, and one hundred delegates who serve two-year terms. Virginia legislators are not full time politicians but citizen legislators in the tradition of our founding fathers. Year round, they maintain their jobs in their home districts in addition to their legislative service. Siobhan is the only physician currently serving in the Virginia Senate.
Senator Dunnavant represents roughly 200,000 people throughout western Henrico and western Hanover (view a map of the district here). Although the legislature meets for only a few months each winter, she maintains a constituent services office year-round which is committed to serving the people of the 12th District.
Since 1999, Siobhan Dunnavant has served as a well-respected OB-GYN in private practice right here in Henrico. Committed to being a citizen legislator, she continues to practice medicine full time when not in session, and sees patients twice a week and delivers babies during session.
Siobhan has delivered over 2,500 babies and firmly believes there is no better vocation than medicine. Committed to problem solving she has always volunteered and served. She has worked to improve patient safety and innovate healthcare. She has served in many leadership roles including OB-GYN department chair, Trustee on the Hospital Board, chief operating officer of her practice, Medical Society of Virginia Board, the Virginia Center for Health Care Innovation, and the Virginia Board of Medicine. Richmond Magazine has named her one of the region’s “Top Docs.”
In 2007, Siobhan worked to start a second innovative, small business – OB Hospitalists, a healthcare company that provides physician staffing for in-hospital OB-GYN services. A free market solution that improves patient care, quality and safety; reduces malpractice risk; improves doctor and nurse job satisfaction; and helps increase market share for hospitals. The service has recently expanded to include midwifery care allowing greater focus on a patient centered experience.
Siobhan Dunnavant, MD is a free-market, limited-government conservative with first-hand experience in the challenges and economics of healthcare. Her experience as a practicing physician and as a small business owner has provided a deep appreciation for the challenges created by an ever growing government.
Siobhan is the daughter of a career Naval officer and was born here in Virginia. Stationed several times in Virginia the family moved 19 times in his 21 year Naval Career, finally settling in Virginia Beach in 1971.
Raised with five brothers, she learned how to make a point in a loud room, and she can hold her own under fire. Most importantly, the warmth of a close family with a devotion to faith and a commitment to community service gives her a sense of duty and the confidence to know solutions can be found when she sees problems.
Siobhan and her husband, Lloyd, married for over 30 years, have raised four children right here in Henrico. In those years, before she served on Boards and committees, Siobhan has been a team mother, room mother, Cub Den leader, Explorer advisor, carpool driver, cheering mom on the sidelines and relished all her mother jobs. All of Siobhan & Lloyd’s children were educated in Virginia’s public schools and Virginia Universities. Siobhan is also a Blue Star mother with one of her sons currently serving in the 82 Airborne, after graduating from VMI. He recently returned from a combat mission in Iraq.
The Dunnavant’s are active members of Saint Bridget Catholic Church, and volunteer with the Little Sisters of the Poor, Thrifty Sisters and the Boy Scouts of America.
Current Position: State Delegate for VA House District 73 since 2018
Candidate: 2019 State Senator VA Senate District 12
For more information, see Debra Rodman’s post.
Legislator, Educator, Mother, Candidate for Senate District 12
Elected in 2017, Delegate Debra Rodman was inspired to run by the simple idea that real people should have a voice in their government. A Fulbright Scholar, she teaches Anthropology at Randolph-Macon College, and regularly uses her academic expertise to serve as an expert witness in US Federal Court where she advocates for families and LGBT refugees fleeing violence.
Debra is a proud mom to two beautiful boys and the wife to Darryl, a Richmond native and member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina.
Debra brings her passion – and compassion – as an educator to the General Assembly, fighting fiercely for the improvements to Virginia public education and health care systems that our communities need. As a Delegate, she has worked across the aisle to improve teacher evaluations and raise teacher pay. It is because of Debra and her colleague’s advocacy for Medicaid expansion on the campaign trail and in the General Assembly that 400,000 Virginians who previously slipped through the cracks now have access to affordable health care.
It is her mission to remain accessible and present in the community she loves to serve.
A Relentless Fighter for her Constituents in the General Assembly
In the legislature, Debra has earned a reputation as one of Virginia’s strongest leaders for change.
A Fighter for Education:
As a mom of two children – one with learning disabilities and one considered accelerated — Debra has pushed to invest in our public schools and even delivered a historic 5% pay raise for Virginia public school teachers this year. But she also knows we can do better when Democrats take the majority – our Virginia teachers are still paid almost $10,000 behind the national average and many pay for school supplies out of their own pockets.
As a professor at Randolph Macon college, Debra saw first-hand the effects of a teacher evaluation system that over-incentivized “teaching the test”. This year, she successfully lead the fight and worked across the aisle to update how our teachers are evaluated so our teachers are free to teach and our children can have a world-class education. She was recognized by the non-partisan Virginia Education Association as a Legislative Champion for her excellent work delivering this historic improvement.
A Fighter for Quality, Affordable Health Care: Debra will always work to protect and expand Virginians’ access to quality, affordable health care. Debra fought tirelessly on the campaign trail and in the General Assembly to expand access to Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians. But prices, coverage, access, everything to do with the health insurance system are still a serious source of stress.
Additionally, women and people across Virginia see Donald Trump’s Supreme Court poised to gut Roe v. Wade. Politicians have no place in the decisions someone makes with their doctor. Debra will fight for state-level protections from the White House’s attacks on health and reproductive care. In the General Assembly, Debra’s legislation and work with key stakeholders to stop insurance companies from discriminating based on gender identification is a landmark accomplishment for making Virginia a more inclusive, welcoming Commonwealth.
A Fighter to Prevent Gun Violence:
Henrico recently saw multiple instances of racist vandalism and vandalism threatening gun violence. Virginia was just devastated from a mass shooting in Virginia Beach. 12 years ago our Commonwealth mourned the loss of 33 lives at Virginia Tech. The time for action to prevent gun violence was long ago.
The reality is in 2019, every parent lives with fear when our kids get on the bus to school or go out to play. When children live with anxiety for their own safety, there are lifelong psychological and physical consequences while their young brains develop. Our country does not live up to its promise of equality of opportunity when children grow up afraid to go to school or traumatized by active shooter drills.
Debra has remained strong in the fight to prevent gun violence — fighting for universal background checks, red flag laws, stricter reporting rules when a firearm is lost or stolen, among others.
A Fighter for our Environment:
Debra has a masters in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She serves on the Agriculture Committee in the House of Delegates where she advocates for a responsible shift to cleaner energy sources and fights for clean air and water.
In 2017, Debra was one of the first candidate’s to sign Activate Virginia’s pledge to refuse money from Dominion and public service corporations. As a Delegate she voted and whipped votes against legislation which weakened the oversight powers of the State Corporation Commission over Dominion Energy. She has also carried legislation to test for increased lead levels in drinking water, and legislation that would strengthen the SCC’s ability to curtail overcharges and protect consumers.
Legislation proposed and voted on here in her campaign page
We all want to keep our air and water clean for our children and grandchildren. Debra believes local communities should decide whether they want fracking or pipelines. However, Debra also supports common sense protections for the public that prevent fracking companies from hiding potentially toxic or dangerous ingredients they are using to extract oil and gas.
Every student in the Commonwealth should have the opportunity to learn and succeed, and to do that, public education should be fully funded and fully staffed. Debra wants to raise teacher pay to ensure that the best and brightest teachers come to Virginia-and stay here. She also wants to increase accountability for charter schools and prevent them from coming into communities against their will and at the cost of existing public schools.Delegate O’Bannon has voted repeatedly in favor of charters and against local interests. He has also allowed a significant staff shortage-15,000 educators-to persist since the recession of 2008.As a mom with a special needs child and as an educator herself, Debra deeply understands the impact and frustration caused by budget cuts and out-of-touch policies. As Delegate, she will defend our schools, colleges and universities to make sure they get the funding they need and that teachers get the salaries they deserve.
No family should have to choose between their health and their financial stability. Debra will make sure that Henrico families have access to affordable healthcare by expanding Medicaid and implementing programming to ensure that 100% of children have health coverage. Delegate O’Bannon opposed Medicaid expansion and has publicly stated his support for Trumpcare, which would jeopardize protections for 3.4 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions.
The opioid crisis has taken its toll on families across Virginia and our community’s response to date has been woefully insufficient. Debra believes that we should better assist families and provide treatment for those suffering from addiction, offering supportive environments that encourage rehabilitation over incarceration.
At a time when vital healthcare for women is under attack by politicians in Richmond and Washington, D.C., Debra will never waver from her conviction that women should always be able to make their own decisions about their bodies. Delegate O’Bannon, on the other hand, has consistently worked to restrict women’s freedom of choice. He has voted to defund planned parenthood, voted for trans-vaginal ultrasounds, voted for waiting periods to restrict funding for abortion across the board and has voted for a religious exemption for pharmacists to provide Plan B.
Our community is at its best when we’re interconnected, and this requires well-maintained roads, bike lanes and sidewalks. As Delegate, Debra will work to make Henrico more bikeable and walkable, so that all families can enjoy our beautiful parks. Further, Debra believes that these investments aren’t purely about improving our community’s well-being, but they are also good business. Debra knows that investments in our roads and bridges grow businesses, increase home values and create good jobs