February 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Gay Va. lawmaker pursues state Senate seat

Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) (Blade photo by Michael Key)

A gay four-term member of the Virginia State House last week declared his intention to pursue a seat in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who’s served as a state House member since 2004, announced he would pursue the state Senate seat that Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria) will vacate upon her retirement this year.

Ebbin said he’s interested in moving from the Republican-controlled House to the Democratic-controlled Senate to have a greater voice in speaking out for LGBT people and other minorities.

“I’ve tried to be a voice for the voiceless in the House,” Ebbin said. “I think I can be a loader voice in the Senate for GLBT people or religious minorities, for workers and others who are often left out.”

In the House, Ebbin has championed many LGBT bills, although many, such as a non-discrimination measure for state workers and anti-bullying legislation, were blocked in the Republican-controlled House and haven’t made it to the governor’s desk.

Ebbin noted that the Democratic-controlled Senate has succeeded in passing pro-LGBT measures and said he thinks he would have better success in moving  forward on LGBT issues in the chamber.

“We’ve found the Senate to be more receptive, and I feel like if I can get things passed in the Senate and then bring them to the House, that they would get more weighed consideration,” Ebbin said.

Having planned the run for several months, Ebbin said he’s already hired a campaign manager and has rented out a campaign headquarters.

But other Democrats are also seeking the state Senate seat. Alexandria City Council member Rob Krupicka and Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey have also announced their intent to pursue the Democratic nomination.

Ebbin said he thinks his experience in the General Assembly puts him in a good position to win a Democratic primary, which would take place on Aug. 23.

“I’m the only one who’s served in the General Assembly and I think I’ve proven to be effective and the voters will find that appealing — to have experience at the state level and a proven record of effectiveness,” Ebbin said.

In the predominantly Democratic 30th district, the Democratic nominee would be favored to win against any other candidate in the general election. Still, a Republican, Alexandria businessman Michael Maibach, has reportedly expressed interest in the seat.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • I don’t see how Delegate Ebbin can run in a primary for the seat yet, considering the fact that the assembly hasn’t done the redistricting yet. I would support him in whatever district he ends up running in, but again, how can he run in a particular district when the district lines haven’t been set?

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