Virginia state Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) on Dec. 21 launched his campaign for lieutenant governor.
If voted in, he would become the first openly LGBTQ officeholder elected statewide.
The Alexandria Democrat was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2016 in a district that includes about half of Alexandria and parts of Arlington and Fairfax Counties. He announced his candidacy in a video posted to his social media accounts.
“Injustice has always gotten under my skin,” he said in the video. “All our lives we’ve been told ‘that’s just the way things are.’ But I’ve found, if you’re persistent and creative, get the details right, and work with others of good will, even the toughest problems can be solved. So when I hear something is ‘impossible,’ that’s my cue to get to work!”
Levine, a former lawyer and gay rights activist, is jumping into an already crowded field, with a dozen other candidates running for the position.
Lieutenant governors are elected at the same time as the state’s gubernatorial election, which will take place in November. Once elected, they oversee the state Senate and step in if the governor cannot perform certain duties.
“Virginia needs a full-time lieutenant governor,” Levine states on his campaign website. “If elected, I would visit every one of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities and assist the governor in connecting with Virginians all across the commonwealth.”