By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
A candidate with a familiar university background will be appearing on the ballot in the next Virginia election.
Susan Stimpson, who graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 1992, is running in the Republican primary of Virginia’s 28th District, which includes parts of Stafford County and the city of Fredericksburg. Stimpson received a Bachelor of Arts at UMW and received a Master of Public Administration at the University of West Florida. She is running against Speaker William Howell to serve as the Republican candidate for the House of Delegates seat.
Stimpson served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors as chairman from 2010 to 2013.
Through working with the Board of Supervisors, Stimpson experienced first hand the impact of local government involvement in the community.
Stimpson said she believes the House of Delegates needs representatives who have worked in local government and understand the needs of communities around the state.
“[The members of the general assembly] lose touch with the impact of their decisions on their citizens,” said Stimpson.
Stimpson also has experience as a board member of the Potomac Rappahannock Transit Commission and the Military Affairs Council.
Stimpson is no stranger to state elections, as she announced her campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 2013. However, she failed to win the nomination.
One aspect of her experience on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors that Stimpson said she wants to bring to the House of Delegates is her investment in education. As a graduate of UMW and the mother of a Liberty University freshman, making decisions that will give students the ability to be all that they can be is an integral part of Stimpson’s campaign.
“[Students] have a stake in this…I decided that I was not going to sit back,” said Stimpson.
Like Stimpson, UMW students are also taking note of what is taking place in the commonwealth.
Nicole Tardif, a senior political science major and chairman for UMW’s College Republicans, takes note of a concern a lot of students have: student debt.
The state government plays a role in determining the amount universities in the state charge for tuition. Voting can have an impact on whether universities choose to raise or lower their tuition.
“Just one of the reasons it’s important for students to do that,” said Tardif, speaking about students voting in state elections.
In addition to furthering education causes, Stimpson, through running for delegate, also hopes to change the long-standing issue of female underrepresentation in the Virginia government.
Of the approximately 67 members of the House of Delegates that are Republicans, only 4 are women. In the three years Stimpson served as chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, she was the only woman on the board.
While no longer on the Board of Supervisors, Stimpson recruited current Board of Supervisors member Meg Bohmke. Stimpson, through her experience in public office, said she wants to increase female representation in Virginia’s government and hopes that her position in public office will empower women to become involved in local and state government.
“I want to see more of this same generation have that empowerment and be elected in public office,” said Stimpson.
Stimpson also cited UMW as playing an integral role in her investment in the Stafford and Fredericksburg community.
“Mary Washington gave me the confidence and empowerment to make these decisions for our community,” said Stimpson.
This article was edited on Thursday, April 9.