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CTP Alumni News
The new issue of Virginia Magazine, a publication of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, profiles the work of the Sorensen Institute.
The articleâ€”"Running on Respect: UVa's Sorensen Institute Wants to Clean Up Politics"â€” includes interviews with Executive Director Sean O'Brien and a number of our alumni including: Delegate and State Board member Jennifer McClellan (Political Leaders Program Class of 2001, Candidate Training Program Class of 2005), Delegate Lynwood Lewis (Political Leaders Program Class of 1995, Candidate Training Program Class of 1999), Charlottesville City Councilor Dave Norris (Candidate Training Program Class of 2006), Stafford County Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer (Candidate Training Program Class of 2005), Delegate Robert Hurt (Political Leaders Program Class of 2000), and Congressional candidate Al Weed (Candidate Training Program Class of 2003).
This is a wonderful article that all our alumni are encouraged to read.
As a sidenote, the cover story of this same issue of Virginia Magazineâ€”"Down on the Corner," about the history of the University of Virginia community, was written by the Sorensen Institute's Coy Barefoot.
Mike Taylor has announced his candidacy for the office of Pittsylvania County Sheriff. Mike is the first Virginian ever to have graduated from three Sorensen programs: the Danville/Southside Leaders Program Class of 2005, the Candidate Training Program Class of 2006, and the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006. Mike made the announcement in the Pittsylvania County Circuit Courtroom on Tuesday afternoon. According to an article in the Pittsylvania Star-Tribune:
Taylor, a 53-year-old Ringgold resident, will run as an independent. "With a deep-seated background in the understanding of law enforcement, a working relationship with countless criminal justice professionals in all levels of government, respecting the cultural diversities found within our communities and the commitments made to better grasp leadership responsibilities, I am self-assured I have prepared myself to represent you," Taylor said in a 20-minute announcement in Pittsylvania County Circuit Court. Taylor, who has spent 32 years in the sheriff's office, is the second in-house candidate to announce. Last week, Maj. Gary W. Goodson Jr., also from Ringgold, announced his bid.
Albemarle County Sheriff Ed Robb announced this week that he would not seek re-election in November. Two Sorensen graduates have stepped forward to run for the open spot.
Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding, a graduate of the Candidate Training Program Class of 2006 and Albemarle County Police Department's Larry Claytor, a graduate of the Candidate Training Program Class of 2007 will both be in the running for the Sheriff's position.
Good luck gentlemen!
Delegate and Sorensen State Board member Jennifer McClellan of Richmond (PLP 2001, CTP 2005) was a guest on "Charlottesvilleâ€”Right Now!" with Coy Barefoot yesterday afternoon. She discussed the latest on the embattled transportation package, her efforts to end predatory payday lending practices in the Commonwealth, and her proposal to make education more accessible across the state.
Chip discussed the background, success, and criticism regarding Virginia's DNA databank, a crime-fighting tool that he led the charge to create. Chip also discusses his recent discovery that tens of thousands of felons are actually missing from the databankâ€” a discovery that sparked national news coverage and a call for review of the program to find out why and how convicted felons are not being added to the database.
Mike Taylor of Ringgold, Virginia has become the first person ever to graduate from three Sorensen programs. A Lieutenant with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Mike is a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, the Candidate Training Program Class of 2006, and the Danville-Southside Leaders Program Class of 2005.
The Potomac News reports today that Jeffrey Dion, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1996, has been certified as the Democratic Party's candidate in the Occaquan district for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. A special election (the date of which has yet to be announced) is necessary to fill a seat vacated by Corey Stewart, who was recently elected to Chair that Board. Stewart is also an alumnus of the Sorensen Institute, having graduated from the Candidate Training Program Class of 2003.
The Chairman's seat, readers of this blog will recall, had been vacated earlier this year by Sorensen graduate Sean Connaughton (PLP 1995) when he was appointed by President Bush to head up the U.S. Maritime Administration.
Two Republicans are vying for their party's nomination to run against Dion. The Republican convention will be held on December 16.
Click here to read the Potomac News story about Dion's nomination. The article includes an interview with Dion in which he discusses his reasons for running.
In a statement released today, Governor Kaine has once again recognized the leadership among our Sorensen graduates by appointing them to an important new commission: the Governor's Commission on Sexual Violence. According to the press release, "The Commission is tasked with making recommendations to improve the treatment of victims of sexual violence and to prevent and respond to related crimes."
Governor Kaine commented, "The Commonwealth has made considerable progress in the management of sexually violent predators. We now need to focus the same level of energy and attention on the treatment of victims and the prevention of future acts."
Among the 37 Virginians appointed to the Commission are the following Sorensen alumni:
Leonard G. Cooke of Henrico County, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services (Political Leaders Program Class of 2004)
The Honorable Stephen C. Shannon of Fairfax County, member of the Virginia House of Delegates (Candidate Training Program Class of 2003)
Reverend C. Douglas Smith of Hanover county, Executive Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (Political Leaders Program Class of 2005)
Today the Sorensen Institute celebrates the continued success of our graduates at the polls.
Christopher Hilbert (Candidate Training Program Class of 2004) won re-election to the Richmond City Council from District 3 (unopposed).
Corey Stewart (Candidate Training Program Class of 2003) was elected Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (This was a special election to fill a seat recently vacated by Sorensen Fellow Sean Connaughton, Political Leaders Program Class of Fall 1995, who was appointed by President Bush to serve as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration).
Evette L. Wilson (Candidate Training Program Class of 2002) was re-elected to the Richmond School Board from District 9 (unopposed).
We also want to congratulate and thank those Sorensen graduates who demonstrated great leadership by stepping forward to get involvedâ€”men and women who care very deeply about the Commonwealth and will surely find other ways in the future to serve the communities they love.
Jacqueline Jackson (Political Leaders Program Class of 2002) was an incumbent candidate for the Richmond City Council from District 8.
Jerry Miller (Candidate Training Program Class of 2004) was a candidate for the Richmond School Board from District 4.
Gail Parker (Candidate Training Program Class of 2003) was an Independent candidate for U.S. Senate here in Virginia.
Barbara Pryor (Political Leaders Program Class of Spring 1994, the first Sorensen class) was an Independent candidate for U.S. Congress in the 6th District.
Jeanette Rishell (Candidate Training Program Class of 2006) was the Democratic candidate in a special election in the 50th District of the Virginia House of Delegates (a seat that was held for 24 years by Harry Parrish until he passed away in March).
Al Weed (Candidate Training Program Class of 2003) was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the 5th District.