PLP Alumni News

Sorensen Alum to Seek Senate Seat
Mar 28 2007 - 12:00pm

Delegate Robert Hurt of Chatham, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2000, has announced his intent to run for the 19th District Senate seat this year. The seat has been held by Charles Hawkins since 1992. Hawkins recently announced that he would not seek reelection.

Click here to read an article in today's Roanoke Times about Hurt's announcement.

Sorensen Grads at "Running to Win"
Mar 27 2007 - 3:00pm

A number of Sorensen alumni and students were in attendance at the "Running to Win" candidate training seminar in Norfolk this past weekend.
Sponsored by the Virginia chapter of NOW, the League of Women Voters of
Virginia, and the National Women's Political Caucus of Virginia, the
program teaches women and their advisors how to run effective campaigns
for public office.

Some of the Sorensen folks at the seminar included (from left to right): Sharon Jadrnak (PLP 06, CTP 07), Jeanette Rishell (CTP 06), Bryan Collins ( PLP 06, CTP 06), Tarina Keene, program co-organizer (PLP 06), and Jennifer Little (PLP 07).

Sandra Brandt (PLP 94) was one of the program organizers as well. Also in attendance were Georgia Allen (CTP 05) and Charniele Herring (PLP 06). Speakers included Vickie Williams (PLP 05) and Dan Cawley (PLP 98).

THIS JUST IN: Herring Announces New Plans in Alexandria
Mar 13 2007 - 12:00pm

THIS JUST IN: Charniele Herring, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, has informed us that she will be leaving her current position at Leftwich & Ludaway at the end of this month to open her own practice and company in Alexandria. Good luck, Charniele!

Charniele was also interviewed recently on Washington Post Radio regarding the Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet coming up on March 26. This program is sponsored by the City of Alexandria's Commission for Women, for which Charniele serves as Chair.

Brennan Announces in the 59th
Mar 12 2007 - 1:16pm

It's official. Connie Brennan, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005 and a member of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors, announced today that she is a 59th District candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. Connie will go up against incumbent Watkins Abbitt, who was first elected to the House in 1986. The 59th District sprawls across Virginia's midsection and includes all of Appomattox, Buckingham, and Cumberland counties, as well as parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Prince Edward counties.

"It has become clear to me over the years," Connie writes on her campaign website, "that there is fairly often a disconnect between what happens in
Richmond and what is happening here in our community. All of our lives are affected by state
legislation, and we need leaders with experience in local government to keep an eye on issues that
concern us here at home. Virginia is changing rapidly, and protecting our rural heritage will be an
ever-increasing challenge."

Connie announces her candidacy at a series of stops across the district beginning today and continuing through Wednesday.

UPDATE: Click here to read news coverage of the announcement.

PODCAST: Delegate Jennifer McClellan
Mar 6 2007 - 8:09pm

Delegate and Sorensen State Board member Jennifer McClellan (PLP 2001, CTP 2005) joined Coy Barefoot this afternoon on "Charlottesville—Right Now!" to recap this year's General Assembly session. She candidly shares her reaction to the transportation plan passed by the Assembly and currently being reviewed by Governor Kaine.


Alumna Jensen Honored by Virginia General Assembly
Feb 28 2007 - 10:00am

Last week the General Assembly honored Virginia's out-going Secretary of the State Board of Elections, Jean Jensen (Political Leaders Program Class of 1996), with a special commendation.

The commendation was sponsored by Delegate John Cosgrove (Political Leaders Program Class of 1998) and co-sponsored by all the members of the Privileges and Elections Committee. It was passed by both the Senate and House.

Click here to read the full text of the resolution honoring Jean Jensen.

At our annual Alumni Reunion in Richmond last year, the Sorensen Institute honored Jean with its first-ever Expression of Ideals Award, given to a Sorensen graduate who best represents the ideals at the heart of the
Sorensen mission: a spirit of ethics,
bipartisanship, and civic engagement.

PODCAST: Kenney and Ferguson 2.26.07
Feb 27 2007 - 10:40am

Shaun Kenney and Jesse Ferguson joined Coy Barefoot yesterday on "Charlottesville—Right Now!" to recap this year's General Assembly session. Shaun is the Director of Communications for the Republican Party of Virginia. Jesse is the spokesman for Delegate Brian Moran, (Chairman of the Democratic Caucus) and is a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2004.

Topics included the transportation package, the slavery regret bill,
re-regulation of Dominion Virginia Power, the success of eminent domain
legislation, and the failure of legislation to raise the minimum wage.
Shaun and Jesse also share their thoughts on what we might expect from their party’s
candidates in this year’s elections.


THiS JUST IN: "Running on Respect"
Feb 26 2007 - 8:00pm

The new issue of Virginia Magazine, a publication of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, profiles the work of the Sorensen Institute.

The article—"Running on Respect: UVa's Sorensen Institute Wants to Clean Up Politics"— 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.

Click here to read "Running on Respect."

As a sidenote, the cover story of this same issue of Virginia Magazine—"Down on the Corner," about the history of the University of Virginia community, was written by the Sorensen Institute's Coy Barefoot.

This is Jeopardy!
Feb 26 2007 - 8:00am


Claire Ward, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, will appear as a contestant on the Jeopardy game show tomorrow night, Tuesday February 27. Check local listings for where to watch in your area.

Claire traveled to Los Angeles late last year to tape the program.

Taylor is in the Race
Feb 22 2007 - 1:27pm

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.

Click here for news coverage.


Featured Alumni

  • Dan Carey.jpg

    Dan Carey

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Cardiologist Dr. Dan Carey lives and works in Lynchburg. He is a Major (ret) in the United States Air Force, former President of the Medical Society of Virginia and former President of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine.