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PLP Alumni News
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: 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.
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
Connie announces her candidacy at a series of stops across the district beginning today and continuing through Wednesday.
Delegate and Sorensen State Board member Jennifer McClellan (PLP 2001, CTP 2005) joined Coy Barefoot this afternoon on "Charlottesvilleâ€”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.
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.
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.
Shaun Kenney and Jesse Ferguson joined Coy Barefoot yesterday on "Charlottesvilleâ€”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 partyâ€™s
candidates in this yearâ€™s elections.
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.
Margaret "Margi" Vanderhye, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006 and the Candidate Training Program Class of 2005, is the subject of an article in the Great Falls Connection newspaper, February 21 edition. The articleâ€”"Vanderhye Promises Real Solutions"â€”includes a profile of Margi and details about her plans to run against Delegate Vince Callahan in the 34th House District this year.
"In the midst of the breakdown on
negotiations in transportation legislation, I came to the conclusion
that I wanted to be a part of the solutions in Richmond," she said. Vanderhye
will be challenging long-standing Republican incumbent Del. Vincent
Callahan (R-34), should he choose to seek re-election. Callahan has
served as delegate of Virginia's 34th district for 39 years, and is
chair of the House of Delegates Appropriations committee. Callahan has
not yet confirmed whether he will pursue re-election. "I will announce my decision in March like I always do," said Callahan.
Vanderhye said that she believes the residents of the 34th district are ready for change. "The district and the voters have changed, but the representative has not," she said.