Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Sean Perryman does not want to use the position as a stepping stone or to be just another cog in the political machine. Instead, he is aiming to lead the Commonwealth by solving key issues currently facing the majority of Virginians.
“Sometimes people look at lieutenant governor as a role where if you sit quietly and don’t offend anyone then you can become governor. I have no interest in that,” Perryman said in an interview with The Virginia Star. “I am going to be very vocal on a set of policies and values that we should be championing, and let the chips fall where they may. I am not going to stifle myself or take a position to further political ambitions, I am going to do what I think is right.”
Perryman, an attorney and president of the Fairfax County NAACP branch, formally announced his Democratic bid for Lt. Gov. earlier this month, joining a seemingly ever-growing list of candidates on both sides of the aisle.
Even with the duties and responsibilities of the lieutenant governor being fairly limited, Perryman believes he would make good use of the role and its social platform.
“I look at the Lt. Gov. position as one of three statewide elected offices where it doesn’t seem like it has a lot of inherent power, but it is a platform where you can stand up for values and the policies that we need to adopt in the Commonwealth to make it better for everyone,” Perryman said.
Some of the factors that led Perryman into making his bid was the poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic at all three levels of government, George Floyd’s death and seeing some of the people he admired and looked up to pass away like former U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings and John Lewis.
Perryman said the platform he will be running on centers around education, equity, economy and the environment.
“Some of the big ideas I have on education and equity is we need to have an infrastructure project that deals with broadband access. If you don’t have a reliable internet, you cannot be educated and you can’t work remotely,” Perryman said. “You can’t have parts of the state that just don’t have internet access anymore, it’s not sustainable during the pandemic and it won’t be sustainable after the pandemic.”
He also mentioned how economic recovery is an issue that will be especially pertinent to Virginia in 2021 and argued legalizing cannabis can not only help solve issues with the economy, but also issues involving equity in the criminal justice system.
Currently working on technology policy at the Internet Association, Perryman is adamant the he is not your typical political candidate.
“I don’t want to do politics as usual, I’m excited to run for certain values that I [believe in] and run for the people on the ground,” Perryman told The Star. “I want to be the person who can unite folks and fight for certain issues when there needs to be a strong advocate for them.
“I am advocating for values and policies that I think will serve as many Virginians as possible and I’m not ashamed of that.”
Despite never holding or being elected to political office, Perryman said he is not concerned that other candidates have served as lawmakers or have more experience working in state-level politics.
Joining Perryman as candidates in the Democratic primary are Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William), Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), former Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Paul Goldman and lobbyist Xavier Warren.
According to previous reporting from The Star, Prince William County School Board Chair Babur Lateef and Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan are seriously considering bids.
Republican candidates include: Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), former Del. Tim Hugo, lobbyist Puneet Ahluwalia and veteran Lance Allen (R).
Additionally, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman is rumored to be considering the race.
“I would describe myself as a leader who puts themselves out there as someone who is honest, probably to a fault, and also willing to go to the map on the issues that are important to people,” Perryman said. “More than anything, I would say my leadership style is I’m someone who is going to take responsibility and be an honest broker with the public.”
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Sean Perryman” by Sean Perryman. Photo “Virginia State Capitol” by Ron Cogswell. CC BY 2.0.