Northern Virginia Del. Mark Levine has become the eighth Democrat to announce a bid for lieutenant governor in 2021.
Levine, who has represented portions of Arlington County, Fairfax County and Alexandria in the House of Delegates since 2015, declared his candidacy in a news release Monday morning.
“Injustice really gets under my skin,” Levine said in the release. “All our lives we’ve been told ‘that’s just the way things are.’ But I’ve found – if you’re persistent and creative, get the details right, and work with others of good will – even the toughest problems can be solved. So when I hear something is ‘impossible,' that’s my cue to get to work!”
Although lieutenant governor is technically a part-time position, Levine said he would make a full-time role.
If elected, I would visit every one of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities during my term and assist the governor in connecting with everyday Virginians all across the commonwealth," he said. "To heed their voices, we must hear them first.”
In 1996, Levine’s sister was murdered by her husband. The first bill he drafted was a Tennessee law to protect victims of domestic violence and their children. The law passed unanimously. In 1999, Levine co-founded Marriage Equality California, one of the earliest organizations in the nation to champion the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Levine moved to Alexandria in 2001 to serve as legislative counsel for Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA).
On his second day in office, Levine co-founded the Virginia Transparency Caucus, which fought to ensure that all committee and subcommittee meetings were publicly recorded, live-streamed and archived.
If elected, Levine would be the first openly LGBTQ+ statewide-elected official in Virginia history and would be the first Jewish person elected statewide as well.
Levine is the fifth Northern Virginia resident in the lieutenant governor's race on the Democratic side. The other candidates from the region are Dels. Hala S. Ayala and Elizabeth R. Guzman of Prince William County, Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman, and Arlington County businessman Xavier Warren. Also running for the nomination, expected to be decided in a primary next spring or early summer, are former Virginia Democratic Party chairman Paul Goldman, Norfolk City Council member Andria P. McClellan and Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke.
Republican candidates include Fairfax business consultant Puneet Ahluwalia; Lance Allen, a national security company executive who lives in Fauquier County; Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. of Virginia Beach, and former delegate Timothy D. Hugo of Fairfax.