Filipina-American Democrat Becomes First AAPI Woman Elected to Virginia’s State House
By Bryan Ke
November 9, 2017
Kelly Fowler, a Democratic and first-time candidate, is now the representative of Virginia’s District 21 after winning over her Republican counterpart, Filipino-American Ron Villanueva.
According to reports, the Filipino-American Democratic candidate garnered 53% of the votes while 47-year-old Villanueva ended up with 46%.
Fowler, 36, is now the first ever Asian-American Pacific Islander to ever serve in Virginia’s House of Delegates; her grandfathers both come from the Philippines, WTOP reported.
Fowler, who used to be a teacher before becoming a real estate broker, has a progressive stance when it comes to some of the issues she tackled during her political campaign.
“I hold a concealed carry permit from the state of Virginia and have respect for gun ownership,” she said on her campaign website. “I also believe that common sense gun safety laws are an important part of our 2nd Amendment rights.”
Fowler believes in climate change and wants to protect District 21’s coastal communities from the rising waters of Chesapeake Bay.
On women’s issues, she supported a woman’s right to choose equal pay, non-discrimination in the workplace, and strong laws that stop violence against women.
As a daughter of immigrants, Fowler supports Dreamers’ right to stay in the United States.
She also supports the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia.
“Many people I speak with in the 21st District tell me that their healthcare costs are too high, healthcare coverage is too limited, and prescription drugs are too expensive,” Fowler explained. “Turning down federal funds designed to help the most vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth is both inexcusable and economically foolish – especially considering Virginia’s tax dollars are being exported to other states in lieu of helping our own citizens.”
She first decided to run for office shortly after Donald Trump won the presidential election in November 2016. A day after his inauguration in January, Fowler took part in the Women’s March, bringing one of her daughters along with her.
“After last year’s election, it’s amazing to win and feel like we’re making progress,” Fowler said.
Featured Image via Twitter / Kelly Fowler
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