“My parents moved to Virginia for better schools, but realized that the system leaves some of us behind. But the beauty of blazing your own path is you don’t recognize the mud and sticks in the road as obstacles--it’s just part of the journey. I graduated high school, became the first in my family to graduate college, and I became a lawyer at a big firm, and thought I was on the right path. Until one day, I was told I had to represent Donald Trump. So I quit.”
Over 800,000 people saw Sean Perryman’s campaign ad for Virginia Lieutenant Governor, where he shares his career, his political goals, and his guiding principles.
“We were trying to inspire people and also introduce them to my story and show them of the power of getting engaged in community activism. We saw donations flood in from all across the country. People are looking for a new generation of leaders who are standing up and doing their part.”
Perryman, 34, would be the one of the youngest Lieutenant Governors to serve the state of Virginia, second only to J. Sergeant Reynolds, who died in office in 1970 at age 34.
“To be the representative of the younger generation of leaders, that’s the most significant thing for me. It would be a real honor.This generation needs to take leadership roles, we’re the ones facing the student debt and climate crisis, inheriting a lot of the mess that’s gone on for the last few years.”
As Perryman states in his viral ad, he was employeed at a law firm until 2015. After that, he worked with the late Congressman Elijah Cummings on the House Oversight Committee. There, he managed the tech portfolio with other democratic committee members from 2016 to 2018. He then was hired by the Internet Association, where he presently serves as Director of Social Impact Policy.
When the Trump administration took office, Perryman wanted to become more involved with local politics, and began volunteering with the Fairfax County Democratic Committee and the Fairfax NAACP, where he eventually was elected President of the chapter. There, he advocated for transparency and accountability in policing.
He stated: “I fought really hard to get more transparency in policing in Fairfax County and for accountability in that process. I’ve pushed for more data from the school system, the police department and pretty much every aspect of government.”
Two of his core issues include cannabis legalization and campaign finance reform.
“We have to get legalization right. We have to do it in a way that is ethical that allows people into the market, especially small businesses. And I would love to see it come with some forms of expungement.”
Additionally, he wants to see major changes in the laws around financial contributions to campaigns.
“Most people aren’t aware that we have no contribution limits at all. Not only do we not have any contribution limits, but people can use their campaign funds however they want. We desperately need campaign finance reform.”
The official purview of the lieutenant governor, other than to take over should the governor become incapacitated, is to preside over the state senate and break ties.
“The lieutenant governor can pay a very important role,” Perryman said. “When we expanded medicaid here in the commonwealth, it was the lieutenant governor who broke that tie.”
However, Perryman has a broader vision in mind.
“My approach is to be more than that. They can be a partner to local government, a voice to community advocates. I want to see more communication between Richmond and everyday people and local governments.”
The Virginia State election will take place on November 2, 2021. To learn more about Sean Perryman, visit https://perrymanforvirginia.com/.