First-term Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy is being challenged in Virginia’s 2nd District by a political newcomer.

However, Heather Mitchell, 49, is just a step away from a political office, serving as the senior aide to Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart.

Foy and Mitchell are competing in the Nov. 5 election to represent a House of Delegates district that stretches from the northern boundary of Prince William County in the area east of U.S. 1 and includes much of North Stafford, including the Widewater area.

Foy, a 38-year-old Democrat and native of Petersburg, lives in Prince William County with her husband and twin boys and was elected in 2017. She was one of the first black women to graduate from Virginia Military Institute, and emphasizes her dedication to public service. She is a public defender who advocates for abused and neglected children and previously served as a foster mom.

Mitchell, a Republican and resident of North Stafford, was born in Apple Valley, Calif. She is a military spouse and has three children, one of whom is in college and another who has graduated.

Two of her campaign issues revolve around education. At the college level, she wants to freeze tuition for the period a student is attending in order to make it easier to budget.

At the K–12 level, she proposes introducing career and technical education classes to middle schools. Her goal is to provide an earlier start to developing job skills for students who won’t be attending college. She also wants more funding for the classroom, less emphasis on teaching to the test, and more before- and after-school programs for students.

Both Foy and Mitchell see transportation as a priority.

Foy would like to see Metro’s Blue Rail extended to Prince William and for the state funding formula to be changed so Stafford would receive sufficient funding for building and maintaining roads.

Mitchell calls transportation the top issue for the district and said it’s important to have a vocal advocate for both counties in Richmond to work toward solutions for the Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 corridors.

Foy’s other campaign priorities revolve around gun safety and the Equal Rights Amendment, which she wants Virginia’s legislators to ratify. She advocates funding for mental health programs as part of her gun safety platform.

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