LEESBURG, Va. (DC News Now) — There’s one issue that drew Russet Perry into the 31st District state Senate race in Virginia and that’s abortion rights.
“I hopped into this race because what happens with choice, what happens with abortion will be decided in Virginia this year in this race,” she said.
Perry, 39, a former prosecutor in Loudoun County and former CIA officer, is running in the competitive district in which millions of funds have already been raised and spent.
Her opponent is Republican Juan Pablo Segura, an entrepreneur and the co-founder of the District Doughnut chain.
Perry said she knows abortion rights is the central issue in the campaign and that Youngkin and others would restrict abortion access if he wins back control of the General Assembly.
“I’m running to continue to protect Roe v. Wade, the law that has been the law of the land here for 50 years until it was taken down by the Supreme Court,” Perry said. “I’m running to make sure [women] continue to have the same rights that I’ve had my entire life, that they don’t have fewer rights than the ones that I’ve had.”
Money will also play a roll in this race, too. Since late September, Perry had raised more than $3.3 million, according to campaign finance reports as millions more poured in from outside groups against both candidates.
The other important issues in the campaign that Perry constantly hears from voters are education and the economy, she said.
“Our public schools are huge. I’m the mother of two public school students,” she said. “I was reliant on public school. Being able to protect public schools, making sure that my kids can go to schools that they can get a good education, that we’re supporting parents, teachers and kids.”
Economic conditions are important to Perry as well, as she understands what it’s like to struggle.
“I know what [it’s] like for people who have difficulty deciding are we going to be able to afford our groceries this week,” she said.
Perry scoffed at Segura’s accusations in commercials and on the stump that she’s soft on crime, accusing the candidate of hyping cases that came about after she had already left the prosecutor’s office.
“He talks a lot. I’m the only person who’s actually done the job right, who has put murderers, sex abusers, child molesters in prison for the rest of their life. That’s me,” she said.
Perry said she is concerned that if Republicans win her seat, the party will set women’s rights back.
“I think that should be deeply concerning,” she said. “We’re concerned that we will lose our access for choice here in Virginia.”