Andria McClellan: LG prospect pushes engagement, finding points finished : Augusta Free Press

Andria McClellan

Andria McClellan

A defining second in Andria McClellan’s occupation in company and, finally, politics, arrived as the dotcom bubble was about to burst.

It also just so happened to be her 30th birthday. Her spouse, Mike, was setting up a surprise social gathering, but she couldn’t make it, mainly because she had to lay off the personnel at the modest Northern Virginia tech agency that she was leading.

“That was the most difficult thing I have at any time experienced to do,” claimed McClellan, of Norfolk, who is functioning for the Democratic Get together lieutenant governor nomination.

A 1991 UVA alum, her trajectory, to that position, had been fairly a great deal a straight line pointing up – industrial sales and promoting for two Fortune 500 organizations, foremost roles in two tech begin-ups.

To say that she picked up the pieces and made the most of items would be understating it. Mark Warner, as governor, tapped her to serve as chair of the Virginia Modest Business enterprise Advisory Board, and her resume contains stints on many neighborhood and regional nonprofits and economic progress boards – forward of her working, and successful, a seat on Norfolk City Council, in 2016, and a re-election in 2020.

It is that second that experienced her shuttering the dotcom that stands out in the right here and now – as Virginia, the country, the environment, faces the uncertainties of COVID-19.

The fantastic news there: to this level, Virginia, fortunately, knock on wood, really don’t want to jinx us, has fared superior than most.

The unemployment fee is 4.9 p.c, virtually two details forward of the nationwide level, but that is continue to just about double what it was pre-pandemic – and tens of hundreds of Virginians are nevertheless out of perform, other folks have changed total-time careers with part-time, and smaller businesses across the Commonwealth, significantly in the hospitality market, are having difficulties working day to day to keep afloat.

“We’re heading to have a really challenging economic climate for the following few of several years. And so, we have to be revolutionary in how we benefit from means,” said McClellan, who envisions her position as a lieutenant governor – which is a part-time posture, the principal obligation currently being to preside in excess of the Point out Senate each and every January and February, often into early March – as staying a form of chief engagement officer for the Commonwealth.

The concept right here is acquiring as several smart persons on the activity as you can get with each other is the very best way to determine out options to the challenges that we’re experiencing collectively.

“It’s excellent that you preside over the Senate. You have to split ties, that’s incredibly important. You have to be there to fill in for the governor. I think any person who is thinking of a candidate for lieutenant governor, I consider you require to do so with a lens of is this human being prepared to phase into an govt purpose,” McClellan claimed.

“I don’t know who’s going to be the governor, but I think I would make a great wingman to whomever that is, to enable to attract small business, as perfectly as to entice the workers and the expertise, since it is not just a make a difference of, you know, bringing in a large Amazon to Virginia, it is how do we get the talent in this article.”

To that close, McClellan has helped make a expertise network at the nearby and regional degree through Have interaction Norfolk, an once-a-year function that she launched in 2016 that connects area and condition political leaders, business and schooling leaders and personal citizens.

“We’re connecting that human money that exists in our community, and we’re serving to individuals convert their enthusiasm into motion to make our communities a far better area,” McClellan mentioned. “I feel we have a ton of folks interested in public assistance. So as a state, I feel we need to have to be hoping to make a lot more chances for persons to join the dots and set that human cash to work. Which is just one of the items that I’d seriously really like to concentrate on.”

There’s a little bit of the younger industrial sales and advertising and marketing whiz kid there.

There’s also one thing of the girl who experienced to face down what was up coming that led her to neighborhood governing administration – and could serve her perfectly in Richmond.

“The very last human being with regional govt practical experience to go to the lieutenant governor’s function is Tim Kaine. Now, I’m no Tim Kaine, but I do feel that he’s 1 of the very best politicians about, for the reason that he has that knowledge of comprehension what it’s like to offer with your constituents at the grocery store and in the church pews and at your kids’ school parking whole lot,” McClellan explained.

“I imagine owning that qualifications, and understanding what takes place in Richmond at the Condition Capitol does not usually translate effectively to Main Street and City Corridor, that there’s a whole lot of unfunded mandates and unintended consequences of very well-meaning elected officials at the point out level, remaining capable to translate that, specified my encounter in regional government, is significant.”

A single thing you do not normally believe about with individuals who serve in federal government is that it is not what CNN, MSNBC, Fox News portrays it as becoming – speeches, rallies, partisan bluster back again and forth.

McClellan serves as the chair of the Hampton Streets Setting up District Fee, 1.7 million people, 17 regional govt entities, a mix of large cities, suburbs, rural parts – and as McClellan pointed out, “lots of Republicans, loads of Democrats, and we all sit all-around a table, and we have to get points performed.”

“As lieutenant governor, you really do not signify only the Democrats or only the Republicans. You symbolize the complete point out,” McClellan reported. “That’s what you do at the community stage. Which is what you do in small business. That is completely the state of mind that I have. There is been so substantially division in politics, for way also prolonged.

“To the extent that I can make some kind of healing element to bring individuals together to get items accomplished and aim on the center of that Venn diagram of our life, as an alternative of the outer edges, I feel that is seriously, genuinely vital.”

Tale by Chris Graham