Meet the candidates: Democrats vying for lieutenant governor nomination

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — In exactly one week, Virginians will narrow down the race for several state offices during the primary election.

There has been a lot of talk about the race for governor, but the race for lieutenant governor is even more crowded.

The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate and casts tie-breaking votes. Unlike a president and vice president, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run together.

Currently, both spots are filled by Democrats, but it’s possible to have a Republican in one position and a democrat in the other.

There are three Republicans and three Democrats vying for the position. Today, we’re highlighting the democrats in the race.

Justin Fairfax

“I’m Justin Fairfax and I’m running for lieutenant governor because the Virginia state line is where we start to take our country back from Donald Trump,” Justin Fairfax says in his political ad.

Fairfax is a former prosecutor who has taken on drugs, violence and human trafficking. He’s worked in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

After growing up in inner-city Washington, D.C., Fairfax went on to Duke University and Columbia Law School.

Fairfax served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

If elected, his top priorities will be higher-paying jobs, economic security and opportunity.

Susan Platt

Susan Platt believes the Commonwealth would be stronger if more women were serving in office.

Platt has worked as a political consultant. She’s also worked to encourage women to get into politics.

Now, she’s breaking out from behind the scenes. She says she was inspired by the presidential election.

“After what happened on November 8, I realized it was time to take my own advice and lead by example,” Platt says in the video on her campaign website’s homepage.

In the video, Platt describes wanting to create a cabinet-level position catering to the needs of Virginia’s children.

Platt founded statewide organizations The Farm Team and EmergeVA. She has also served on the board of NARAL Virginia.

Platt says she wants to become lieutenant governor to grow business and create job opportunities in the Commonwealth.

Gene Rossi

The third Democrat hoping to win the nomination is Gene Rossi.

Rossi was born and raised in Connecticut. He went on to Fairfield University and earned law degrees from American University and Georgetown University.

Rossi is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and federal prosecutor.

“I’m going to use the position of lieutenant governor to be a bully pulpit and to be a passionate advocate to protect the people,” he says in his online video.

Rossi, a cancer survivor, says some of his key issues are health care, opioids, raising the minimum wage and education.

“I want to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves,” he said.

To see our profiles on the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, click here.