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Your View: SW, rural Va. needs economic, educational advocate like Del. Sam Rasoul for lt. governor

Your View: SW, rural Va. needs economic, educational advocate like Del. Sam Rasoul for lt. governor

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In the last few decades, we’ve watched representation of Southwest Virginia continually shrink at the state and federal levels. It’s crucial that we elect someone to statewide office who understands the issues facing Southwest, especially as we move forward with redistricting next year. That’s why I’m supporting Del. Sam Rasoul for lieutenant governor this Tuesday, June 8th.

Sam has represented Roanoke in the General Assembly for eight years. He’s one of the strongest advocates for Southwest and rural Virginians, even though we live more than 100 miles from his district. He often visits here and makes a point of connecting with people, and he did so long before he was a statewide candidate. If elected, he would be the only statewide elected official in Virginia from west of Richmond, ensuring we would have a seat at the table.

As a former educator, I am impressed by Sam’s education plan. His priorities include implementing a holistic method for students to learn soft skills, like mental resilience. In fact, he passed Virginia’s first benchmarks for social-emotional learning last year. Our students desperately need more support in these regards, and I’m glad to see a statewide candidate who recognizes that need.

Our teachers also need support, which is why Sam wants to increase teacher pay so we surpass the national average. He also plans to hire more counselors so we can reach the “Gold Standard” of counselor-to-student ratios.

Sam’s plan expands beyond teachers and students to include school infrastructure. Some schools in Southwest Virginia don’t have broadband access or basic amenities like air conditioning. Our students need to learn in clean, safe and updated classrooms that can help them thrive.

As you head to the polls this Tuesday, I urge you to cast your ballot for Del. Sam Rasoul for lieutenant governor.

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