WINCHESTER — Tenth District Del. Wendy Gooditis, D-Clarke County, announced on Tuesday that she is seeking a third term in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Gooditis launched her re-election bid in a virtual event with supporters Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-10th, and Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk. About 50 people participated.
Facing no challengers, Gooditis has secured the Democratic nomination and will face Republican Nick Clemente, a former Leesburg Planning Commissioner, in the Nov. 2 election.
Gooditis was elected to her first two-year term in the House of Delegates in 2017, defeating Republican incumbent Randy Minchew. She defeated Minchew again in 2019 to secure a second term.
The House of Delegates' 10th District encompasses parts of Loudoun, Frederick, and Clarke counties.
“It’s really the honor of a lifetime,” Gooditis said of representing the 10th District. “... I’m feeling truly honored and truly humbled by the support that people give and by the votes that people [gave] to put me there. It’s very, very humbling, and I’m very grateful for it.”
If re-elected, Gooditis said she will fight to increase the Virginia minimum wage to $15 an hour and advocate for the expansion of high-speed internet.
She said some of the Democrat-led legislation that she's most proud to have supported over the past year are passing COVID-19 relief measures, repealing the death penalty and providing Virginia voters protections against discrimination with the passage of the first Voting Rights Act among southern states.
Legislation she introduced that passed the General Assembly includes bills to expand midwifery services, subsidies for dairy farmers, support of kinship care for foster children and extending laws to protect domestic workers.
“We have to continue to work to protect domestic workers,” Gooditis said. “While I passed protections for them, health and safety protections, I also will continue to work to try to get workman’s comp protections for them as well, which did not pass this year.”
Wexton said she first saw Gooditis in action in 2017, questioning Minchew at a town hall about why he wouldn’t support Medicaid expansion. She recalled Gooditis being “armed with facts” and “armed with figures." Wexton said Gooditis "has not ceased to impress" and said "she's given hope to Democrats over the mountain."
“She doesn’t really lead as a Democrat; she doesn’t govern as a Democrat," Wexton said. "She governs as somebody who cares about her constituents. And she does a fantastic job of taking care of them, listening to them, seeing that their needs are met and helping them in any way that she can. She’s an effective legislator, she’s a fantastic person and we need to make sure that we send her back to Richmond.”
Gooditis received her master's degree in education from Shenandoah University and previously worked as a teacher in Clarke County Public Schools. She became more involved in political activism after the 2016 presidential election.
Ensuring that everyone has good health care is one of her priorities. Shortly after she announced her candidacy in 2017, Gooditis lost her brother to mental illness. She said he was denied Medicaid in Virginia, and he did not get the care he deserved. As a delegate, Gooditis has voted to expand Medicaid, saying she did not want others to experience what she did in losing a family member.
“I want the people of Virginia to understand that what the Democrats are trying to do is just make sure that all Virginians have the opportunity to be adequately housed, fed, educated [and] covered for health care,” she said. “These goals should not be divisive. These should be goals that all Virginians have. This is what we are trying to achieve, that everybody can be fed and housed and cared for and everybody can have the same rights — the right to vote, the right to have justice distributed equally.”