72nd District

Republican GayDonna Vandergriff is challenging Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, in the 72nd House District.

Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, retained his seat Tuesday against GOP challenger GayDonna Vandergriff in House District 72.

Republicans had held the 72nd House seat in Henrico County for 27 years before VanValkenburg, a civics and history teacher at Glen Allen High School, won it in 2017 as part of the blue wave election in which Democrats gained 15 House seats.

Vandergriff is a Republican community leader whose only previous political experience was an unsuccessful bid for the Henrico County School Board 12 years ago.

VanValkenburg said his top issue was better state funding for public education, which he says is 10 percent lower than it was a decade ago during the recession. He also has called for the state to build its financial reserves.

Vandergriff also called public education - especially boosting literacy and limiting student debt - a top priority, having relied on public libraries and community colleges to help work her way out of poverty in Wise County.

She said her biggest concern is the state economy, which she said could suffer from policies enacted by a Democrat-controlled legislature that could hurt working Virginians.

Vandergriff has been a member of the Henrico Mental Health and Developmental Services Board and served as chair of the Henrico Library Advisory Board.

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