Virginia Beach City Councilman Aaron Rouse announced his candidacy on Monday, March 14 for the State Senate in Virginia’s new 22nd District, which includes parts of the city of Virginia Beach. Rouse’s victory in this election would historically mark the first time a Black person represented Virginia Beach in the Virginia State Senate. Councilman Rouse will not seek re-election to the Virginia Beach City Council.
“We are at a pivotal point in Virginia Beach and our Commonwealth, and now more than ever, leadership matters,” said Rouse in a statement he released. “I am running for the State Senate because I understand the challenges families across Virginia Beach are facing and seek to bring a new generation of leadership to the State Senate.
Rouse, 38, is a Virginia Beach native and a former football safety. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
On November 6, 2018, he was elected to the Virginia Beach Council as an at-large member.
“During my time on City Council, I’ve fought hard to keep costs down in Virginia Beach, mitigate flooding and stormwater issues, and bring new economic opportunities to our community,” he said. “When COVID-19 struck, I worked closely with community leaders, elected officials at all levels of government, and business owners to keep our economy thriving, our students learning, and our community healthy.
“Virginians continue to face unique challenges every day, and it’s critical that their elected leaders are fighting to improve their lives and livelihoods – keeping the cost of living down, ensuring our students are making up for lost time in the classrooms, and fighting for a fairer, safer, more equitable Virginia for everyone.”
Rouse has garnered signifiant support from established political local, state and national leaders. Among them are U.S. Congressman Donald McEachin who said in statement, “Aaron has a proven record fighting for our schools, our workers, our businesses, and our environment, and I have no doubt that he will serve Virginians well in the State Senate.”
Other seasoned politicians announced by Rouse among his broad coalition oof federal, state and local elected officials and community leaders are State Senators Lionell Spruill and Lynwood Lewis; Delegates Don Scott, Cliff Hayes, Clint Jenkins; Sitting Council members from Virginia Beach and Hampton; and members of the clergy representing Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach.