If you're going
What: Sellinger for Delegate Campaign Kick Off Event
When: 3 p.m.
Where: Clubhouse, Virginia Oaks Golf Club, 7950 Virginia Oaks Dr., Gainesville
Gainesville resident Donna Sellinger is hoping to leave semi-retirement behind to represent the people of Manassas Park and Gainesville.
Sellinger announced Wednesday that she is running against incumbent Republican Bob Marshall to represent the 13th district in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Delegate seats are up for grabs every two years; the election is in November and the term begins in January.
Sellinger, a Democrat, said Thursday that she intends to file with the Virginia State Board of Elections this week.
“I wanted to run because I saw a need for representation at the state level; the people of Gainesville and Manassas Park need to have a voice in Richmond," the former teacher and retired full-time Army Reservist, said.
She currently runs a website development business geared toward small businesses.
Sellinger said she’s new to politics and isn’t a pollitican, but decided to run because someone asked her to.
“Nobody had every asked me to run for a public office,” she said. “My sister was very enthusiastic … and I did some soul searching.”
She’s been retired since 1997, but views running for office as another opportunity for herself.
“ … (Marshall) has been in this position for so long. I’m rough around the edges, but that’s a good thing,” Sellinger said. “I don’t owe anybody anything except for the people in my district.”
At her website, Sellinger says she'll use her experience as an educator and entreprenuer to support schools and small businesses.
She also plans to defend women's rights and fight efforts to curtail civil rights.
Sellinger lives with her partner of 18 years. It is not a top issue for her campaign, but Sellinger said she'll be an advocate for gay rights.
“I think in Virginia, we’ll have to take baby steps,” she said.
Places like DC and Maryland have legalized gay marriage; the people of Virginia shouldn’t be treated like they are in the 19th century, Sellinger said.
A campaign kick off event for Sellinger is planned for Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Virginia Oaks Country Club in Gainesville. The public is invited.