The first challenger to Del. John McGuire, who represents Louisa County in the Virginia General Assembly, has entered the fray.
Juanita Jo Matkins, a Louisa resident since the early 1970s, said she will seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 56th district seat. McGuire, of Goochland, is seeking his first re-election this November after completing two assembly sessions.
Matkins said she wants to prioritize ending discrimination in housing, employment and other areas, saying she was motivated to run by McGuire’s vote against the Equal Rights Amendment. She also will highlight several bread-and-butter Democratic issues, such as the need for better broadband access, education funding, health care and voting rights.
“It concerns me the legislature is not responsive to members of our community,” she said, highlighting the equal rights bill and the state’s requirement that former convicts request a pardon from the governor before they can vote in elections.
Matkins, a native of North Carolina, spent much of her career as a teacher, first at Piedmont Christian School, then Apple Grove and Jouett elementary schools, where she taught first grade. She also taught science at Louisa County Middle School. More recently, Matkins was an associate professor of science at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
Matkins is a member and the organist at Yanceyville Christian Church and is active with Indivisible Louisa and the Louisa NAACP.
The Equal Rights Amendment received a lot of attention during the 2019 General Assembly session, because Virginia is the last state needed to ratify it in order for it to become part of the United States Constitution. Some critics have questioned whether the time has run out on the amendment, which was first introduced in 1923.
(Article by David Holtzman)
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s March 28, 2019 issue.
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