Rouse Announces his Campaign with Endorsements from Leaders Throughout the Commonwealth for New Virginia Beach-Based District.
Virginia Beach City Councilman Aaron Rouse announced his candidacy today for the State Senate in Virginia’s 22nd District, which includes parts of the city of Virginia Beach. Aaron’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.
Councilman Rouse released the following statement regarding his candidacy:
“We are at a pivotal point in Virginia Beach and our Commonwealth, and now more than ever, leadership matters. 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.
“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. 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.”
U.S. Congressman Donald McEachin released the following statement: “Before my service in Congress, I served as a legislator in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly. I fought to protect our most vulnerable citizens by leading efforts to promote equality, protect our environment, and preserve access to affordable health care. The fight continues today – here in the halls of Congress, and also in the Virginia General Assembly. That is why I’m endorsing Aaron Rouse for the State Senate. Now, more than ever, we need new, dynamic leaders like Aaron to address the pressing issues Virginians face and deliver meaningful solutions for working families. 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”
Former Delegate Nancy Guy released the following statement: “Serving as a Delegate from Virginia Beach, I watched Aaron grow as a leader and public servant. When he was elected to Council, he got to work for Virginia Beach families and has been a champion for recruiting and retaining quality teachers and public safety employees, implementing proactive solutions for coastal resiliency and flooding mitigation, and protecting our small businesses and workers throughout the pandemic. Now, he’s stepping up to serve Virginia Beach families where they need him most. I enthusiastically endorse Aaron Rouse to be the next Senator from Virginia Beach, and I hope he can count on your support!”
Virginia Beach Councilman Guy Tower released the following statement: “Aaron has been an invaluable partner on City Council and a dedicated public servant for Virginia Beach families and businesses. There are few people, especially people in elected office, who are as connected to their communities as Aaron is. He has had such a positive impact in his time on Council, and I have no doubt that he will continue to make a real difference in the lives of Virginia Beach families as our next State Senator. I am proud to endorse Aaron Rouse’s campaign for the 22nd District in the Virginia State Senate.”
Rouse also announced a broad coalition of support of federal, state and local elected officials and community leaders:
- Congressman Donald McEachin
- Senator Lionell Spruill
- Senator Lynwood Lewis
- Delegate Don Scott
- Delegate Cliff Hayes
- Delegate Clint Jenkins
- Former Delegate Nancy Guy
- Virginia Beach Councilman Guy Tower
- Hampton Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray
- Hampton Councilman Steven Brown
- Former Virginia Beach Councilwoman Louisa Strayhorn
- Former Virginia Beach Councilwoman Dr. Amelia Ross Hammond
- Virginia Beach Commissioner of Revenue Phil Kellam
- Virginia Beach School Board Member and former Board Chair Beverly Anderson
- Virginia Beach School Vice Chair Kim Melnyk
- Virginia Beach School Board Member Sharon Felton
- Virginia Beach School Board Member Jessica Owens
- Norfolk Treasurer & Former Delegate Daun Hester
- Bishop Kim Brown, Presiding Prelate of The Mount Global Fellowship of Churches
- Bishop Courtney McBath, Senior Pastor of Calvary Revival Church (CRC)
- Rev. Dr. James Allen, President of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference
- Dr. Veronica Coleman, Pastor of New Jerusalem Ministries
- Rev. R. Perez Gatling, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church
- Dr. Michael G. Daniels, Senior Pastor of Enoch Baptist Church
- Pastor Terron Rodgers, Pastor of The Mount at Virginia Beach
- Dr. Sandi Hutchinson, Pastor of Gabriel Chapel AME Zion Church
- Gary McCollum, Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference Member and Community Leader
Aaron was born and raised in Virginia Beach. He attended First Colonial High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Rouse was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2007 NFL Draft and also played for the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. After retiring from the National Football League, Rouse returned home to Virginia Beach to begin his career in public service. He served as a coach and a mentor before founding Rouse’s House, a nonprofit organization that serves to establish education as the foundation for today’s youth, with a primary goal of exposing youth and families in the community to a broader world of learning. On November 6, 2018, Rouse was elected to the Virginia Council as an at-large member. He enjoys outdoor activities and currently resides in the heart of Virginia Beach with his wife Jennifer, and son and daughter.