Virginia State Senator Jennifer Wexton is the kind of woman you can rely upon to actually get things done. In the political world, even at the state level, there’s a lot of talk but not always a lot of action. Senator Wexton, who represents the 33rd District incorporating Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, sees her political position as an opportunity to produce tangible results in terms of job creation, protection of women’s rights, closing the health insurance coverage gap, and addressing problems created by climate change.
This mother, wife, lawyer, and politician is a woman of action herself, wearing multiple hats in her multiple roles. Her diverse experiences, both personally and professionally, make her well-suited to address the array of issues that the state of Virginia faces in terms of the economy, education, transportation, voters’ rights, and more. A conversation with the Senator transcends traditional political rhetoric. She’s a woman with a plan for enacting change, with commitment to her values and with the ability to inspire any ambitious female.
Describe what you do for a living.
I serve in the Virginia State Senate and practice law with a fantastic group of lawyers at the Laurel Brigade Law Group in Leesburg, Virginia. I do a lot of criminal, traffic, and family law cases, so I feel very fortunate that I get to help people every day.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
My husband, Andrew. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without his love and support. He put his career on the back burner to be a stay-at-home parent for our kids. He has always been my greatest cheerleader and sounding board, and he reminds me what’s really important at the end of the day. There are very few women in the General Assembly, and even fewer who have young kids. I think that’s because a lot of women don’t have the kind of support at home that I do, and I’m thankful every day.
Who is your role model and why?
Judge Thomas D. Horne of the Loudoun Circuit Court (retired). Judge Horne was, like me, a William & Mary Law grad and an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudoun County before being elected Commonwealth’s Attorney in 1980. He became a Circuit Court Judge in 1982 and was the longest-serving Circuit Judge in Virginia history when he retired in 2012. Throughout his career, Judge Horne stayed active in the community through the Rotary Club, and he maintained an amazing combination of empathy and justice as a judge. More recently, he founded Loudoun’s award-winning Law Camp program. He is also a champion for drug courts, which are an important tool in the battle against drug abuse.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you don’t ask, the answer is “no,” so ask, already.
What book has most influenced you?
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It inspired me to become a lawyer and to stand up and fight for those who can’t do so for themselves. It also speaks to the importance of doing the right thing, even when it’s unpopular or difficult.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Don’t ever be afraid to speak up or to ask questions. Women are too often hesitant to do either.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love running, although I’m definitely built for distance, not for speed (as my great Aunt Agnes used to say). I’ve done a few sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, and someday, when I have more spare time, I’d like to complete a half- Ironman triathlon.
What is the biggest global challenge facing our world today?
Extremism in all its forms, here in the US and around the world.
If you weren’t in your current career, what would you be?
I would be a high school history or economics teacher.
What is your greatest accomplishment and why?
My kids. Even though they still have a long way to go to grow into adults, they are both thoughtful, kind, and empathetic, which makes me very proud.