By Adam James
Flo Ketner is running for Virginia State Senate in 2019. Running in the 19th state senate district, Ketner hopes to be one of the Democrats to flip the commonwealth’s upper chamber to Democratic control. It will be an uphill battle, but Flo has a history of beating the odds.
“I was raised by my disabled grandmother,” Ketner explained. “I lost my mother to the drug epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s.” She uses her personal experiences to shape her world view. “I was raised in poverty and worked hard and eventually graduated from Radford University. I know what it is like to struggle for food and jobs.”
Virginians, like all Americans, need security to thrive. It’s a concept that is as old as time, and Ketner is channeling her frustrations. “I am tired of watching my community struggle for the things we all deserve to have like food, a warm home, an education, and good jobs. I have friends who work multiple jobs and still struggle to live a life without the fear they will lose everything if they get sick.” Part of reaching that goal is to take on the big issues. “I want our roads to be in proper repair so people can go to work safely without ruining a car they can barely afford. I want people to have access to the appropriate medical professionals and 24 hour medical facilities without having to drive for over an hour.”
Ketner is part of a wave of women candidates that has been building since the day after the 2016 election, and she wants to make an impact right out of the gate. “I’m running to pass the ERA and Equality Act,” she told me. “Because it is long past time we ensured people are treated equally, the way we deserve.” She is ready to support a pro-growth, progressive agenda. “It is time we have the clean environment, proper infrastructure, affordable broadband, and affordable education that we deserve.” Ketner aims to build an environment where Virginians can have a strong economy that ensures that they are capable of meeting their needs.
“We need to advance our energy needs to more green options that present a significant increase of workforce opportunity for a variety of skill sets and skill levels,” Ketner said. “We need to ensure our union workers have a safe working environment and apprenticeships to help properly train our workers in a safe and timely manner. We need to raise the economic value of the state by focusing on the necessities that keep our small businesses in rural communities stable and thriving.”
Asked how to make healthcare not just accessible but affordable, Ketner explained, “I believe we need to work with general practices to have them share specialists with other practices in neighboring communities to ensure people have the ability to receive well rounded care. We need to ensure there are 24 hour emergency medical facilities available in all counties and cities. All healthcare options should be covered or made affordable to all levels of income, and we need to work towards a Medicare expansion that includes dental and vision.”
This is about what direction Virginia needs to go in, not about the politics that get in the way of progress. Ketner believes there is room to work with a Republican minority to fix problems. “Transportation infrastructure is important to all people. We all need to ensure our roads are in quality condition, transportation options are available, and that intersections are functional and not a hazard to all drivers,” Ketner said. Together, she believes that, “Ensuring our roads are in full repair will provide better access to quality jobs and clientele to our small businesses. Mass transportation will provide more job opportunities to those with low incomes that can’t afford a vehicle.”
Ketner is the right kind of politician for Virginia; she knows where she stands and she knows where the commonwealth of Virginia needs to go, but she’s going to need help to reach her potential constituents. You can follow her on Twitter @FloKetner and you can donate to her campaign by visiting the Secure Blue site.