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Froman, a former Senate and Richmond mayoral candidate, announced his plans on Tuesday.

RICHMOND-This is officially the largest field for a governor’s race in Virginia history. On Tuesday, the 12th candidate declared, with business owner Brad Froman launching his campaign. 

Froman enters the race as an independent, saying he believes people want an alternative to “internally divided and outwardly partisan” political parties. 

“I am running for the people who don’t feel either party represents their interests anymore. And that number is growing exponentially,” said Froman. “The nominee of their party will only stand for their extreme base. At a time when Covid-19 has flipped us on our backs, we must have a governor who can work with both parties to find common sense measures that serve the needs of everyday Virginians.” 

If Froman’s name sounds familiar, it’s because this isn’t his first time in politics. The owner of Richmond’s Cool Blue Pictures ran as an independent write-in candidate against Sen. Mark Warner in 2014. In 2016, he ran against Levar Stoney for the Richmond mayor’s seat. He dropped out after failing to qualify for the ballot. 

Moving Forward

Froman said he will support the best bills in the General Assembly, regardless if a Democrat or Republican came up with them. The Kingston, New York native, who moved to Virginia when he was five, outlined several areas he felt were critical to Virginia’s success moving forward. 

“Today, we find ourselves needing help from the ground up,” Froman said. “Growing great children through education is vital. Creating good-paying jobs for them to step into later, and

their parents to step into now, is so important. And if we don’t have a more flexible, affordable, comprehensive healthcare system, that includes mental health, at everyone’s fingertips, we won’t be able to flourish as a productive society at a time when the demands of a recovery are causing so much pressure.”

Froman also said he wants to increase support for small businesses and startups that have been hit by COVID-19. 

“Haphazard government shutdowns that didn’t take into consideration how various businesses operate meant too many business failures that may have been avoided. One size didn’t fit all,” he said.

A Look at the Field

Currently there are 12 candidates running to be governor of Virginia. On the Democratic side, that includes former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, current State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, current Del. Lee Carter and former governor Terry McAuliffe.

Republicans meanwhile have former Virginia Speaker Kirk Cox, current Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase,  former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin, former CEO for the Center for European Policy Analysis Peter Doran and current Disruptor Capital executive Pete Snyder. 

In addition to Froman, Richmond community activist Princess Blanding is also running as an independent.

Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at brian@couriernewsroom.com.