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Meet the Candidates: Political novice Alicia Kallen wants to fight for the people

Nick Shepherd • Jun 22, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Politics is a family affair for Alicia Kallen. Her grandmother ran for the Virginia House of Delegates, and her father is a former commonwealth's attorney for Wise County.

Kallen, the Democratic nominee for the 1st District, had toyed with plans to run for office for the past couple of years. But she finally decided to run for office after attempting to get a teaching job. She was told that because of budget cuts, it would be difficult.

"It was really upsetting to me to think, not for me not being a teacher, but to think our schools were struggling that badly," she said. "That even though we were low on qualified teachers, that they also were having trouble being able to hire more because of all the budget cuts."

Kallen works in patient intake at Norton Community Hospital. Her work at the hospital has made her want to fight for a better health care system. She has been married to her husband, Jason "T-Bone" Kilgore, for a year. She lives in Pound with her husband and dog.

Kallen's passions outside of work include the arts. She has a bachelor's degree in theatre from University of Mary Washington. She also enjoys cross-stitching and loves to read when she has time.

She also has a passion for those people who she feels do not have as big of a voice as others.

"I volunteer once a month for an organization called Chicktime," she said. "We work through Hope House of Scott County and it's for women who are maybe disadvantaged or trying to get back on their feet. At its heart it's really a networking opportunity for them but it's to help them find their voice and their passions and what they might be good at."

Kallen knows taking on Terry Kilgore is going to be a challenge. She said fundraising and name recognition are going to be tough for her during the campaign. She also said the area she wants to represent is very Republican and just being a Democrat may hurt her.

But she said she is up for the challenge. She said her passion for schools and her unique view on health care, from being involved in the industry, could help her. She said members of both parties send their kids to public schools and members of both parties utilize the health care system in the commonwealth.

Kallen said being a novice politician would help her bring a fresh perspective to the legislature.

"I am not a career politician," she said. "I am somebody just like them who wants to fight for them. I only want what is best for the people that I am going to be representing. I'm going to make sure we are represented in our best interests."

The First District seat represents Lee County, Scott County, part of Wise County and the City of Norton. The general election will take place on Nov. 7.

 

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