• Press Release

Virginia State Sen. Lashrecse Aird Nominated for EMILYs List’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award

March 13, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Virginia state Sen. Lashrecse Aird is a nominee for the 2024 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Jessica Mackler released the following statement:  

“In 2023, with the support of EMILYs List, state Sen. Lashrecse Aird successfully ousted the last anti-choice Democrat in the Virginia state Senate and played a critical role in delivering a pro-choice majority in the state capable of stopping extremist Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s radical agenda. She has also delivered results for her community by funding schools, advancing economic opportunity, and making the criminal justice system fairer for all. With Virginia as the last state in the South where many people can access abortion, Aird is a champion standing up not just for Virginians, but also for countless others who travel to the state to receive care. EMILYs List is proud to nominate Aird for the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award this year, and we are grateful for the work she has done and will continue to do to protect our freedoms.”

Lashrecse Aird is a Virginia state senator who ran to put the perseverance and grit she learned from her parents into action. She became the youngest woman ever elected to the Virginia state House at the age of 28. She spent three terms representing Virginia’s 63rd House District before being elected to the state Senate in 2023, when she unseated the only anti-choice Democrat in the chamber with the enthusiastic support of EMILYs List. During this time, she has been a champion for public health, the environment, and reproductive justice. A strong advocate for her communities, Aird’s legislative accomplishments are vast, and her work ethic and determination have allowed her to deliver results time and time again for Virginians. Aird has been endorsed by EMILYs List since 2020 in each of her three runs for office. 

Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. The award honors a woman who demonstrates the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office. Previous Rising Star Award recipients include: former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014; former Boston City Councilwoman, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2015; former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016; former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018; California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader, U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022; and Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell in 2023. 

The Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award winner will be chosen with community input. Online voting will open on Friday, March 15 and can be found here

Lashrecse Aird is nominated alongside:

Laura Terech, Arizona state representative

Nabilah Islam Parkes, Georgia state senator

Sarah Anthony, Michigan state senator

Selena Torres, Nevada state assemblymember

La’Tasha D. Mayes, Pennsylvania state representative

Greta Neubauer, Wisconsin Assembly minority leader

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.