Former Governor Madeleine Kunin Endorses Don Beyer for Congress

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Ann O’Hanlon,

March 20, 2014 (McLean, Virginia)  – Former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin today endorsed Don Beyer for Virginia’s 8th District congressional seat, citing his commitment to economic equality for women and other progressive values.

“Don understands the importance of paid family and maternity leave, affordable child care and equal pay,” Governor Kunin told a crowd of supporters this morning. “Implementing these policies is critical if families are to succeed in being good providers and good caregivers.  Don will be a strong and effective advocate in Congress for this and more.”

Governor Kunin, who was Vermont’s first woman governor, has been a leader on women’s economic equality for decades, and in 2012 wrote The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work and Family.  After her three terms as governor, Kunin was Deputy Secretary of Education and was appointed by President Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, a position Beyer held from 2009 to 2013.

“As a businessman, I can testify that companies prosper when women are in leadership positions, and we must enact family-friendly policies that enable this,” Beyer said. “I am honored by Governor Kunin’s endorsement and pledge to continue her trailblazing work if I am elected to Congress.”

Beyer helped improve benefits for low-income, single parents during his eight years as Lieutenant Governor.  He also was a leader on reproductive rights, repeatedly striking down parental consent bills in the General Assembly.  Beyer implemented paid maternity leave at his family auto dealerships, a first among area auto dealers and one of the first in the nation.

Today’s event was one of a series of “Women For Beyer” coffees and fundraisers leading up to the June 10 primary.  Over 300 women are on the list, including former Virginia First Lady Lynda Johnson Robb, NARAL President Emeritus Kate Michelman, and former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple.

In addition to the endorsement of Governor Kunin, Beyer has been endorsed by Howard Dean, the Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.