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On Tuesday morning, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) announced his endorsement of Garrison Coward, who is running for the Republican nomination in the capital area-based 68th House District. The millennial Republican is campaigning to face freshman Delegate Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) in the upcoming statewide elections set for November 2019.

“Garrison brings a fresh conservative perspective to our party, and will run a robust campaign, centered around ideas, that will solve the challenges individuals and families in our Commonwealth face,” Speaker Cox said in a press release.

Some of the priorities on which Garrison’s campaign is based are pro-growth business legislation, bolstering Virginia’s network of higher education, ensuring competitive pay for teachers, and providing criminal justice reform.

“In order for us to meet these challenges, we must not focus on the personalities of politicians, but instead focus on sound public policy solutions to issues such as education, safety, transportation, healthcare, childcare, the environment,” Garrison said when he launched his campaign in January.

Currently, Garrison is the chief operating officer of Henrico-based data analytics firm BizCents. He is extensively involved in his community, active on several community boards including the Executive Committee of the Southside Community Housing and Development Corporation and the Greater Richmond YMCA Millennial Committee.

The Republican hopeful is also the executive director of the Conservative Professionals Network of Virginia, which aims to engage a new generation of center-right thinkers on public policy matters.

In the past, he was a political advisor to Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1), also serving as political director and deputy director of minority engagement for the Republican Party of Virginia. During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Garrison was elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Reflecting on the speaker’s endorsement, Garrison said, “Friends of mine that were taught by Kirk Cox always spoke very highly of his compassion and dedication to others through service.” Cox, who has served in the House of Delegates since 1990, taught government for three decades, retiring in 2012 from Manchester High School in Chesterfield County.

“Over the years, I’ve come to know Speaker Cox to be a leader who always puts the greater good of the Commonwealth above self,” Garrison added. “I thank Speaker Cox for his endorsement and support.”

In late January, Garrison also picked up another heavyweight endorsement from former U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who represented Virginia’s 7th Congressional District from 2001 to 2014.