Senator Jill Vogel Shares How PHC Students Helped Shape Virginia History

Posted by Julia Adams on 1/22/24 9:46 AM

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"PHC made history, changing the election outcome in a race that ended up being the most expensive state senate race ever in Virginia’s history at the time." We spoke with recently retired senator Jill Vogel and learned how PHC students helped her campaign. “Had we not had them, I can tell you without question, we would not have won that race.” Vogel recalled.

Read about PHC community's involvement in government

In 2007, Virginia Senate District 27 had no incumbent Republican or Democrat. Former Governor Tim Kaine viewed the seat as one he could easily pick off and tried very hard to beat Vogel. That is when PHC students came into the picture. At that time, Patrick Henry College was the focus of elections. “They were the people who were driving the train on those elections, those primaries. And those are the people who volunteered and helped my campaign.” Vogel stated.

There were 52,000 people who voted during the state Senate election, and Vogel won by 600 votes. PHC students swung the election and changed the course of Virginia history in a race that former Governor Kaine thought would be an easy victory.

Looking back on the race, Vogel said that PHC—community leaders, families, faculty, and students—was the foundational and critical piece for the election. Vogel recently retired from her service in the state senate, "and when people ask me about that, and what that race was like, I say, it was an educational institution, a group of young people and their families, who made a real difference.”

"The legislature should have people who reflect the lived experience of the people they represent," Vogel added. "They helped elect a younger legislator, a mom, focused on family, education, raising children, and working parent challenges. I am very proud to have made history in Virginia as the first person ever to have a child in office — that’s 400 years of the oldest continuing legislative body in the western hemisphere — and I am the first."  

"In short," said Vogel, "PHC made history with students and leadership engaged in such a meaningful way to change an election, and then PHC remained involved in policy and I am very proud of that early partnership and the difference it made in Virginia. 

Vogel encouraged young people, whether they are in college or not, to be engaged and active in their community. "When people ask: do you make a difference? Can you be in college, or can you be young, or can you be engaged and active? The answer is 100 percent 'yes'," Vogel.

3 Distinctives of Patrick Henry College

 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.



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