Democratic Party of Virginia Mourns The Passing of Governor Gerald L. Baliles
RICHMOND, VA - Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement today upon the news that Democratic Governor Gerald L. Baliles passed away:
"This morning our hearts were broken to learn that former Governor Gerald Baliles passed away. He spent his last months the way he lived his entire life - with courage and dignity. Governor Baliles was a key part of the resurgence of the modern Virginia Democratic Party and he was a visionary in moving Virginia to a New Dominion."
"For those of us who grew up in rural Virginia, his pride in never forgetting where he came from, his quiet encouragement to all, and ability to really listen helped raise another generation of leaders, many who continue to serve today. A grateful Democratic Party of Virginia mourns this gigantic loss, but in his memory we vow to reaffirm our commitment to a better Virginia and Democratic values, today and always."
Prior to serving as Governor, Baliles was elected to the House of Delegates in 1975. In 1981, he was elected Attorney General, and in 1985 was elected Governor. Baliles served as the 65th Governor of Virginia from 1986 to 1990. A Democrat and champion of education, he raised teacher pay and fought for a better statewide education system.
After serving as Governor, Baliles continued his work in education and led the way on efforts to clean and preserve the Chesapeake Bay. He chaired the National Governors Association and recently served as the Director and CEO of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.