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Oprah in Arlington: 'I Came Here Tonight to Support Lavern Chatman'

Chatman is one of a dozen Democrats running in a primary for Virginia's 8th congressional District seat, currently held by Congressman Jim Moran.

Oprah Winfrey poses Saturday in Arlington with Lavern Chatman, a candidate in the 8th congressional Democratic primary in Virginia. Photo by Allison O'Brien, aobphoto
Oprah Winfrey poses Saturday in Arlington with Lavern Chatman, a candidate in the 8th congressional Democratic primary in Virginia. Photo by Allison O'Brien, aobphoto

One of the dozen Democrats in the 8th congressional District primary got a boost Saturday when Oprah Winfrey headlined a fundraiser for her campaign in Crystal City.

Democratic congressional candidate Lavern Chatman hosted the event at the Crystal City Marriott. The primary is June 10.

"Stedman and I came here tonight to support Lavern Chatman," said Winfrey, in a news release. "I've seen how Lavern embraced with her whole heart being a host mom to one of my girls, who recently graduated from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa. Lavern makes people feel like they matter, and I see that Lavern is happiest when she is serving others.”

Chatman serves as a “host parent” for one of the graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa while the student is studying in the United States, according to the campaign.

In addition to formerly running the Northern Virginia Urban League as its CEO, Chatman founded the Grandfathers Group mentoring program for at-risk young boys, and co-founded the Nova Coalition, an organization focused on increasing voter participation, voter restoration, and civic engagement.  Personally, Chatman mentors a group of 15 young women called the “Fab 15,” and all 15 women attended Saturday's event, she said.

“I will continue to be a champion for Virginia women,” Chatman said.  “I am pro pay equity, pro-choice and pro women’s health.  I have been in the trenches working with and mentoring young women and girls and I want to keep making a difference for my community in Congress.”

“This was a great event for our campaign and to advance the conversation about what we can do to champion issues that impact women and girls in Virginia,” Chatman said. “Oprah and I share a strong commitment to making a difference for future generations.”

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