Born and raised in the District with deep familial roots, Dakota Claytor went to Amherst County Public schools where he participated in theater, show choir, and interned with a middle school music teacher as a high school Senior. Dakota has since become a freelance hair stylist and private music educator. He has also been actively involved in community theater where he can be often be found on stage.
Dakota like so many in our district has witnessed first-hand the crippling effects of a broken healthcare system in Virginia. His mother has significant health issues and had applied for nearly twenty years before being granted disability benefits. With insurance premiums at an all-time high, skyrocketing medical costs, and limited access to quality healthcare, many families often must make the impossible decision between basic human needs and medical care. Dakota decided to take action by challenging the incumbent upon realizing that he voted against the Medicaid Expansion Bill (HB338). Family members often must become caretakers for loved ones, forgoing financially stable employment.
Having graduated from Virginia public schools, Dakota witnessed deteriorating school buildings and teachers who were pouring their hearts out for little to no reward. He believes wholeheartedly in an education system that works for all students, those who have unlimited opportunities and those who are under-served. We can best serve all students when schools have adequate funding and teachers feel like they are appreciated and supported. Our education system has made great improvement in recent years, however, there are still children falling through the cracks. Dakota believes students can better be served with smaller class sizes and a focus on developing students for real world situations through a more interactive learning environment.
Growing up in a lower to middle class household, Dakota has seen that those who do the toughest labor typically end up struggling the most financially. His father has consistently worked six to seven days a week while still finding enough time to support his two children in their extracurricular activities. Blue collar jobs are the foundation of this District which is why he plans to shift focus to job training and trade schools to further develop a skilled work force. He has clear eyes to the potential that legalization of medical and recreational cannabis would benefit the district financially though agricultural development. He wants to work with small companies to expand broadband access to rural areas in the district in order to foster a better-connected workforce.
Dakota Claytor wants to be a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for teachers, small business owners, and farmers, and represent the district as a whole. He is the right person for the Senate because he is young, energetic, and believes in systemic change for Virginia. He looks forward to meeting all of his future constituents in order to better represent each and every one.