Bio

“I’m of here. I’m from here. My family lives here. The 28th is the only home I’ve ever known. And I’m ready to go to Richmond to fight for what the residents of the 28th need.”

— Josh Cole

In 2017, Joshua Cole proudly ran for the Virginia House of Delegates to represent Virginia’s 28th District, becoming the first African-American and youngest person to receive any party’s nomination, along the way. In a hard-fought race, Joshua finished less than 100 votes shy of having the honor of representing the 28th District. In 2019, he came back and finished the job – becoming one of the youngest members elected to the Virginia General Assembly.

Josh Cole at First Day of Session - 1/8/20
1/8/20 Richmond, VA – First Day of Session – Wednesday in the House of Delegates at the Virginia State Capitol. Photo credit: Amanda Maglione

Fredericksburg Roots

Raised in the 28th, Joshua has lived in Fredericksburg and Stafford County his entire life. A product of the Stafford County Public School system, Joshua was raised by a single mother. His experience dates back to 2005, when he was appointed by the then-Speaker of the House, the Honorable William J. Howell, as a Page for the Virginia House of Delegates. That same year, he was chosen as the Governor’s Page.

Delegate Cole has served on Stafford County Public Schools Superintendent’s Equity, Diversity and Opportunity Committee. He is a member of the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council and the former President of the Stafford County NAACP.

In 2020, he was elected as one of the five Democratic National Committee representatives from Virginia. He currently serves as an Associate Pastor at Union Bell Baptist Church in South Stafford and the Chairman of the House of Clergy for the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches.

Joshua was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the State Commission on Youth, Autism Advisory Council, the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and others.

Delegate Joshua Cole swearing-in ceremony.
1/11/20 Richmond, VA – 2020 House of Delegates Democrats at the Virginia State Capitol – Delegate Joshua Cole swearing-in ceremony. Photo credit: Amanda Maglione

Fighting for Us

Clear in all of this work is Joshua’s commitment to the communities of the 28th District. Joshua knows not only what it takes to live here, but what it means to build a home in Fredericksburg and Stafford County. He understands the excruciating drive along I-95 that is the bedrock of so many constituent commutes. He’s seen first-hand the ever-increasing cost of living in this community, and has sat with hardworking friends and neighbors, proud Virginians, who simply want to find a way to raise their family in the same town in which they grew up.

In Richmond, Joshua has taken a people first approach to policy making. In his first term, he voted to increase access to affordable healthcare, raise the minimum wage and make community college tuition free.

Joshua has been a fierce advocate for progressive policy. He has taken on big issues like Climate Change, voting to protect our natural resources and hold big businesses accountable. He supported legislation that would reign in polluters and set higher standards for clean air and water quality. Joshua also patronted historic legislation that will rename Jefferson Davis Highway to Emancipation Highway.

Joshua was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the State Commission on Youth, Autism Advisory Council, the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and others. He also serves on the House Committees on Education, Public Safety and Chesapeake, Agriculture and Natural Resources.