Democrat for Richmond Mayor

Dr. Danny Avula

As a public health leader, pediatrician, and longtime Richmonder, Dr. Danny Avula has fought for more than two decades to make Richmond a healthy and thriving city. He has firsthand experience working with our city’s diverse communities and bringing together public and private sector partners to build a stronger, healthier Richmond.

Trusted public health leader, pediatrician, and Richmonder

Danny served the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts for 12 years, including as the Director for six years. He championed efforts to address maternal and childhood health, access to reproductive care, community safety, and the root causes that shape health for all of us—especially poverty and race.

A practicing pediatrician at Chippenham Hospital in the City’s 9th district, Danny understands families’ deepest concerns for their children and the unjust way our current systems limit the ability of many to thrive. As Mayor, he will do everything he can to ensure kids and their families have a solid foundation for health and wellbeing—including top-notch public schools, stable and affordable housing for all income levels, stopping the proliferation of guns and gun violence, and thriving neighborhoods with the services residents count on.

In January 2021, Governor Northam appointed Danny to lead the statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort. Danny jumpstarted a struggling rollout and elevated Virginia from 50th to one of the top 10 most-vaccinated states in the country, saving countless lives. Danny has a track record of creating effective systems that support healthy and thriving communities.

As Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services, Danny implemented key changes to support families across Virginia and to create more sustainable pathways out of poverty. He expanded resources through successful legislative advocacy, laid the groundwork and began the process of replacing outdated IT systems, and ensured employees statewide had the necessary training to offer responsive, high-quality service. As Mayor, Danny will use his years of experience to transform Richmond’s City Hall into an organization residents can trust.

Danny was named one of Richmond’s “Top Docs” each year from 2013-2022, a Richmond Times-Dispatch Person of the Year in 2019, and Style Weekly’s Richmonder of the Year in 2020.

Proud father, son, and neighbor

A father of five, Danny and his wife, Mary Kay, have lived in Richmond’s East End for 20 years. They cherish the strong friendships and relationships they have built in Richmond. Mary Kay is a teacher at RPS’s Chimborazo Elementary, and their five children are proud Richmond Public Schools students or alumni.

Danny’s father grew up in rural India and came to the US when he was 19. He joined the US Navy, modeling a commitment to service. After transitioning out of active duty, both of Danny’s parents spent their entire careers working for the Department of Defense, instilling in him a deep pride in serving his country and community. Danny studied biology at UVA, attended medical school at VCU, and earned a Masters of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins University. He returned to Richmond to dedicate himself to public service.

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