Leslie L. Byrne (born October 27, 1946 in Salt Lake City, Utah) is an American politician, and was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995, representing the newly apportioned Eleventh Congressional District of Virginia. (map) in Northern Virginia. She was the 2005 Democratic Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. She defeated three other candidates, State Senators Viola Baskerville and Phillip Puckett, and State Delegate Chap Petersen, to win the nomination. Byrne was narrowly defeated by Republican Party candidate Bill Bolling in the November 8, 2005 general election. Out of 1,940,140 votes cast, Byrne won 49.32f the votes compared to Bolling's 50.47ad she been elected; she would have be the first woman to ever hold the office.
Byrne served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 7 years before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 from a district in the northern, suburban part of the state. She was the first woman to be elected to Congress from Virginia. After her one term, she served in the Clinton White House and was later elected to the Virginia Senate and eventually redistricted out of her district by the GOP-controlled Virginia legislature.
Byrne has supported public/private partnerships for transportation, including the Dulles Greenway project when she was in the Virginia House of Delegates. Byrne has said that high-occupancy toll lanes are also promising as long as local governments are not taken out of the planning process. Byrne supports linking land use policy to transportation, two policy areas that are typically considered separately in Virginia.
While in Congress, Byrne's legislative efforts included Medicaid reform; increasing opportunities of IRA holders to see their savings for first-time home purchases and college costs; cost savings on federal highway projects through value engineering and enhancing the international market for American high technologies. She was instrumental in obtaining funds for rail from Tyson's Corner to Dulles International Airport.
She has always received very high ratings from environmental, women's, and teacher's groups.
On March 15th, 2006, she endorsed Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat James Webb for United States Senate.