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Joan Girone papers

Identifier: M 284

Scope and Contents

The Joan Girone papers, 1970-2012, is a collection of materials used by Chesterfield County, VA politician Joan Girone. The papers provide insight into the administrative duties of local government in the Richmond area during the 1970s and 1980s. The collection also includes senate and supervisor campaign files which deliver a unique look into the logistical and political mechanisms for running a local or state campaign. Additionally, the general Republican campaign files highlight the platforms and grassroots movements implemented by the Virginia Republican Party in the 1970s and 1980s.

Series 1: Public Service Administrative Files, 1970-2011: The bulk of the collection is comprised of documents related to Joan Girone's service to the Chesterfield community both as a private citizen and elected official. These documents include professional correspondence with constituents, drafts of Bon Air Community Plans, constituent surveys, personal planners, and documents pertaining to specific issues Girone advocated for or against.

The correspondence is composed of general letters written by constituents or colleagues regarding assorted issues in the Chesterfield community such as infrastructure repair, policy recommendations, professional congratulations, and general concerns related to Chesterfield and the greater Richmond area. Responses from Girone are attached to some letters.

The personal notepads and desk planners include Girone's schedules and notes from her time serving as supervisor. The notepads contain notes from meetings and lists for daily plans; these include Bon Air community meetings, campaign tasks, and reminders to respond to correspondence. The desk planners contain calendars of specific events and meetings which Girone participated in as supervisor.

Included in this series are materials pertaining to issues and groups in the Chesterfield community such as Abandoned Coal Mine Land Program, the YMCA of Greater Richmond, Republican Women's Club, Chesterfield road restoration, and the SALT II international treaty. The files contain correspondence and notes by Girone regarding the issues and her related stance.

Also within the series is a collection of buttons owned by Girone. The buttons were worn by Girone to promote numerous viewpoints. Content of the buttons include the Stop ERA movement, the promotion of the Powhite Parkway Extension Program, participation in the VCU Center for Women's Health, and Friends of Chesterfield Library. Additionally, the collection includes campaign buttons for Republican candidates such as Eva Scott, John Warner, John Dalton, and Richard Obenshain.

Series 2: Campaign Files, 1971-1987: The collection also includes material used by Girone for her own and others' campaigns for public office. The files contain material from Girone's supervisor campaigns, state senate campaigns, and general Republican campaigns of other local, state, and national nominees.

The supervisor campaign files are comprised of materials used by Girone for her 1976, 1979, and 1983 campaigns for Chesterfield supervisor. The files include correspondence with voters, supporters, and constituents, questionnaires to voters, candidacy petitions, promotional material, and expenditure reports.

The state senate campaign files consist of fundraising reports, recorded endorsements, debate recordings, promotional material, mailings, surveys, platform statements, news releases, and correspondence. The files cover both attempts by Girone to obtain the Republican nomination for state senate, as well as her campaign as an independent candidate. In addition to material primarily used to promote and support her campaigns, there are research files concerning her major opponents, Tom Bliley in 1980 and Robert Russell in 1987.


  • 1970-2012


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical / Historical Information

Joan Girone was a Chesterfield County politician and the first woman to serve on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. She was born August 30, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Girone worked as a children’s wear buyer in New York City before moving to Chesterfield in 1965. She actively participated in the local community by serving on the Chesterfield PTA board and writing the Bon Air community newsletter. Along with fellow Republicans, she fought against the consolidation of the Chesterfield, Henrico, and Richmond City school systems ordered by Judge Robert R. Merhige in 1972 which aimed to integrate the public schools. She assisted in the founding of both the Friends of Chesterfield County Public Library and the Capital Area Agency on Aging in 1973. In 1976, Girone ran for office and was elected to the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. She went on to be reelected in 1979 and 1983.

As a moderate conservative Republican, Girone opposed active government involvement. She advocated for issues such as the banning of leaf burning in Chesterfield county, the extension of Powhite Parkway, and opposition of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) program by the federal government. Additionally, she regularly participated in drafting the annual Bon Air Community Plans which laid out future community projects and goals.

Girone made bids for the Republican candidacy for Virginia State Senate in 1980 and 1987. She was unable to secure convention delegate support in both primaries, but ran as an independent candidate in the 1987 election against incumbent Republican Senator Robert Russell. She did not succeed in the senate race. Despite her losses, she continued to serve the Chesterfield community after the end of her final supervisor term in 1987.

Her service to Chesterfield continued through participation in government committees and community groups such as the Midlothian YMCA and the Chesterfield Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. She worked as a real estate salesperson in Chesterfield County until her death. She died April 14, 2019 in Richmond, VA.

Sources: (Article link)


9.9 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into two series: Series 1: Public Service Administrative Files, 1970-2012 and Series 2: Campaign Files, 1971-1987.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joan Girone in 1990 with additional accrual in 2012.

A Guide to the Joan Girone papers, 1970-2012
Dillon Thomas
2019 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108