CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The local National Organization for Women chapter endorsed state Senator Creigh Deeds, who is running for re-election.

VA NOW chapter president Charlotte Gibson said Deeds always supports her, and he's been at the forefront of gender equality, reproductive health care rights, LGBTQ rights and mental health reform for his entire career.

Delegate Sally Hudson is challenging Deeds in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Deeds says getting an endorsement from a female group will make a difference in his campaign because it gives him credibility.

"It's a third-party validator of the work I've been doing for 30 years. I've been a solid voice for women's rights, for equal rights among gender for years," he said.

VA NOW also endorsed Amy Laufer, who is running for a seat in the House of Delegates. She is a longtime member of the group.