Most everyone experiences times in their lives when time seems to have flown by. That certainly has happened to me over the past several months as I end my career in the Virginia House of Delegates. I believe that most have learned already that I will not be a candidate for re-election this year.
From my early years as a child I wanted to work on public policy as an elected official. My entry into politics was a long shot as I did not grow up in Northern Virginia, and I had limited access to resources to fund a campaign. Fairfax County in 1973 was gerrymandered into two five-member districts in order to limit its influence in a General Assembly dominated by down-state country boys. I failed in my first two attempts before I was elected in a stretch that lasted from 1982 to the present.
I never thought much about the number of years I have served until I came to the realization that I had slowed down enough that I should pass the responsibility to someone else. When I totaled up the years I had served I was surprised by the realization that in the history of the House of Delegates that stretches back to 1619 that I was the second longest serving member of the House. Only Delegate Lacey Putney who retired in 2013 exceeded me with 51 years in office.
The Clerk of the House of Delegates maintains an amazing history of the House (https://history.house.virginia.gov/). From it I was able to determine that I had served with 488 other delegates during my tenure.
I will serve out my full term that lasts until a replacement is elected to take office in January 2024. In the meantime I will continue to represent my constituents as well as I can.
Next week I will provide a summary of what happened in the 2023 General Assembly session. The simple answer is not much which is good because many bills introduced would have set Virginia back. Differences over the budget continue to remain unresolved. A special session will be needed to work out those differences.
I expect to continue my weekly digital newsletter. If you are not yet a subscriber, sign up at www.kenplum.com.