Who might — and who won’t — be returning to the General Assembly next year

By: and - April 7, 2023 12:04 am

The Virginia Capitol under construction in March 2023. (Sarah Vogelsong / Virginia Mercury)

This story is an updated and expanded version of our General Assembly Tracker

In Virginia’s never-sleepy political calendar, April 6 was a red-letter day: the last day for candidates affiliated with a party to file paperwork announcing their intention to run for office in the June primaries. 

The primary filing deadline is always a watershed moment for determining who’s likely to be on the ballot in November. But 2023 will see an unusual level of turnover in the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. Not only is every one of Virginia’s 140 General Assembly seats up for election, but redistricting has radically rejiggered the state’s political landscape.

Beginning this winter, a growing number of senators and delegates began announcing this session would be their last. Some of the announcements were expected. A handful of older, long-term representatives like Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, were effectively retiring after years in the legislature.

The 2023 election cycle will be the first under the new legislative maps drawn in the independent redistricting process of 2021. Because those maps gave less protection to incumbents, several lawmakers were drawn into the same district as one or more colleagues. That dynamic is partly fueling the retirement wave, as some lawmakers choose to step down rather than face a primary or compete in a dramatically different district.

Altogether, 28 legislators are waving farewell to the Capitol. 


Farewell House … hello Senate?

But it’s not just retirements that will leave vacancies in the General Assembly. 

Fourteen delegates have announced their intention to run for the state Senate. Whether they will make it to the Senate isn’t clear, but what is clear is that their departure from the House will further shake up its composition. Here’s who is gambling on being able to move into the upper chamber.

  • Del. Tim Anderson, R-Virginia Beach

A firebrand conservative who flipped a competitive Hampton Roads district in 2021, Anderson earlier this year said he would not seek reelection in a new district that now includes the Eastern Shore and Del. Rob Bloxom, R-Accomack.

On April 4, Anderson announced on Facebook he will be running for the new Senate District 19, a strongly Republican-leaning district that covers parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

  • Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico

Bagby has already left the House to fill out the term of former state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who was sworn into Congress in early March.

While the eight-year delegate and chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus easily won the contest for McClellan’s seat, he will have to run again this November in a new Richmond-area district laid out in the new maps. 

  • Del. Emily Brewer, R-Isle of Wight

Elected to the House in 2017 in a Tidewater district encompassing Isle of Wight, Prince George, Surry and parts of Suffolk, Brewer chairs the House Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee. 

Her race against former NASCAR driver and truck stop owner Hermie Sadler to represent the new Senate District 17 has already provoked a lawsuit over whether the choice of a nominee should occur through a state-run primary or a party-run convention.  

Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk. (Photo by Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

  • Del. Tara Durant, R-Fredericksburg

Durant was first elected to the House in 2021, unseating incumbent Democrat Josh Cole

The new Senate District 27 seat she’s seeking now to represent parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg leans Republican but has a wide-open field of candidates. In a Republican primary, Durant will face Matt Strickland, the owner of a Fredericksburg restaurant that openly flouted COVID-19 restrictions and was raided by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority agents

  • Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William

Guzman joined the House in 2018 after unseating long-time Republican Del. Scott Lingamfelter in a rapidly changing district covering parts of Prince William and Fauquier. In 2020-21, she sought the lieutenant governorship in a crowded primary before fundraising results spurred her to withdraw.  

Redistricting left Guzman in the same House district as Del. Luke Torian, who under Democratic control of the House chaired the chamber’s powerful Appropriations Committee. This December, Guzman announced she would challenge Sen. Jeremy McPike for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 29. 

  • Del. Chris Head, R-Roanoke

After representing the Roanoke area in the House of Delegates for 17 years, Head is running for the new Senate District 3 this fall. Sen. Emmett Hanger’s announcement April 6 that he won’t also seek the nomination for the new district clears the path for Head in the firmly Republican area. 

Vice Chair of the House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, Head has pledged “to be a strong conservative voice for traditional Virginia values in Richmond.” 

  • Del. Sally Hudson, D-Charlottesville

An economist who teaches at the University of Virginia, Hudson was elected in 2019 to the House of Delegates, where she has staked out a position in the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. 

She will face long-running Sen. Creigh Deeds in the party’s nominating contest for the Charlottesville-area seat in what’s expected to be one of the most closely watched primaries of the year. 

  • Del. Clint Jenkins, D-Suffolk

Jenkins ousted long-time Republican delegate and former House Appropriations Chair Chris Jones from his Hampton Roads region seat in 2019 after a court-ordered redistricting rejiggered the district’s political makeup.

The new Senate District 17 that resulted from the state-driven redistricting leans Republican. This November, Jenkins — who has no Democratic opponents — will face either Republican Del. Emily Brewer or former NASCAR driver and truck stop owner Hermie Sadler. 

  • Del. Dave LaRock, R-Clarke

A member of the House of Delegates since 2014, LaRock has staked out a position as one of the most conservative members of the House Republican caucus. He participated in the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally, although not the storming of the Capitol, and was one of three Republican members of the General Assembly to ask Vice President Mike Pence to nullify Virginia’s election results. 

The field of candidates LaRock will face in vying for the party nomination for the strongly Republican Senate District 1 is wide: Seven other candidates have thrown their hats in the ring

  • Del. John McGuire, R-Henrico

McGuire was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017. In 2019, he unsuccessfully competed against Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, for the Republican nomination to run for the 7th Congressional District against Democratic U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger. He participated in the Stop the Steal rally at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 but has said he was not part of the attack on the Capitol. 

He will face three other Republicans in a nominating convention to represent the strongly Republican Senate District 10 in central Virginia this June.  

  • Del. Danica Roem, D-Manassas

The 2017 victory won by Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to a legislature in the U.S., over self-described “chief homophobe” Republican Del. Bob Marshall to represent the Manassas-area seat catapulted her to national attention. Since then, Roem has been a vocal voice on state transportation as well as LGBTQ-related issues. 

She is the only Democrat running to represent the newly redrawn Senate District 30, which is considered competitive.  

Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William. (Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)

  • Del. Suhas Subramanyam, D-Loudoun

Subramanyam was elected to the House in 2019 and in 2020 joined with Sen. Emmett Hanger to create the Commonwealth Caucus dedicated to increasing bipartisanship in the Virginia legislature. 

Immediately after Democratic Sen. John Bell revealed his plans to retire in early March, Subramanyam announced he would run for Bell’s seat in eastern Loudoun County. Former Del. Ibraheem Samirah is also seeking the Democratic nomination for the district. 

  • Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico

A schoolteacher and outspoken voice among Democrats on education issues, VanValkenburg entered the House in 2018. 

With no other Democrats seeking the party nomination in Senate District 16, VanValkenburg is poised to take on Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, an OB-GYN and leading Republican lawmaker on health issues, in what could be one of the hardest-fought races of November. 

  • Del. Angelia Williams Graves, D-Norfolk

Freshman delegate Williams Graves entered the House in 2021 to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Del. Joe Lindsey, who was appointed that year to a judgeship by the General Assembly. 

In a primary for the new Senate District 21, Williams Graves will face Democratic Norfolk Councilwoman Andria McClellan. No Republicans have announced they will run in the strongly Democratic Hampton Roads district. 



  • Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax

Saslaw, who is 83 and will have chalked up 48 years in the General Assembly at the expiration of his term, said Feb. 23 he was closing the book on a political career that began in the House of Delegates and ended up with him ruling the Senate Democrats for 25 years

“Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. And Saslaw’s gotta move on,” he told the chamber. 

  • Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-Williamsburg

Norment, who has spent three decades in the Senate and leads that chamber’s Republican caucus, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch in February that he isn’t planning on seeking reelection.

Norment told the paper he wanted to spend more time with family and go back to teaching, which he previously did at the College of William and Mary. Redistricting also left him in the same new district as Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover.

  • Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax

Filler-Corn made history in 2020 when she became the first woman elected speaker of the House of Delegates. After her party lost its majority in 2021 and she was deposed as the leader of her caucus, she’s leaving the House entirely after more than a decade of serving.

“When I first joined the House of Delegates, I was one of only 19 women in the entire body and one of the only mothers of school-aged children,” Filler-Corn said in a statement announcing her decision not to run for the House in 2023. “Today, our caucus is the first majority woman caucus in Virginia’s history. As the first woman and Jewish Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, I proudly appointed more women and diverse individuals to leadership positions than in our entire Commonwealth’s history.” 

After redistricting, Filler-Corn ended up in the same Northern Virginia district as Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, who is now the only Democrat declared for the seat.

Filler-Corn, long considered a possible candidate for statewide office, indicated she’s not quitting Virginia politics entirely.

“We have made significant progress in Virginia and I will continue this work for our communities and our Commonwealth outside the confines of the House of Delegates,” Filler-Corn said. “As for my next chapter, there are many exciting options ahead and I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks and months.”

Gov. Ralph Northam introduces House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, as the first woman to hold the position in state history. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

  • Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond

Adams, who was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2017, said in February that she doesn’t plan to run for her seat again and in an April 1 newsletter said she also doesn’t plan to run for the new Senate District 14. 

“I know this will come as a shock and perhaps an initial disappointment to many, but please know that I am still considering my next steps,” she wrote. “Despite this announcement, my intention to serve and my commitment to improving the commonwealth remains steadfast. There is still much work I would like to do in Richmond, and I look forward to my next chapter.” 

A nurse practitioner, Adams has been especially active on health issues in the General Assembly. This February, she lost a primary bid for the state Senate seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan to Lamont Bagby, who was overwhelmingly elected to the position in a March general election. 

Redistricting would have pitted Adams against Dels. Jeff Bourne and Betsy Carr in a race to represent the 78th District in the House. Bourne said in February he wasn’t returning to the legislature.

  • Del. John Avoli, R-Staunton

First elected in 2019, Avoli announced Feb. 25 that he won’t seek reelection in his western Virginia district.

In a news release, Avoli, a former member of the Staunton City Council, said he was “ready to retire after 49 years in public service.” He had previously indicated he would run again, but he told the Staunton News-Leader he had changed his mind. The redrawn district he would have run in is safely Republican.

  • Sen. John Bell, D-Loudoun

Bell, who joined the Senate in 2020 after several years in the House of Delegates, is not running again in his Northern Virginia district after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In a news release, Bell said cancer treatment “will greatly impact my life going forward” while calling his prognosis “very positive.”

“I have a number of excellent treatment options I’m currently considering, and I’m very fortunate to have access to the world-class healthcare that is available in our area,” Bell said. “My doctors tell me that they are confident I will be able to be successfully treated and even cured. I’m thankful that my cancer has been caught so early, and I’m incredibly blessed to have a great team behind me.”

The district Bell would’ve run in is strongly Democratic. Shortly after Bell’s announcement, Del. Suhas Subramanyam, D-Loudoun, announced he would run for the open Senate seat.

  • Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville

First elected to the House in 2001, Bell announced his retirement Feb. 25, on the last day of the 2023 General Assembly. A former prosecutor, he has been one of Republicans’ leading voices on criminal justice issues, chairing the House Courts of Justice Committee and previously the Virginia State Crime Commission.

Bell was facing the prospect of competing in a significantly bluer district thanks to the new political map for the Charlottesville region.

  • Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond

Bourne, who was first elected to the House in 2017, said Feb. 20 he wouldn’t run again. While he told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that redistricting played “zero” role in his decision, the new maps would have pitted him against veteran Democratic Del. Betsy Carr in elections to represent the new 78th District. 

With a Richmond mayoral election coming up in 2024, there’s been some speculation Bourne, a former Richmond School Board member and City Hall aide, might seek the capital city’s strong mayor job.

“I’m going to enjoy some time with my family,” he said when asked about his future plans. “Then figure out what, if anything, is next.”

  • Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford

Byron told constituents she wouldn’t seek reelection after 26 sessions on Feb. 26.

“Passing legislation gives you a sense of accomplishment,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Having that legislation succeed in improving people’s lives — sometimes in big ways, other times in small ones — provides a truly humbling gratification.”

Byron currently chairs the House Commerce and Energy Committee and was the first woman to be elected chair of the House Republican Caucus. Under the new political maps, she would have faced Del. Wendell Walker, R-Lynchburg, to represent the district.

  • Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Smyth

First elected to the House of Delegates in 2013, Campbell said April 1 he will retire from representing his Southwest Virginia district. 

“My season has now come and gone,” said Campbell in a release. “When I was sworn into the House in 2014, our family photo, taken in front of the Clerk’s dais, displays a young family with children in elementary school. Ten years later, those children are grown and have gone off to college. If I have any regrets from service, it is that I wasn’t there nearly enough during their formative years.” 

Campbell, a lawyer, was one of three GOP members of the House who supported abolition of the death penalty in 2021.

  • Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake

Saying it was time to “pass the torch” to new leaders, Cosgrove announced he’s not running for the Senate again after two decades in the General Assembly.

“I have two precious granddaughters that I rarely get to see, and my wonderful wife Sue has been very patient with me serving so long in public service,” Cosgrove said in his March 20 announcement. “It is time to move on and enjoy my family and the opportunities that may lie ahead for me and my family.”

It wasn’t immediately clear who in the GOP was lining up to try to succeed Cosgrove in the strongly Republican district. A Democrat, Myra Payne, has filed to run for the seat.

  • Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach 

In an April 4 announcement, Davis said he wouldn’t run for reelection, describing himself as a casualty of a redistricting process that “created numerous intraparty conflicts across the commonwealth.” 

Davis, who has been in the House since 2014 and most recently served as chair of the House Education Committee, had been drawn into the same district as House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight. 

“While my desire would be to continue serving the citizens of Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates and leading our education agenda, there is no doubt that the City I represent, as well as the Hampton Roads Region as a whole, has benefited greatly from having the Chairman of Appropriations as its representative,” Davis wrote. “It is for this reason that I will not be running for re-election.”

Del. Glenn Davis, R-Viginia Beach, talks to colleagues on the floor of the House of Delegates. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

  • Del. James Edmunds, R-Halifax

First elected in 2009, Edmunds, who serves as co-chair of the Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, said he’s not planning to seek reelection in his Southside Virginia district.

He was drawn into the same district as Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville.

In a farewell speech on the floor, Edmunds thanked his House colleagues for putting “humanity” above politics.

  • Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke

Edwards, who has served in the Senate since 1996, is not seeking another term after being put in a Republican-leaning district with Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke.

“I appreciate the many who have urged me to seek another term,” Edwards said in a news release. “I look forward to continuing my law practice and to spending time traveling and with my family.”

Edwards recently served as co-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a statement of his own, Suetterlein praised Edwards for his 28 years in the Senate and said the two have “a shared love of the Roanoke Valley.”

  • Del. Matt Fariss, R-Campbell

Fariss, who represents a strongly Republican area between Lynchburg and Roanoke, failed to meet the party’s deadline for filing his paperwork to run in the new House District 51, as Cardinal News reported.

First elected to the House in 2011, Fariss is currently facing several charges, including malicious wounding, after a March 2 incident in which a woman who said she had been in Fariss’ car alleges he deliberately struck her with the vehicle. Fariss has denied the allegations and was released on a $7,500 bond. 

  • Del. Wendy Gooditis, D-Clarke

Gooditis, who represents a rural part of Northern Virginia, announced March 1 that she won’t seek another term after her current district was separated into three new ones.

“After three hard-fought elections and six years in office, I feel I have served my time as Delegate,” she wrote in a press release that also called the new district where she resides “well-drawn” and “compact.”

  • Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta

Hanger announced his exit from the General Assembly April 6, bringing an end to a long legislative career that began in 1983 in the House of Delegates. 

Widely seen as a moderate Republican who has been willing to break with his party in the Senate to side with Democrats on issues such as Medicaid expansion, Hanger found himself in the same district as veteran colleague Sen. Mark Obenshain following redistricting, triggering a drawn-out will-he-or-won’t-he debate in Richmond. 

Hanger decided not to run against Obenshain in the new Senate District 2 this winter. Jeff Ryer, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, confirmed April 6 that Obenshain was the only Republican candidate to file for the party’s district primary before the deadline, “making him the Republican nominee in that district.”

On April 6, Hanger also announced he wouldn’t run in the new Senate District 3, about half of which he currently represents and where he would be facing Del. Chris Head in a primary. 

“I struggled with this decision because lots of people statewide have encouraged me to run again because of the loss of senior leadership in Richmond that is anticipated next year,” he wrote. “I went so far as to locate a house to purchase in SD3 but ultimately for personal, political and family reasons have decided not to move away from my current community.” 

Hanger signaled, however, that he isn’t retiring from politics, noting he “will remain energetically involved” until the end of his term and will keep “all other options open to continue to serve.”

State Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta.

  •  Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax

Howell, the influential co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is retiring after more than three decades in the General Assembly.

“My focus has always been on education, from preschool through graduate school and on helping our neighbors in need,” Howell said in a statement first reported by journalist Brandon Jarvis. “We have made great progress yet much more must be done.”

In recent sessions, Howell has been Senate Democrats’ lead budget negotiator, putting her in a key role to get policy concessions from Republicans as Gov. Glenn Youngkin pushes for tax cuts.

The redistricting process had left Howell in the same Northern Virginia district as Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Loudoun.

  • Del. Kaye Kory, D-Falls Church

After 14 years in the House of Delegates, Kory announced on April 3 that she had made the “difficult decision” to retire at the end of her term. 

Kory, who had been drawn into the same legislative district as Del. Marcus Simon, D-Falls Church, said her husband was “facing some health challenges to which I want to devote my full attention.” 

“I am grateful to him and to my children for making our home a team environment that empowered me to pursue public office, and now I want to be there for them,” she said. 

During her time in the House, Kory founded the Women’s Health Care Caucus, and she was also active on animal welfare and developmental disability issues.

  • Sen. Lynwood Lewis, D-Accomack

One of the Senate Democrats most imperiled by redistricting, Lewis announced he won’t run against Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach, in a significantly redder district.

Lewis has served in the Senate since 2014, when he narrowly won a special election for the state Senate being vacated by former Gov. Ralph Northam, who at the time had just been elected lieutenant governor.


In a statement announcing his decision, Lewis noted he has represented “vastly different” parts of the state in a district that extended from Norfolk to the rural Eastern Shore.

“In all my years of service, I always sought common ground even in times of turmoil, and I believe the opportunity to serve such a diverse district made me a better legislator and a better person,” Lewis said. 

Lewis said he’s hopeful there will be “other opportunities to serve” in his future.

Another Democrat, Victoria Luevanos, has filed to run in the district.

  • Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond

After 17 years in the General Assembly, McClellan departed the legislature this winter to fill the 4th Congressional District seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin in November. After defeating Republican pastor Leon Benjamin in a Feb. 21 election, she became the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Virginia.

A corporate attorney who has backed progressive causes like combating climate change and protecting abortion access, McClellan also ran for governor in 2021 but came in third in the Democratic primary. The candidacy ultimately went to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who lost the race to Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

  • Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News

An influential voice on courts and criminal justice issues, Mullin isn’t running again after redistricting left him in a Republican-friendly district that would be tough for any Democrat to win.

Mullin, who was first elected to the House in 2015, said he planned to spend more time with his family. 

Tragedy struck shortly after his announcement as Mullin announced the death of his 3-month-old son, news that left some General Assembly members visibly shaken as they finished up their work for the year.

  • Del. Kathleen Murphy, D-Fairfax

First elected to the House in 2015, Murphy was drawn into a Northern Virginia district with Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Arlington.

“I really don’t know what the words should be. I’m going to miss you,” Murphy said on the House floor as she announced her decision to leave.

After losing a brother to gun violence, Murphy has been one of House Democrats’ top advocates for stronger gun control laws. 

  • Sen. Steve Newman, R-Bedford

Newman announced his retirement in mid-March in a Facebook video and news release.

“This is a bittersweet time for me and my family,” Newman said in the release. “It’s bitter because I’m leaving an institution I love and the individuals in the Senate and on my staff that have worked with me to better serve Central Virginia.  But it’s a sweet time because I know I will be able to now spend more time with my family, friends, and business.”

Newman has served in the Senate since 1996. His time included a recent stint as president pro tempore, the highest leadership position elected by the body that mostly involves presiding over the Senate when the lieutenant governor is absent.

Newman had been drawn into the same Lynchburg-area district as Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, who now has a clearer shot at running for the strongly Republican seat.

  • Del. Ken Plum, D-Fairfax 

Plum, who with 44 years in the House of Delegates is the longest-serving member of the chamber, said Feb. 22 he was hanging up his hat. 

“I entered politics and the House of Delegates to fulfill a lifelong dream that Virginia could do better than being a backward Southern state and could fulfill the dreams expressed by our Founding Fathers who were Virginians,” Plum wrote in an announcement of his retirement on Patch. “We have made significant strides, but as the current session of the General Assembly has shown we need to be vigilant and continue our efforts.”

  • Del. Margaret Ransone, R-Westmoreland 

Ransone, the current chair of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, announced via Facebook that she won’t seek another term representing her Northern Neck-based district.

“My love for community will never change,” Ransone wrote, adding that she was planning to spend more time with family after about a decade in the legislature.

Ransone was first elected in 2011. No other candidates had filed to run against her at the time of her announcement.

  • Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield

First elected to the House of Delegates to represent the Richmond-area district, Robinson has served in senior Republican positions such as chair of the House Finance Committee.

Her Feb. 24 announcement that she won’t run again was something of a surprise. Although some of her more recent election victories were tight — she defeated a challenger by less than a percentage point in both 2017 and 2019, as reported by The Chesterfield Observer — her redrawn district had altered the landscape. Robinson had declared she intended to run last May and was poised to take on two other Republican candidates in a three-way primary. 

Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier, speaks on the floor of the Virginia Senate. (2020 Photo by Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

  • Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier 

Vogel announced late this January that she won’t seek another term after serving in the Senate since 2008.

“Anyone who makes that decision and says that they are not sad is not telling the truth!!” Vogel said on Twitter.

Vogel, the first woman to give birth to a child while serving as a member of the General Assembly, was the Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor in 2017.  She lost that year to former Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, but outperformed other Republicans on the statewide ticket.

In a recent interview with The Winchester Star, Vogel indicated changes to her district were a factor in her decision.

  • Del. William Wampler, R-Washington

Wampler, a member of a prominent Southwest Virginia political family who began serving in the House of Delegates in 2020 after a vigorous primary, said April 6 he doesn’t plan to run again in his strongly Republican district. 

“While it is difficult to wrestle with the fact that our region has a declining number of representatives that will be returning to the General Assembly next term, I am confident in the leadership we have in place and in their ability to work with other leaders across the state to address our priorities,” he said in a statement.

Wampler had been drawn into the same district as Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington.


Other potential departures

Two primary races pitting incumbents against each other — a byproduct of redistricting — will also ensure one current senator and one current delegate won’t be a part of next year’s General Assembly. 

In the Hampton Roads region, Democratic Sens. Louise Lucas and Lionell Spruill are battling for the party nomination to represent the new Senate District 18. The district, which includes parts of Chesapeake and Portsmouth, leans Democratic and has no declared Republican candidate, meaning whichever wins the primary is virtually assured election to the seat. 

In Southwest Virginia, Dels. Marie March and Wren Williams, both staunch conservatives, are fighting for control over the strongly Republican House District 47. Both candidates are also freshman legislators, and their race has drawn attention statewide because of the acrimony they have displayed toward each other, culminating in March pressing charges against Williams for alleged “shoulder slamming” at a local fundraiser


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Sarah Vogelsong
Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists.

Graham Moomaw
Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville.