Virginia State Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Prince William) said Tuesday that she was resigning from her position in the House of Delegates to focus on securing the Democratic nomination for the 2021 gubernatorial election.
Carroll Foy, one of several Democratic candidates for governor, announced the decision in a video posted to social media.
“I’m stepping down from the House of Delegates to focus 100 percent of my time on building a grassroots movement to meet this moment,” Carroll Foy said in the video. “Helping families and workers recover and building a post-COVID economy will be tough, but so are we. Together we can rebuild a Virginia that leaves no one behind.”
“I was honored to serve the people of the 2nd District and proud of what we were able to accomplish, and now I’m ready to keep working for you as governor,” Carroll Foy continued.
The two-term lawmaker is now free to raise campaign money and travel throughout the Commonwealth during the quickly-approaching General Assembly session because fundraising by legislators is banned during regular sessions under Virginia law.
The decision by Carroll Foy prompted a statement of sly criticism from one of her rivals for the Democratic nomination and now former legislative colleague: Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).
“I have served the people of Virginia for 15 years and will continue to do so in the midst of this unprecedented crisis,” McClellan wrote in a statement provided to The Virginia Star. “I will always put public service first: That means fighting for my constituents to build a stronger and more equitable Virginia as we navigate the Coronavirus crisis every day. Virginians elected Democratic leaders to get things done in Richmond, and that’s exactly what I plan to do this legislative session and as Governor.”
Carroll Foy’s resignation, which takes effect on Saturday, makes the House’s 2nd District seat available and starts a truncated timeline to have a special election to fill the vacancy before the General Assembly convenes on January 13.
Just hours after the news, Governor Ralph Northam announced that he has called for a special election to take place on January 5, less than a month away.
Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson told The Star there are two people interested in running for the seat in the special election as Republicans, but did not want to name the potential candidates since they have not officially made decisions yet.
Virginia Democrats are now working on plans to select their nominee for the election by Saturday or Sunday, likely through a party primary, according to the Washington Post.
In terms of potential Democratic candidates, Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) told The Star that he’s heard Candi King, a former small business owner and community leader, is looking to run and, according to the PW Perspective, activist Rozia Henson has announced his bid for the 2nd District seat.
– – –
Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jennifer Carroll Foy” by Jennifer Carroll Foy. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Matheus Gonçalves CC BY-SA 2.0.