Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy Stepped Down on Dec. 8 Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy Stepped Down on Dec. 8

Special election set for Jan. 5, with a Dec. 14 deadline to file.

RICHMOND-Jennifer Carroll Foy is stepping down from the General Assembly. The House of Delegates member, who represents District 2, officially made the announcement Tuesday morning. Foy said she made the change to focus on her campaign for governor. 

“All of us who love and live in Virginia are facing an especially challenging time,” Foy said in a video message posted to her Twitter account. “I’m stepping down from the House of Delegates to focus 100% of my time on building a grassroots movement to meet this moment.”

The Virginia Military Institute graduate, who announced her campaign in May, would become the country’s first black, female governor if elected. Foy said she was honored to serve the people of the Second District and proud of what they were able to accomplish. 

The Prince William County resident flipped the district in 2017, turning it from red to blue. In her two terms, she’s recorded some notable achievements. Earlier this year, she sponsored the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, filed the bill banning police from using chokeholds in most cases and submitted the first proposal to legalize marijuana in the state, among other things. 

Carroll Foy’s decision set off a bit of a chain reaction in the area. Governor Ralph Northam set a special election to fill her seat for Jan. 5, 2021. Candidates have until Dec. 14 to file. One person already filed Tuesday, with Candi King announcing her plans to run. Her husband Josh ran against Carroll Foy in the 2017 Democratic primary for District Two. He lost by 12 votes. 

Foy’s resignation helps her continue raising money for the campaign. If she stayed in her position, that would have stopped in January. State law prohibits lawmakers from holding fundraisers during General Assembly sessions.

RELATED: Del. Carroll Foy Wants to be Virginia’s First Black, Female Governor

Governor’s Race Shapes Up

The governor’s race continues to take shape in Virginia. In addition to Carroll Foy, current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and State Sen. Jennifer McClellan are both running on the Democratic side. Neither Fairfax or McClellan issued any indication that they plan to step down from their respective posts. Both of them will be subject to the ban on fundraising while in session.

Former governor Terry McAuliffe also plans to enter the race, with an official announcement set for Wednesday. Virginia’s constitution limits governors to one consecutive term, which is why current Gov. Ralph Northam can’t run for re-election. Nothing says a former governor can’t run again, although history would be against him. The last person to serve two terms as Virginia’s governor was Mills Godwin. He served from 1966 to 1970 and then from 1974 to 1978.

The Republican side of the coin is a bit more confusing. Del. Kirk Cox and State Sen. Amanda Chase both entered the race this year. However, on Dec. 5, the party’s central committee voted to hold a convention to choose their nominee. Chase rejected this idea, announcing that she would be running as an independent.

Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at brian@couriernewsroom.com.