VI RG I N I A 2023-2024 Exodus Saying Goodbye to Virginia's Departing Legislators Winter 2023
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Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 3 Winter 2023 Volume 29 Number 2 • Editorial Staff–Kalina Kulig, Bonnie Atwood, McClain Moran, James Turpin, Chris Bailey, Gemma Najarro • Publisher – David Bailey • Art Director –John Sours School Distribution –firstname.lastname@example.org • Advertising –Ads@CapitolSquare.com • Printer –Wordsprint • Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine (ISSN 1076-4577) is published by: Virginia Capitol Connections • 1108 East Main Street • Suite 1200 • Richmond, Virginia 23219 • (804) 643-555 • Copyright 2023, Virginia Capitol Connections, Inc. All rights reserved. The views expressed in the articles of Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine, a non-partisan publication, are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. CONTENTS VIRGINIA CAPITOL CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE On The Web vacapitolconnections.com 5 Richard “Dick” Saslaw 6 Kenneth R. Plum 7 Janet Howell 8 Tommy Norment 9 Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. 10 Steve Newman 11 Lionel Spruill, Sr. 11 John S. Edwards 12 Kathy Byron 12 Rob B. Bell, III 13 John A. Cosgrove 14 Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. 14 Chap Petersen 15 George L. Barker 16 Jill Holtzman Vogel 17 James E. Edmunds, II 19 Jennifer McClellan 20 Kaye Kory 20 Eileen Filler-Corn 21 Roxann L. Robinson 22 Margaret Ransone 22 Glenn Davis 23 Jeffrey L. Campbell 23 Dave A. LaRock 24 Kathleen Murphy 25 John Bell 26 Michael P. Mullin 26 Jeffrey M. “Jeff” Bourne 28 Amanda F. Chase 28 Dawn M. Adams 29 Elizabeth R. Guzman 30 Wendy Gooditis 31 Joseph “Joe” Morrissey 31 Sally L. Hudson 31 John Avoli 32 William Wampler 32 Tim Anderson 33 Marie March 34 Association and Business Directory page 5 page 6 PLUM page 10 NEWMAN page 7 HOWELL page 19 MCCLELLAN page 9 page 8 HANGER NORMENT Cover by Chris Obrion SASLAW
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 4 ace is a coalition of the premier construction trade associations, allied to create awareness of the value of quality construction. ACE represents subcontracting firms that employ highly skilled technicians for field construction work, and provide those employees with high-value wages, family medical care, retirement plans, and continuing education through workforce development and apprenticeship training programs. The members of ACE represent over 1,200 specialty construction contractors employing more than 57,000 employees, and generate annual gross sales of $6.5+ billion. Our mission is to monitor and influence issues that impact subcontractors and specialty trade contractors in the construction industry before all three branches of government within Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. www.allianceforconstructionexcellence.org/ J. T. Thomas ACE Chairman email@example.com aceVirginia Associations American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington Iron Workers Employers Association of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington National Electrical Contractors Association, Washington, D.C. Chapter SMACNA Mid-Atlantic Chapter A Capitol In Transition In 2024 the Virginia General Assembly will miss scores of experienced lawmakers in the greatest legislative turnover since reconstruction. This transition, driven by redistricting, led to the departure of 15 dedicated senators and 22 delegates. In this issue of Virginia Capitol Connections, we pay homage to the remarkable public servants bidding adieu to the legislature. Many of these people were familiar fixtures in the political landscape, having shared their wisdom and expertise with us since the 70s and 80s. Some journeys were more fleeting, with a few legislators only serving one term. Nevertheless, each of them played an indispensable part in the General Assembly. Some are retiring after years of service or moving on to other government posts, while others are leaving for political reasons like the loss of their party nomination. One former legislator, Jennifer McClellan, now serves as a US Congresswoman. Although we are proud to see her serving as Virginia’s first Black congresswoman, the legislature will mourn the loss of nearly 16 years of experience with her departure. In this issue, we profile these 37 members who will not be returning for the 2024 session. Many of the profiles are written by the people who knew them the best — their fellow legislators, constituents and the journalists who watched their careers unfold. We hope that future legislators will take the lessons of their careers to heart, carrying their legacy into the future. While the upcoming election will bring even more change, this issue profiles only the legislators who are not on the ballot in November. We extend a special thank you to all of the individuals who made the effort to get elected, serve, and make a difference. You will be missed and remembered. The Virginia Capitol Connections Team A Thanks to Our Writers Thanks to the efforts of over 30 colleagues, friends, and journalists, Virginia Capitol Connections is pleased to bring these remarkable stories of service to our commonwealth. It is out of gratitude these writers recount the careers of those dedicated to public service and, for many, who will continue to be dedicated long after their leave from the legislature. We sincerely thank the willingness and commitment each writer has shown toward their work. It is through their very own dedication to this project that we are able to demonstrate the immense appreciation Virginia has for the legislators now leaving the assembly. The entire Virginia Capitol Connections team extends our incredible gratitude to all writers who made this contribution. The Virginia Capitol Connections Team Writers: Dave Albo Richard L. “Rich” Anderson Bonnie Atwood Chris Bailey Matt Benedetti Preston Bryant Kirk Cox Daniel Davies Joseph A. Green Eva Teig Hardy Don Harris Bernie Henderson Brandon Jackson Jay Jones Terry Kilgore Kaye Kory Kalina Kulig Steve Landes Jay Leftwich Mamie Locke Alfonso Lopez Dean Lynch John McGlennon Daphna Nachminovitch Gemma Najarro David Ramadan Sam Rasoul David A. Reid Frank Ruff Marcus Simon Butch Smiley Rip Sullivan James S. Turpin
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 5 In a speech to his Senate colleagues in February 2023, Senator Dick Saslaw announced his retirement from the Virginia Senate after a 48-year tenure that was both exciting and consequential. Sen. Saslaw had earlier spent four years in the House of Delegates and had gathered much experience in listening and learning from long-time leaders in that body who resisted opinions and initiatives from the newly-arrived young delegates. He and others were part of an undercurrent of rebellion in the House against the established older leadership. After 4 years as a backbencher in the House, Senator Saslaw was ready to move to the Senate and take on a more central leadership role. Who was this young senator from the northern suburbs of Fairfax who would eventually become one of the most powerful and longestserving legislators in the Virginia Senate? He was born in Washington D.C. in 1940. After high school, he served in the U.S. Army (19581960), then attended the University of Maryland where he received a B.S. in Economics. He married Eleanor Berman in August 1968. They have a daughter, Jennifer, two grandchildren, and a son-in-law who brings them joy and love. Senator Saslaw’s personal qualities were reflected in the many aspects of his public service, including strong loyalty, humor, intensity, and purpose. There are hundreds of Dick Saslaw statements and stories that have been saved, relished, and repeated over the years within the halls of the General Assembly building and the Capitol. Within the General Assembly family, these stories reflected the force of the Saslaw personality, his strength as a leader, and his knowledge of the institution. A biting humor was always a part of his stories, But his love of the Senate precluded him from insulting or demeaning his colleagues. He told lobbyists and state officials in the strongest terms exactly how he felt about an issue, and it was hard to change his mind without data and stakeholder support. He encouraged stakeholder meetings where groups of stakeholders on various sides of an issue or legislative policy could come together and reach an agreement. He would insist that adversaries talk to each other and he would invite them to meet in his office where he could listen to the conversation and direct it towards some consensus. After graduation from college, Senator Saslaw went into the gas station business, eventually acquiring and running several gas stations in Northern Virginia. It was the day-to-day hands-on running of these stations that gave him the experience of representing businesses large and small as one of the few senators who was not a lawyer or banker, but a small business owner. He would draw on this experience again and again during his terms as Minority and then Majority Leader of the Senate. He became known as the voice of business in the state Senate, sometimes causing political criticism but always based on his convictions and first-hand knowledge. Senator Saslaw was first elected leader of the Democrats in the Senate in 1996. He then served as Senate Majority leader several times alternating with Sen. Tommy Norment as the leader when the Republicans took control. His most recent election as Senate Majority Leader was in 2020. One of the hallmarks of his tenure as Minority or Majority leader was to work closely with Senator Norment and other Republican leaders in maintaining the strength of the Senate as the premier body of the General Assembly. While Senator Saslaw had good relationships with both Democratic and Republican Speakers of the House, the Senate leadership, whether Democratic or Republican, maintained a posture of superiority, offering a better long-term vision for the Commonwealth compared to the House. This rivalry between chambers had gone on for decades and is reflected not just in the Virginia General Assembly but in other state legislatures as well as in Congress. Senator Saslaw has served on many key committees and commissions. Most notably, he chaired the Committee on Commerce and Labor, a committee with vast power over Virginia businesses of all types. He also served on the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, and the Committees on Education and Health, Judiciary, and Rules. As a member of all these committees, Senator Saslaw attended and vocally participated, and in the case of Commerce and Labor, was a strong Chair and proponent for business. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Senator Saslaw also served on several key study commissions including the Committee on Electric Utility Regulation, Committee on District Courts, and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates. Two key commissions he served on were Health Insurance Reform and Local Government Fiscal Stress. Two areas of controversy faced by Senator Saslaw related to electric utility regulation and payday lending. In the late 90s, the committee on Electric Utility Restructuring, after years of study, deregulated and then in 2007 re-regulated the utilities with legislation that was complex and intensely debated by scores of lobbyists and stakeholders. In 2023, Senator Saslaw was the patron of the Senate bill that brought a new balance of regulation to account for future growth, consumer refunds, and renewable energy for the Commonwealth Richard L. “Dick” Saslaw Delegate 1976-1980 • Senator 1980-2024 BY EVA TEIG HARDY Payday lending was another issue that was controversial and intense among the various proponents and opponents. Senator Saslaw was the patron of several bills on behalf of the industry that were fought by community organizations that were fearful of individuals unable to survive high interest rates. Senator Saslaw was a strong proponent of education, civil rights, a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage, and other human rights issues of importance to his constituents. Senator Saslaw understood the institution that was the Senate, and he further understood that a two-party working relationship was critical for Commonwealth goals to be achieved. He will be remembered for his convictions about public service and his
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 6 willingness to stand and fight for his beliefs. He will be remembered for his jokes and humorous stories. He will leave the Senate a stronger working body. As he said in his final statement, “My sell-by date has been reached.” Eva Teig Hardy is the retired Executive Vice President of Dominion Resources. She previously served in a variety of Cabinet positions including Labor and Health and Human Resources as well as the State Council on Higher Education. Members of the Virginia House of Delegates are issued license plates with numbers corresponding to their seniority and many look forward to steadily receiving lower numbers every couple of years. The holder of license plate number 1 hasn’t changed often. Delegate Kenneth R. Plum has had it since 2014. Ken’s 22 terms — that’s 44 years — makes him the senior Delegate. According to the House Clerk’s office, he is the second longest-serving member of the House of Burgesses/House of Delegates in its 404 years as a body. Ken’s historic length of service as a member of the oldest continuous legislative body in the Western Hemisphere is secondary to the quality of his service. Unlike many elected officials who endeavor to take full credit for every good thing they ever supported, Ken only talks of offering good ideas and of working as a team member to effectuate better government. He frequently has been among the first to propose a forward-thinking concept, realizing that the most profound ideas take a lot of time to be appreciated. He does not care whose name is on a bill or amendment; he is content to transform good ideas into public policy, no matter how long it takes or who gets the credit. Ken introduced a bill in 1982 to create a process for non-partisan independent redistricting. This was the first such bill introduced in the General Assembly. Even though legislation was finally enacted in 2020 for this purpose, and someone else received credit as chief patron, Ken enthusiastically supported its passage as if he was its chief patron. Despite enormous and potentially devastating political headwinds until recently, Ken courageously opposed the death penalty throughout his career and he consistently opposed every proposed expansion of its application. Ken has made a difference in Virginia and the world, on two important health initiatives. He introduced the first legislation in Virginia to combat Alzheimer’s Disease, creating a commission and a fund to promote its treatment and ultimate cure. He was a relentless advocate for research in metabolic disease. His bill addressing biotinidase deficiency was the first legislation on this subject in the world according to the March of Dimes, and his bill is the prototype for legislation that has been enacted throughout the world. Legislators often develop specific areas of interest. Ken, perhaps because he is a career educator, has constantly developed expertise in an ever-expanding number of areas, like public education, transportation, conservation, health care, technology, public safety, and even agriculture (there’s a big constituency in Reston for that one!). He wanted to have first-hand knowledge of all the important issues before him. Legislators are categorized in many ways: Democrat or Republican; liberal, moderate or conservative; urban, suburban or rural; but the most significant distinction is show-horse or workhorse, and Ken is the epitome of the work-horse — always more interested in making a difference than a headline. Ken sets the standard for keeping in close and meaningful contact with constituents. He didn’t invent regular and frequent town hall meetings, but you won’t find anyone who has done them better. These were not just close to election time or when the legislature was not in session. Even during General Assembly sessions, Ken would invite government officials to address his town hall meetings and personally drive them from Richmond to his district for these meetings and return to Richmond in the wee hours of the morning. Ken is one of the best at Kenneth R. Plum Delegate 1978-1979; 1982-2024 BY BERNIE HENDERSON to the members of the House and Senate who have served a combined 600-plus years as members of the General Assembly of Virginia. THANK YOU for your service to the Commonwealth. THANK YOU for your time, your open door, your listening ear, and your thoughtful deliberation. THANK YOU for leading Virginia into the next season of growth and prosperity. YOU WILL BE MISSED. My very best to you, your families and your staffs. Susan S. Gaston Thank You “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” MAHATMA GANDHI
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 7 producing weekly electronic newsletters for his constituents. Ken has been an eyewitness and participant in the enormous progress of Virginia’s government becoming more representative and accessible to all Virginians. He celebrates that there are now five times the number of non-Caucasians and five times the number of women members of the General Assembly than when he arrived and he looks forward with excited anticipation to those numbers increasing significantly in the future. He has promoted technology as a tool to enable the public to know what their public servants are doing through access to information and championed policy changes, such as requiring recorded votes throughout the legislative process, to make legislative information available to promote a more perfect representative democracy. Ken is the prototype of a citizen-legislator. He points to a fourthgrade field trip to Jamestown as his motivation to serve in elective office. This was where he realized that public service in a democracy was not the exclusive province of a socially elite privileged class. Being from a modest working-class family, as he grew to adulthood, he became even more confident that he, and others like him, were fully qualified to serve in government. As a career educational administrator, unlike most other legislators who had a significant stream of income whether they were at their “day job” or the As a student of African American history, I learned during my undergraduate years about the role of Oberlin College as part of the Underground Railroad story. It was one of the first white institutions to admit Black students and women, becoming the first coeducational college in the country. As a professor of African American history, I made sure my students knew the history of Oberlin, especially its role in abolition, being a key stop on the Underground Railroad, and the story of a group of liberators being jailed in Cleveland for violating the Fugitive Slave Act in a case that drew national attention. Oberlin’s quest for social and political justice has been part of its mission since its founding and certainly part of the grounding for its students. One of those students was Janet Howell, who earned a degree in Government from Oberlin in the early 1960s. I learned about Senator Howell’s Oberlin connection very shortly after my election to the Senate in 2004. As a great admirer of Oberlin’s history, I advised her of this. I learned that her dorm was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad and then learned of another connection between us. While she was at Oberlin, an exchange student from Tougaloo College came for a semester and was her roommate. Tougaloo College is my alma mater. Tougaloo College’s history is steeped and rich in the civil rights movement. Senator Howell advised me that she was determined to attend the March on Washington in 1963 which was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. Kindred spirits, she and I. A commitment to social and political justice that no doubt emanated from two schools, hundreds of miles apart, instilled in us a desire to be of service and advocate for social justice. In 1991, Janet Howell was elected to the Senate. Women serving in elective office were indeed rare. The Virginia General Assembly began meeting on July 20, 1619, yet it took 360 years for a woman Janet Howell Senator 1992-2024 BY MAMIE LOCKE to be elected. In 1979, Eva Scott of Amelia was elected as the first woman. Thus, when Janet Howell took her seat in 1992, she became part of a very exclusive club. She became one of four in the body. So, what motivated her to want to enter an arena where so few women had dared to tread before? Anger. Senator Howell says that it is anger that motivated her to run back in the early 1990s and it is anger that kept her seeking re-election for seven terms. That first time she was concerned about education, human services, and foster care. Virginia was doing so little, and she knew that so much more could be done. Virginia was not living up to its potential and was writing off so many people. As a community activist and chair of the state board of social services, she knew that so much more could be done. So, she threw her hat into the ring where few gave her a chance of winning. But she did win and has been a voice for women, the underserved, and those who needed a voice for 32 years. Senator Howell says she is most proud of the work she has done around family violence issues and the bipartisan collaborative work on mental health. However, she is concerned that Democrats have been ineffective at messaging the strong values and principles for which the party stands; at least, not in a way that citizens truly understand. Democrats have done so much good and meaningful General Assembly, Ken didn’t get paid by his employer when he was performing legislative duties, he just received the modest legislative stipend. He does not regret this, saying the satisfaction of serving always more than offsets the financial sacrifice. Ken and his wife, Jane, will be using their newfound free time to travel. He will also continue to teach at the Life Long Learning Institute of George Mason University, write, and give greater attention to his fascinating garden of native Virginia plants (there’s that manifestation of agricultural interest even in Reston). Ken’s advice to aspiring candidates for elective office is to become active in community activities before running; get to know as many of your future constituents as possible. Elective office should not be an entry-level community service. Because of Ken Plum’s long and effective service in the House of Delegates, Virginia is in a much better place than when he began his first term. Long after his term ends in January of 2024, countless Virginians who will have never heard of Ken Plum will continue to have their lives enhanced because of his accomplishments, and that is the highest and most well-deserved tribute that a modest statesman like Ken Plum will find enormously and sufficiently satisfying. Bernie Henderson is the President Emeritus at Woody Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Kenneth R. Plum from previous page
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 8 Sen. Tommy Norment arrived at the General Assembly of Virginia in January 1992 in a blaze of glory, having handily defeated a Democratic senior senator, Bill Fears, who represented the Eastern Shore all the way to Williamsburg. Senator Fears, known for his flamboyant lifestyle and controversial statements, was a fixture of the Democratic Party in the Senate. The defeat of Senator Fears was a major victory for the Republican Party and would become the symbol of the growth of its power for years to come. Together with the defeat of Senator Hunter B. Andrews by Republican Marty Williams in 1995, the tide was turning in a new direction. The Senate became a two-party chamber and would soon grow to equal numbers instead of remaining with a lopsided Democratic majority. And Senator Tommy Norment would emerge as the leader and chief strategist for the Republicans in the legislative battles that would bring their agenda to the forefront of the Senate. Who was Tommy Norment and how did he end up as one of the most powerful and longest-serving politicians in Virginia? Thomas Kent Norment was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1946 and following high school attended and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He then applied and was accepted at the College of William and Mary Law School where he received a J.D. The discipline he learned at VMI and his focus on law at William and Mary set the stage for him to excel at leadership and public policy. He married Mary Humelsine, and they had two daughters and now share two grandchildren. They divorced, and in 2018, Senator Norment married Angie Besik, a respected public policy lobbyist and analyst who remains his wife amid a blended family. He is planning upon retirement to spend more time with his children and two grandchildren, Tommy Norment started his career as a Democrat but changed to becoming a Republican when he ran and won a seat on the James City County Board of Supervisors. He remains a Republican to this day. He would burnish those Republican credentials in each election. After he was elected in 1991, he was unopposed in 1995 and 1999, then was reelected with over 60% of the vote in 2003, then again reelected unopposed in 2007 and 2011, and reelected with 70% of the vote in 2015. He led the Republican caucus beginning in 2008 until his announced retirement. During his long service in the Virginia Senate, Tommy Norment was a key member of several committees, studies, and commissions. He was a strong and supportive member of the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees and more recently the American Revolution 250 Commission. He served on the Joint Committee on Tax Policy, JLARC, and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates. His standing committees were Commerce and Labor, Finance and Appropriations, Judiciary, and Rules. These committees were among the most important in the General Assembly, and his service and participation added to the aura and reality of the power he exercised. In the late 1990s, he became Chair of the recently established Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring. This committee oversaw all aspects of Virginia’s electric utilities and their ability to provide the necessary electric service for Virginia’s economic development and growth. During that time Virginia was importing power from outside the state to meet its needs, and it was determined to try deregulation W. Scott McGeary Director, State Public Policy Corporate Public Policy P 202.624.6686| C 703.408.6583 firstname.lastname@example.org 1000 Maine Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20024 work yet have been ineffective at providing explanations to the public to help them understand the decent work that has been accomplished. “We’ve been good at getting the work done, but not so good at letting the public know what we have done in a clear, concise way. We must do better at delivering the message,” she says. What was it like in those early days for women, I wondered. Senator Howell says that her male colleagues didn’t quite know what to do with the women given that the General Assembly had been a male domain for so long. A bathroom had to be created for the women. It was made clear that women were to be seen and not heard. Well, at least could only speak twice on the floor in any given session. Of course, as we have come to know Senator Howell, that little edict did not last long. Just as the men had a constituency, so did the women. Senator Howell made it clear that her constituents were equally as important and would be duly represented as she raised her voice. There have been many times when an issue on the floor would lead to extended and prolonged discussions and debates. I noticed that whenever there was a motion to end debate (call the question), Senator Howell would vote no. I asked her why, especially when the discussions were so tedious and repetitive. She said everyone should have an opportunity to have their say on an issue. This led me to also vote no on motions to end debates. After 32 years, Janet Howell has decided to retire from the Senate. In those 32 years of serving the 32nd District, she has been a woman of firsts. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Senate Finance Committee, the first woman to be a budget conferee, and the first woman to chair Finance and Appropriations. She chaired the Privileges and Elections Committee in 2011, leading the Senate through the redistricting process that year. Senator Howell served on the Crime Commission shepherding through a study and eventually legislation to establish the state’s sex offender registry. Senator Howell leaves a legacy of being a woman who ascended to power, influence, and prestige, always putting the needs of people first. As a freshman at Oberlin, she met Hunt Howell and married him six days after graduation. He joined her at the March on Washington and has been with her on every step of her political journey and quest for social justice. Senator Howell and her daughter-in-law Theresa authored the book, Leading the Way: Women in Power. This book is designed to inspire young girls to become involved in politics and not be afraid of power. Asked if she had to give advice to younger women wanting to become involved in politics, she said she would tell them that being young does not give one the market on knowing everything. She says that one does not make the leap from obscurity to a highranking position just because you want it. It is helpful to work in the community, become part of neighborhood organizations, and be leaders and activists at the local level. One must be knowledgeable about issues and understand that you do not and will not always know everything. Great words of wisdom coming from a great leader as she leaves the hallowed halls of the Senate of Virginia. Future leaders should heed the advice because the adage “do as I do, not as I say” is most appropriate. Senator Janet Howell has led by example. Senator Mamie Locke represents Hampton and part of Newport News. Tommy Norment Senator 1992-2024 BY EVA TEIG HARDY
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 9 to bring in additional supply. When it became obvious that no new suppliers were coming to Virginia, the Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring changed direction and in 2007 the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act was passed by wide margins. The goal was to make Virginia energy independent and to help the Commonwealth set a course of action to keep Virginia strong and competitive. Senator Norment was the patron of the bill in the Senate. During the last week of the 2007 session, all stakeholders, including representatives from the State Corporation Commission, met for 3 days and went over the legislation line by line to ensure that it would be successful in bringing new power generation to the state. While the Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring does not now exist in its original form, the members who served, including Sen. Norment, helped to modernize an industry that was preparing for a new era of technology and the development of cleaner sources of energy. As Senator Norment assumed more leadership in the Republican majority or minority, depending on which party won the elections, he continued to lead the Republicans in the Senate and to be a key patron of legislation in a number of key areas, including higher education, state government regulatory reform, crime, and judicial reform. Senator Norment was a master at Senate rules and procedures and used that knowledge to run his floor operation in a methodical, successful way. He was cool on the floor, always prepared, and quite knowledgeable about whatever subject matter might be the order of the day. He maintained good relationships with Senator Saslaw, his Democratic colleague, although they would spar over particular bills or budget priorities. They both remained loyal to the Senate as a key institution of the Virginia government, and both fought to keep a balance of power between the General Assembly and the Executive branch. With the retirements of both Senators Saslaw and Norment, a major piece of Virginia’s legislative history will be ending. The personalities, institutional knowledge, humor, and civilized pointcounterpoint of each man will be remembered as a new generation takes over. Senator Norment’s contribution to Virginia during his long tenure was that he led a transformational era of progress that laid the foundation for a stronger two-party system in the legislature and especially the Senate. Eva Teig Hardy is the retired Executive Vice President of Dominion Resources. She previously served in a variety of Cabinet positions including Labor and Health and Human Resources as well as the State Council on Higher Education. With his retirement later this year, Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. will have served his community and the Commonwealth of Virginia for over 40 years. As a Virginia State Senator, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Augusta County Commissioner of the Revenue, and Captain in the Virginia National Guard, Emmett Hanger has served faithfully and earnestly as a servant leader. A native of Augusta County, Emmett and his wife, Sharon, raised five children in Augusta, and they now have 16 grandchildren. Emmett began his public service when he was first elected in 1979 as Augusta County’s Commissioner of the Revenue and was the first Republican elected to that Constitutional Office. Three years later in 1982, Emmett was first elected to the General Assembly as a Member of the House of Delegates representing the people of the then 26th District, which included Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockingham Counties. He was re-elected in 1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989, and served nine years. After redistricting and a newly drawn district, Emmett suffered the fate of many others and was not reelected in the 1991 election. With his continued interest in public service Emmett was elected once again in 1995, and this time to represent the people of the 24th District in the Senate of Virginia. He defeated a long-time Democrat incumbent. The 24th District currently includes parts of Culpeper County, all of Madison County, parts of Rockingham County, all of Augusta and Green Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. Emmett was again re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. Delegate 1983-1992 • Senator 1996-2024 BY STEVE LANDES During his service in the Virginia Senate Emmett has served in a multitude of leadership positions, including serving as the past Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, and currently as a Senate Budget Conferee and as Co-Chairman of the Health and Human Resources Subcommittee. He has been an ardent supporter of issues related to education, behavioral health, agriculture, and natural resources.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 10 Steve Newman has served in the General Assembly for more than three decades. He has impressed and succeeded, and he has upheld the historic legislature’s most timehonored traditions. He has served with distinction. Early on, many underestimated Newman. He was an upstart insurgent of sorts, elected at age 23 to Lynchburg City Council, running as an independent but known conservative. He was antiestablishment in an establishment kind of town. A few years later he’d run successfully for the House of Delegates, and in another four years, in 1996, at age 31, he’d take a seat in the Senate. Local observers were still marveling at his rise and wondering how far he might go. The Senate would be Newman’s political home. He’d master its procedures, serve on its highest-profile committees, and be named a budget conferee. In 2016 he was elected president pro tempore, a post he held for four years. Over Newman’s 31 years in Richmond, he would introduce some 400 bills and nearly 150 resolutions. He would tackle big issues: capital punishment, annexation, K-12 curriculum standards and funding, the constitutional definition of marriage, regional economic development, and more. He’d even take the lead to retire Virginia’s outdated state song. Locally, Newman led a years-long effort to improve U.S. Route 29, obtain tens of millions of dollars to fix century-old municipal infrastructure, and improve the quality of care for Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens at Central Virginia Training Center. He handled the historic legislation to make Bedford City a town. Newman has been a stalwart conservative. He has fiercely advocated for his most strongly held beliefs. Along the way, no matter the issue, he has won adversaries’ admiration for his always Emmett has also served in other leadership roles both nationally and in Virginia. He has been an active member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), is a former member of the NCSL Executive Committee, and a former Chairman of the NCSL Budget and Revenues Committee. He is also the former Chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference Health and Public Safety Committee. He is Chairman Emeritus and a current Member of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia Board of Trustees. Emmett is a former Chairman and Member of the Center of Rural Virginia Board of Trustees. In addition to his public service, Emmett has and continues to serve the community of Mount Solon, as an active member of Emmanuel Church of the Brethren, and the Sangerville-Towers Ruritan Club. He is the Owner and Broker of Hanger & Associates, a commercial real estate firm. Emmett is a 1967 graduate of Fort Defiance High School, obtained his Bachelor of Science in Management and Economics from James Madison University (JMU) in 1971, and Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from JMU in 1979. Steve Landes is a former Member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 25th House District from 1995 to 2019. He served as Delegate Hanger’s Legislative Aide for the 1986 General Assembly Session. Landes currently serves as Augusta County’s Clerk of Court. Steve Newman Delegate 1991-1996 • Senator 1996-2024 BY PRESTON BRYANT deft political touch, quick smile, and gentlemanly demeanor. Maybe as often as not he also got their votes. Across the decades, Newman has served alongside eight governors — half Republicans, half Democrats. He’s worked with each of them. Newman has always been a reliable booster for Republican governors’ agenda. Democratic governors also have sought his advice and vied for his vote, knowing a reasonable, thoughtful pitch would get reasonable, thoughtful consideration. Newman indisputably leads the greater Lynchburg legislative delegation. His nearby House and Senate colleagues look to his leadership. Significant local political decisions are not made without Newman’s input. Want to run for local office — town or city council, county supervisor, sheriff? Go see Newman and get his thoughts. Newman likes gadgets. He always has the latest laptop or tablet or phone or watches. He even drives an electric vehicle. He’s always looking ahead for what’s next. In the mid-1990s, when in the House, Newman proposed a resolution whereby the General Assembly’s IT gurus would “develop a prototype” for putting the legislature’s actions on the internet, proposed legislation, even the Code of Virginia and all regulations. There’s a Whereas clause explaining what the internet is. His resolution even claimed, by golly, that “millions of people” were already connected to the internet and that, supposedly, they’d be able to access this information. The resolution passed. A few years later, in the Senate, Newman proposed a resolution pushing for the General Assembly Building and Capitol to be wired so that legislators might attend meetings from their district offices via something called “videoconferencing.” That resolution passed, too. There’s a lot of major legislation and budget work that have Newman’s fingerprints on them. There’s maybe even more that don’t. During the 2022 session, Newman offered a casual aside on the Senate floor that he might not seek reelection, which immediately prompted Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw — not Newman’s philosophical kin — to respond that he hoped Newman would indeed seek another term because he is among the body’s most thoughtful members. Saslaw offered to campaign for him or against him, whichever Newman thought most helpful. There’s not a Senate district to be drawn in Newman’s part of the state whose voters would not reelect him. Alas, he’s retiring. Those local folks who decades ago scratched their heads on the upstart Newman now look back and wonder why they ever wondered. A recent Lynchburg reception honoring Newman’s long career saw political friends and foes alike turn out to pay homage to his good and faithful service. Newman’s departure from the Senate will be noticed. His wife Kim — his high school sweetheart — will now see much more of him, as will his two sons, Wesley and Tyler, and grandson Books. Preston Bryant is the Senior Vice President at McGuireWoods Consulting, former Virginia Delegate, and former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources.
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 11 There was a time in Virginia when someone like Lionel Spruill would not have been expected to make much of a difference. A minority, one of fifteen children, born into poverty, with a disability — the odds were definitely stacked against him. But this is a different time in Virginia. Lionel Spruill leaves public service with eight years on the Chesapeake City Council, twenty-two years in the House of Delegates, two terms on the Democratic National Committee, and seven years in the State Senate. This is quite a career. For those of us who worked with Senator Spruill over the years, it was hard not to like him. He had a unique way of having friends on both sides of the aisle. While he could be funny, he was firm in his beliefs. You had to earn his vote. You had to be prepared and expect the unexpected tough questions. But if he was for you, you could count on him One thing about Senator Spruill that was underestimated was his understanding of the legislative process. For those of us who have been around the General Assembly, you can’t teach instinct. Having years in local government and two decades in the House of Delegates, he knew not just parliamentary procedure but how to read people. In short, he knew how to count votes. At the same time, he had a willingness to take on tough issues particularly if they would benefit Chesapeake that he knew so well. He was willing to go against his party if the other side had a better idea — something that is becoming rarer as the institution becomes more partisan. My lasting memory of Senator Spruill was that he had a print of a lithograph of the last group of African American members of the Virginia General Assembly during Reconstruction. It would be almost one hundred years before African Americans would again serve in that body. Senator Spruill would always say that he wanted to make sure that, in the future, there would be someone in the General Assembly who looked like him. Well, thanks to your efforts there will be members who look like you. Hopefully, they will make as much of a contribution and be as memorable. I will miss you friend. James Turpin has held various roles in government and is now a lobbyist. The Virginia General Assembly is losing many experienced members in the aftermath of redistricting, including my fellow Southwesterner and friend, Senator John S. Edwards. First appointed to the Roanoke City Council in 1993, Senator Edwards had an impressive political career full of successful legislative feats. He shaped the Virginia Senate in a progressive, and meaningful manner, always fighting for what’s right. From establishing the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to bringing educational opportunities, like the Virginia Transportation Museum, right here to Roanoke. Sen. Edwards has always been a champion for not only his constituents, but all Virginians. In the Upper Chamber, he fought tirelessly to make sure Southwest Virginia was never forgotten and was always involved in the legislative discussions of the session. Outside of his time as Roanoke’s representative, Senator Edwards began his professional career as a lawyer. Appointed by President Carter in 1980, he began his journey as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. During that time, he prosecuted our state’s first criminal civil rights case and chaired numerous appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia. His successful law career prepared him to passionately fight for his constituents and to pass legislation that made our Commonwealth better. Senator Edwards was willing to break with his party if he believed it would serve his constituents. As our state becomes increasingly polarized, this can be a difficult decision to make. However, he would always use his best judgment when voting on critical bills. Edwards was rational and understood he represented a region that was more politically diverse than many other parts of the state, even if he may have upset his party. That being said, he was crucial to supporting Democratic legislation in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Both Senator Edwards and myself are the only Democrats representing the Southwestern region of Virginia. We worked together countless times, always using our generational divide to our advantage by sharing perspectives. He consistently advocated for the renovation of the Catawba Hospital project, working with me to fight for a needed place in our region that can treat both substance use disorder and behavioral health issues. I enjoyed attending community events with him, knowing he would always be the longest speaker at any event we went to together. He was always ready to share his perspective with anyone willing to listen. Senator Edwards’ absence in the legislature will be felt by the entire state. His decades of experience, his dedication and work ethic, and his willingness to work with all of his colleagues will be difficult to replicate. He leaves a hole that will be challenging to fill, however, his influence and legacy will serve as a guide to his successor. I have no doubt that he will remain involved behind the scenes and that he will continue to serve Roanoke in a private manner. Delegate Sam Rasoul represents part of Roanoke City. Lionel Spruill, Sr. Delegate 1994-2016 • Senator 2016-2024 BY JAMES S. TURPIN John S. Edwards Senator, 1996-2024 BY SAM RASOUL D B A V A . C O M JAMES TURPIN 1108 East Main St., Ste 1200 Richmond, VA 23219 804-643-5554 office 434-964-6124 cell email@example.com
Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 12 For 25 years, Kathy J. Byron served faithfully in the House of Delegates for Virginia’s 22nd district. During her long tenure as a delegate, she remained a devoted proponent of both business and education within the Commonwealth. She strived to ensure not only Virginia businesses and their workforce have an environment to succeed, but that our education system adequately equips the next generation of Virginians with the tools to follow suit. Byron’s service in the General Assembly was defined by a dedication to conservative values and a stable commonwealth for Virginia’s future. In January of 1998, Byron took office representing then part of Pittsylvania County, Campbell County, and Lynchburg. The 22nd house seat has since changed through redistricting three times during her occupation there. Byron entered the House during a period in which the Democratic Party still possessed its century-long control of the legislature. Two years later, she, along with the effort of fellow Republicans statewide, helped to orchestrate the first Republican majority in the House of Delegates. This momentum and energy would prove to truly be representative of Byron’s time in office. She was also notably elected the first women chair of the House Republican Caucus. In addition to her career-long resume of service on various committees, subcommittees, and commissions, Byron has an extensive record of sponsored legislation, culminating in her two-anda-half-decade service in the assembly. In an effort to promote the use of renewable energy, while also enabling job creation, Bryon was the chief patron of HB 1037 during the 2010 session. This bill provided manufacturers grants for producing equipment used to emit clean energy. In 2015, continuing her support for commercial and employment growth, she sponsored several workforce development bills including HB 2033 and HB 1677; both bills set out to further incentivize the earning of credentials in high-demand fields, and the creation of related training programs. In 2022, Byron demonstrated her commitment to educational opportunity and accessibility as the chief patron for HB 271. This educational bill was designed to promote greater cooperation between community colleges and school systems, as well as competitive pay for class instructors. During the 2023 session, after two decades of discussion and deliberation in Richmond, Byron sponsored and led the charge to pass HB 2195. This historic bill, signed into law in March, significantly reorganized and consolidated workforce programs within the Commonwealth. Namely, this piece of legislation created the new Department of Workforce Development and Advancement. The department hopes to bring Virginians better Ask 10 people who work in and around the General Assembly their impression of Rob Bell and nine will answer: “All business and serious 100% of the time.” For these nine people, here are some “fun facts”: • When in Mexico, Rob likes to go to bars that would be akin to a biker bar in America in the toughest part of town. • His fantasy retirement is to spend it with his Son. He wants to drive a tourist bus with his son helping people have fun on their vacation. • A ordable large and small meeting spaces • Accommodating groups from 5 to 200 • A/V technology – WIFI – hybrid meeting options • Food and beverage options St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Square For more information contact our church o ce at 804.643.3598 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.stpaulsrva.org | 815 E. Grace Street, Richmond, VA (parking o of 8th Street) MEETING SPACE AND PARKING AVAILABLE Kathy Byron Delegate 1998-2023 BY CHRIS BAILEY Rob B. Bell, III Delegate 2001-2023 BY DAVE ALBO workforce training options, analyze and improve current programs, and increase access to higher-paying jobs. Byron’s work extends beyond the General Assembly. She currently serves on the National Board of Directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and previously served as the Virginia State Chair. ALEC is a national political think tank dedicated to pursuing economic growth through limited government. As a small-business owner, alongside her husband, Byron has worked extensively in telecommunications and marketing, even predating her entry into the legislature. As she now leaves the legislature, Byron fittingly steps into the role of Deputy Director for External Affairs at the newly created Department of Workforce Development and Advancement continuing her fight to ensure the success of those employed in the commonwealth. Byron is known as a cheerful and down-to-earth person, even often bringing her dog to stay with her in the office. She returns to her home with her husband. She has three children and six grandchildren. Chris Bailey is an associate with David Bailey Associates.