Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023

Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 32 I’ve known Delegate William C. Wampler III (“Will”) his entire life. His father, Senator William Wampler Jr., and I first ran for office together in 1987. He was on the ballot for Senate while I was running for Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney. Watching Will grow up into the man he is today has been nothing short of special. He is around the same age as my own children, so Will has felt like one of my own. All of us in Southwest Virginia cannot thank Will enough for his dedicated service to the Commonwealth and to our home in the great Southwest. When Will decided to run for the House of Delegates, I was excited but not surprised in the slightest. He has always had a drive to serve others and loved promoting and elevating the tight-knit community of Southwest Virginia, so it felt like just a matter of time until he followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps to run for public office. When he arrived in Richmond for his first term, he hit the ground running to familiarize himself with his new role and to deliver on his legislative priorities. He was no stranger to anyone in the building because, as anyone who has met Will would appreciate, he has a genuine inclination to get along with anyone regardless of party affiliation. Not only did he instill a fresh perspective and a sense of energy during committee meetings, but he also took a pragmatic During his tenure in the Virginia House of Delegates, Tim Anderson seized the opportunity to bring uniqueness and nuance to the conservative Republican camp. With a heavy emphasis on protecting and preserving the Chesapeake Bay, Anderson’s time in the assembly was marked by a desire for the responsible governance of our commonwealth. Although born and raised in Missouri, Anderson has called Virginia Beach home for over 25 years. After traveling down to Florida to receive a bachelor’s in economics at the University of Tampa, he came back to the commonwealth to obtain his law degree from Regent University. Anderson is an attorney by trade and has run a successful law firm based out of Virginia Beach specializing in many areas of law including criminal defense, bankruptcy, personal injury, and business. Practicing since 1999, his success as an attorney has been exhibited through his membership in several state bar associations including Virginia, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and Missouri. During his legal career, Anderson has been acknowledged for this success through several accolades, receiving both the Virginia Business Weekly Pro-Bono Attorney of the Year and Legal Elite Award three consecutive times. In January of 2021, Anderson took office as Delegate for the 83rd district, encompassing part of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. As a Delegate representing a coastal district, he gave considerable effort toward the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay, helping to ensure its ecosystem would exist for future generations of Virginians. During the 2023 session, as chief patron of HB 1438, Anderson pursued a plan to provide businesses special grants for donating oyster shells to be used toward oyster restoration initiatives, which is crucial for the health of the bay. That same session, he worked across party lines as the only Republican to sponsor HB 1419, extending eligibility of the John answered the call to continue serving his community by seeking election to the Virginia House of Delegates. During his tenure as a Delegate, Avoli focused primarily on improving the state of public education in Virginia, continuing his lifelong passion for educating future generations of Virginians. At the onset of his second term in the House, Avoli became the Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Chairman of the K-12 Education Subcommittee. Avoli firmly believes the most important role of the legislature is to provide the best education to all Virginians. After serving two terms as Delegate to Virginia’s 20th House District, Avoli has decided to retire from public service. Among Delegate Avoli’s chief accomplishments, he is proud to have been named the 2023 Virginia Association of Career and Technical Education Legislator of the Year. Avoli has long been a champion of career and technical education as an important avenue for success in skilled professions. In 2022, Avoli successfully carried a budget amendment to include access to funding for Virginia’s regional career and technical education centers from the school building and renovation grant fund. Throughout the entirety of his career, John Avoli has been a team builder and a voice of reason amidst conflicting sides of an argument. His levelheaded sensibility gained him respect and friendship from members of both sides of the political aisle and proved crucial to dealmaking in politics, business, and education. In retirement, Avoli looks forward to spending time with his wife, Lynn, and their family as well as traveling overseas in his native Italy where he has interests in the hospitality industry and winemaking. Butch Smiley is the Executive Director of the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. William C. “Will” Wampler III Delegate 2020-2024 BY TERRY KILGORE Tim Anderson Delegate 2022-2023 BY CHRIS BAILEY approach to policymaking that somehow rivaled longer-serving incumbents, sifting through complex policy proposals with ease. After serving two terms, it is clear to me Delegate Wampler has given every ounce of his unwavering commitment to the House of Delegates, the Republican Party, and the people he represented. He has called me on countless nights with proposals or questions about bills. Will has never let anything stand in the way of his service to the Commonwealth. There has been no one better than Will to jump head-first into a bill to figure out exactly how it may impact Virginians if the legislature were to pass that legislation. Finally, and to the delight of my House colleagues, he also had an uncanny ability to inject some timely humor into a debate on the House floor. All of us in the House of Delegates will miss serving alongside Will. However, I am sure that he will continue to influence Virginia politics and will have a meaningful impact for his clients in the judicial circuits across Virginia. The unrivaled energy and work ethic he has displayed in Richmond and to his district during his tenure will allow him to achieve anything he wants and I’m sure God will richly bless him in the future. Delegate Kilgore represents Lee , Norton, Scott, Wise and part of Dickenson County.