A series of senior Virginian senator’s retirement have been witnessed by Americans, including that of State Sen. Frank Wagner from R-Virginia Beach.
As per the declaration by Frank Wagner, having 28 years of experience in Virginia’s legislature will not run for the upcoming elections.
Wagner is the third Republican legislator to go on retirement. Given the 140 General Assembly seats in the November ballot, such number of retirements suggests that it may affect the upcoming elections.
Despite the thin winning line against Democrats in both chambers of the legislature, Republicans still have a ray of hope in the upcoming elections, given the three ongoing scandals involving Democrats affecting their credibility.
The resignations that seem more of a coincidence include planned resignations from Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) and Bill Carrico (R-Grayson). As of now, Republicans hold 21-19 edge in the Senate.
It is interesting to note that in House Republican Del. Steve Landes (Augusta), too, announced that he plans to seek a court clerk’s job instead of running for reelection. Augusta is heavily Republican, as are the districts of two other retiring delegates: Richard “Dickie” Bell (Staunton) and Gordon Helsel (Poquoson). Del. Riley Ingram (Hopewell), who is to retire, serves a Democrat leaning district that split evenly in the 2017 elections.
On the other hand, the only Democrat who will step down this year as of now is Del. David Toscano (Charlottesville), the former House minority leader.
Going by the competitive strength of both Republicans and Democrats, GOP has a 51-to-49 majority in the House. With two major Republican figures like Sen. Frank Wagner and Del. Riley Ingram’s resignations, Republicans may face challenges in gaining the majority.
Sen. Frank Wagner in an interview stated that his resignation is not driven by the fear of not being reelected but due to his plans to live in a home outside his district. He said, “In my district, there’s a lot more concern about the Democrats turning socialist, and angst over Trump is being superseded [by that].”
He also expressed his opinion that the ongoing executive scandals are not a major concern in his district like the Northam scandal, over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
The current resignations and ongoing scandals in Virginia, as stated by Sen. Frank Wagner may hold little relevance as of now but may certainly affect political choice in the State during the upcoming elections.