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This will be the last General Assembly session for many lawmakers


Many members of the General Assembly will be ending their session for the last time this year.

Almost a dozen House members are running for the state Senate, so they are not running for reelection in their House districts. And more than a handful of other House members are not seeking reelection at all. Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw will not be coming back. Senator Jennifer McClellan was recently elected to Congress. And, Senator Jill Vogel is a Republican from Fauquier County who is also leaving elected office.

"I will be very sad to leave," Vogel says. "However, I think it's important to have a sense of timing and a sense of your own limitations and know that once you've done this job for 16 years, that's a good long time. And I think it's an appropriate time for me to step down while I still have time to do other things in life."

Delegate Jeff Bourne is a Democrat from Richmond who says he wants to spend more time with his family.

"For me it really boiled down to just really wanting to have more quality time with my family and my kids especially as my son enters middle school and my daughter matriculates through high school and on to college," Bourne says. "I just want to be there for all the moments."

“This is a grueling job,” reporter Michael Pope says.

"It is a very grueling job," replies Bourne. "And also one that requires you to have a full-time job because this is quote-unquote part-time."

In addition to all the retirements, many members of the General Assembly are in fiercely competitive primaries against each other – incumbents facing incumbents because of new district maps. That means the next General Assembly session is likely to have a lot of new faces.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.