Virginia Sen. Janet Howell, of Fairfax County, plans to retire at the end of her term.
“After serving 32 years and accomplishing most of my legislative goals, I am stepping aside. I will not run for re-election but will complete my term,” the 78-year-old Democrat said in a statement Tuesday.
“My focus has always been on education, from preschool through graduate school, and on helping our neighbors in need. We have made great progress yet much more must be done,” Howell said.
State Senator Janet Howell (D) will not be seeking re-election this year. Her statement is below pic.twitter.com/WM2rKTRIO5— Brandon Jarvis (@Jaaavis) February 28, 2023
Howell, who co-chairs the finance committee, is the longest serving woman currently in the state Senate. She’s second in seniority to Sen. Dick Saslaw, who also plans to retire. Both will leave office in early January 2024.
Howell said that in retirement she plans to travel with her husband, Hunt.
The independent online news outlet Virginia Scope was the first to report her retirement.
Nearly 20 other Virginia lawmakers plan to retire, including Democratic Del. Ken Plum, the House’s longest-serving member. Plum, who represents Reston, has been in the Virginia House of Delegates 44 years.
Del. Kathleen Murphy, 75, announced her plans to retire last Friday. Murphy, a Democrat representing McLean, said she needed to spend more time caring for her grandchildren following the death of her daughter last year.
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