I have made a decision not to run for re-election this year. This decision not to run was almost as difficult as my initial decision to run in 2007.
For the past twelve years, I have enjoyed the privilege of representing the residents of the 96th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. My service as a citizen legislator in this unique and historic body is truly one of the highest honors of my life. I have aspired to act as a servant leader, provide the highest quality of constituent service, and support policies making our Commonwealth the best place in which to live, work, and raise a family.
Throughout my years as a delegate, I have endeavored to build a positive legacy. I am particularly proud to have patroned legislation codifying the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of their children. I've also fought for the rights of property owners and successfully worked to curb overreach of land trusts. Just a few years ago, I worked with the James City County Attorney on legislation to open Jolly Pond Road. That change in the code also enabled localities across the state to reopen roads that VDOT had closed.
I have partnered with local agencies to ensure funding and resources for the members of our community who struggle with mental illness. As chair of the Disability Commission, I have had the privilege of carrying bills and budget amendments to provide meaningful support for individuals with disabilities. I take seriously my responsibility to represent the localities in my district, and I have consistently introduced bills to address quality of life issues affecting residents of the 96th District.
All of my efforts have been guided by my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and bolstered by the support of my family. I am truly thankful for all of the individuals who have supported, encouraged, and worked with me throughout my service as a delegate. When I first sought office, I declared my belief in term limits. I remain committed to this position, and it is therefore a bittersweet moment for me as I announce that I will not seek reelection this year.
For thirty-six years, the 96th District of the Virginia House of Delegates has been represented by a woman. I am pleased to announce my support for a candidate who will ably continue this tradition. My legislative aide, Amanda Batten, has my strongest endorsement for delegate. I have known Amanda for over a decade, and I am confident she will serve as a reasoned and conservative voice in the district. Her knowledge of the 96th District is unparalleled, and her experience will allow her to continue her hard work on behalf of constituents. I hope you will join me in supporting Amanda Batten for Delegate in the upcoming election.
I am grateful to my constituents for the privilege of serving in the Virginia House of Delegates. I have always aspired to keep an open door, treat every person with respect, and humbly serve the citizens of the 96th District. I look forward to completing my final term while providing constituent service and support for the citizens of the 96th District.
Delegate Brenda Pogge