Virginia Senate finance co-chair Howell joins those retiring

February 28, 2023 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Janet Howell, the veteran Democratic Virginia state senator who co-chairs her chamber’s finance committee, announced Tuesday she will not seek re-election.

“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,” Howell, of Fairfax County, said in a statement.

Her news is part of a flurry of what’s now reached nearly 20 retirement announcements from senior legislators and others who were drawn into unfriendly districts or paired with other incumbents during the redistricting process.

Howell, who has served in the Senate since 1992, plays an important role in crafting the state budget as co-chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

“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, 78, said in the statement.

She said she planned to spend more time traveling with her husband, Hunt, who had long supported her “in every way.”

The news was first reported by the independent online news outlet Virginia Scope.