(The Center Square) – Virginia House of Delegates committees will have a new roster of leaders when Republicans take tight control of the chamber in early January.
This week, President-elect Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, announced the new chairs of five of the House committees. The list includes a series of established lawmakers, most of whom have been in office for about a decade.
“I am pleased to announce more members of the House of Delegates leadership team for the next session of the General Assembly,” Gilbert said in a statement. “These new committee chairs will bring a wealth of experience to their new assignments and join seven other previously appointed chairs. I look forward to working with them all to implement our common sense and conservative agenda. “
Of the. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, will lead the chamber education committee. Davis, who has served in the chamber since 2014, has served on the education committee since being elected. He supported legislation to expand the possibilities of school choice and expressed his opposition to critical race theory in public education.
Of the. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham, will chair the Public Safety Committee. Wilt has been in office since 2010 and has served on the Public Safety Committee since his election. During his tenure, he sponsored legislation to expand gun rights. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilt sponsored legislation to limit the governor’s emergency executive powers, which would have required the governor to go through the General Assembly.
Gilbert also announced that Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield, will chair the finance committee. Robinson was first elected in 2010. Del. Keith Hodges, R-Middlesex, who has been in office since 2012, will chair the Counties, Towns and Towns Committee and Del. Margaret Ransone, R-Westmoreland, who has also been in office since 2012, will chair Privileges and Elections.
In the 2021 election, Republicans overturned seven seats to secure a narrow 52-48 majority in the chamber. The caucus victory shattered a narrow two-year majority for House Democrats. Before the past two years, Democrats had not held a majority in the chamber since the late 1990s.
Since the election, a Democratic member, Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, resigned his seat to spend time with his family after learning his wife was pregnant with their first child, bringing the majority to 52-47. The 89th district will hold a special election on January 11. It is a strong Democratic district.
The Republican leadership of the House will have to work with a Democratic majority in the Senate, which has similarly tight control: 21-19. The composition of the Senate did not change in 2021 because no senator was running for re-election.