- Both parties in the Virginia Senate have appointed veteran lawmakers to lead their caucuses in the next Legislature.
- Democrat Scott Surovell will serve as majority leader, while Republican Ryan McDougle will be the next minority leader in the Commonwealth Senate.
- Democrats narrowly won both chambers of the legislature earlier in this month’s election, dashing Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s hopes of a trifecta.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia Senate chose veteran lawmakers Wednesday to lead their caucuses starting next year’s legislative session.
Senate Democrats have chosen Scott Surovell, an attorney from Fairfax County, to be majority leader, the Senate Democratic Caucus said in a press release. He will succeed outgoing Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, who announced in February that he would not seek re-election.
Democrats not only retained the majority they had held in the 40-member Senate since 2020 in legislative elections this month, but also flipped control of the House of Delegates, dashing Republican hopes of a three-way GOP win with Gov. Glenn Youngkin. But Democrats will control the Senate by the narrowest possible margin — 21-19 — with Republican Lt. Winsome Earl Sears presiding over the chamber and casting tie-breaking votes.
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Surovell, who has served in the General Assembly since 2010, said in a statement that Senate Democrats “will fight to fulfill the trust that Virginia voters have placed in our caucus to make Virginia a prosperous, inclusive, progressive commonwealth and the best state in America for raising education.” A family and starting a business.”
Sen. Mamie Locke of Hampton, another veteran lawmaker, was also vying for the role and received the endorsements of both the Virginia NAACP and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. Luke, who was elected party president, did not immediately comment.
Senate Republicans, who increased their caucus by one this election cycle, have named Ryan McDougle of Hanover to serve as GOP leader, according to a news release.
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McDougle, who is also an attorney, has been a senator since 2006 and served in the House before that from 2002 to 2006.
“We have a talented team of experienced legislators and skilled newcomers ready to advance our positive agenda to combat inflation, lower taxes, support law enforcement, and control energy prices. We will work collaboratively with Governor Youngkin to advance his priorities,” McDougle said in a statement. “.
Both chambers of the part-time Legislature will see massive turnover next January due to a combination of retirements and election losses. In the Senate, nearly half of the members will be new.
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The House Democratic and Republican caucuses held their leadership elections over the weekend. Del. Don Scott will be the next Speaker of the House, becoming the first Black person to hold the position. Del. Todd Gilbert, who serves as Speaker of the House, will become GOP leader in January.