State Sen. Janet Howell will retire from the Virginia General Assembly after representing a significant swath of northern Fairfax County for over 30 years.
Rumors that Howell wasn’t planning to pursue another term began circulating during Virginia’s 2021 redistricting process, which paired her with Sen. Jennifer Boysko — a more junior Democrat currently representing the 33rd District — in the newly created 38th Senate District.
Now, at 78 years old, Howell has officially announced that she won’t seek reelection this year, meaning her three-decade tenure in the State Senate will conclude with her current term on Jan. 10, 2024.
In a statement first reported yesterday (Tuesday) by independent journalist Brandon Jarvis and shared today in a newsletter to supporters, Howell said she believes she has accomplished “most” of her legislative goals over her 32 years of service and now hopes to spend more time with her husband, including for travel.
“My focus has always been on education, from preschool through graduate school, and on helping our neighbors in need,” she wrote. “We have made great progress — yet much more must be done.”
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 first took office in 1992 as senator for District 32, which encompassed Reston, Tysons, Wolf Trap, northern Chantilly and portions of McLean and Arlington County.
Second in seniority only to Sen. Dick Saslaw, who announced retirement plans last week, Howell is the longest-serving woman currently in the State Senate. When Democrats took control of the chamber in 2019, she became one of its most powerful members as the new chair of the influential finance committee, the first woman to hold that position.
According to her office, Howell views her top accomplishments as:
Guiding the budget to significantly increase funding for education and mental health services; reforming family violence laws; passing the first in the nation genetic privacy legislation; receiving national child advocate of the year award from American Academy of Pediatrics for increasing vaccinations.
Congratulations on a great career Janet Howell! I enjoyed my 10 session serving down the hall from you, and being your constituent for most of your 32 year career. pic.twitter.com/ycYASrbTV4
— Marcus Simon (@marcussimon) February 28, 2023
Thank you Sen. Janet Howell for your more than 30 years of service to Fairfax and Virginia. A champion of families, education and health care, and the longest-serving female legislator in Virginia—we will miss you and wish you the best! pic.twitter.com/0xV4wEthjO
— Fairfax Democrats (@FairfaxDems) February 28, 2023
Senator Janet Howell has been an unmatched champion for Pre-K and K-12, is a calming voice of reason in our Caucus when things get heated, a passionate advocate for women's rights, our budget leader & a consummate team player who will be deeply missed by @VASenateDems https://t.co/f2cjBoME8G
— Senator Scott Surovell (@ssurovell) February 28, 2023
Howell joins a slate of at least 16 incumbent state legislators so far opting out of another term, including three others who represent parts of Fairfax County: Saslaw, Reston’s longtime delegate Ken Plum, and McLean delegate Kathleen Murphy.
Though she hasn’t made an official announcement yet, Boysko’s campaign has filed finance reports indicating she will seek election in the new District 38. Her office didn’t return a request for comment by publication time.
On the Republican side, military veteran Matt Lang will attempt to win the seat after unsuccessfully challenging Plum in 2021.
With each party putting forward just one candidate, primaries won’t be needed for this district. The general election on Nov. 7 will have an extensive ballot, with all 140 General Assembly seats, Fairfax County supervisors, the school board, and commonwealth’s attorney up for grabs.
With Virginia’s presidential primary elections just around the corner, one candidate is hoping to whip up some support in Fairfax County before polls open next Tuesday (March 5). Former South…
Carrabba’s Italian Grill has officially shuttered in Reston after more than two decades of business. A sign on the door of the chain restaurant at 12192 Sunset Hills Road thanks…
For the first time since it was established in 1921, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has expanded its vehicle fleet to three ambulances.
The newest ambulance began operating out of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 1 (1455 Laughlin Avenue) on Feb. 21 and will get an official, public reveal this Saturday (March 2) at the annual “I Love McLean” celebration.
Eviction cases continue to rise in Fairfax County as the millions of dollars in financial and legal support allocated during the pandemic run out, county staff say. Without the nationwide…
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.
Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.
Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and