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Del. Kaye Kory won’t seek reelection, joining exodus of longtime Fairfax County state legislators

Del. Kaye Kory has announced that she won’t seek reelection after representing the Annandale area for six terms (courtesy Amanda Maglione/Del. Kaye Kory’s office)

Del. Kaye Kory, who represents Annandale and Lake Barcroft, will not run for reelection this year.

The six-term lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates made the announcement on social media this morning (Monday). She said it was a “difficult decision” and that her husband’s health challenges played a major role in deciding not to run again.

“My husband, Ross, who’s been the best partner and my biggest fan, is facing some health challenges to which I want to devote my full attention,” Kory wrote. “I am grateful to him and to my children for making our home a team environment that empowered me to pursue public office…Now it’s my turn — I want to be there for my family.”

Another possible contributing factor is redistricting pairing Kory with colleague Del. Marcus Simon in House District 13, meaning the two long-time incumbents would have had to face each other in the June Democratic primary.

Simon announced his intent to run for election in the district back in December, while Kory previously told FFXnow she hadn’t made a decision yet.

The 75-year-old Kory has served in the House of Delegates since 2010, representing the 38th District. Prior to that, she was a Fairfax County School Board member representing the Mason District for about a decade.

Kory’s decision continues the loss of experienced legislators from the Virginia General Assembly. Five Fairfax County lawmakers have now said in recent months that they will not be running for office again this year.

That includes Del. Ken Plum, Sen. Dick Saslaw, Sen. Janet Howell, and former House speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. While this does allow new candidates to emerge, the trend has concerned some, since it means that a deep sense of institutional knowledge will be departing along with the long-time officials.

The departures may also signal a shift in power for the Democratic Party away from Northern Virginia, where much of its senior leadership has been located in recent years.

While age certainly has played a part, 2021’s redistricting also been a significant factor in these announcements, pairing a number of lawmakers with colleagues in re-drawn districts.

In her Twitter thread, Kory said her proudest accomplishments include helping to rescue beagles from the Envigo research facility, passing legislation that stops cosmetic testing on dogs in Virginia, and introducing a bill that provided incarcerated women free access to menstrual supplies.

She also mentioned hosting an art show highlighting the work of artists with developmental disabilities, organizing food drives for non-profit Feed Mores, and founding the Women’s Health Care Caucus a decade ago.

As it stands now, Del. Marcus Simon is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot to represent House District 13. However, as Kory noted, a portion of her constituents are now part of District 14, which is currently represented by Del. Vivian Watts. She has announced her intent to run again this year.

“Delegate Watts is the hardest-working legislator in the House of Delegates, and I am fortunate that the vast majority of my current district’s constituents will soon be represented by Delegate Watts in District 14,” Kory wrote.

The lawmaker did not mention Del. Simon in her announcement.

Photo via Kaye Kory/Facebook

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