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Carroll Foy resigning from House of Delegates to focus on run for governor

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, filed paperwork to run for governor.
Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, filed paperwork to run for governor.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 9:10 AM EST
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Virginia Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy will step down from her seat in the House of Delegates to run for governor next year, a move she says will allow her to focus on “building a people-powered movement” for what’s expected to be a hard-fought Democratic primary.

Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, is planning to submit a House resignation letter today. It will take effect on Dec. 12.

The resignation will allow Carroll Foy to continue raising money for her gubernatorial campaign by avoiding a law that bans state legislators from fundraising during General Assembly sessions.

The timing of her resignation also creates uncertainty over how her seat will be filled in the few weeks remaining before the 2021 session begins in January.

A 39-year-old attorney running as a more progressive newcomer to Democratic politics, Carroll Foy is hoping to break out in a primary field that already includes Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to enter the race soon, mounting what will likely be a well-funded comeback bid unhindered by the demands of a legislative session.

In an interview, Carroll Foy said she agrees with the need for strong campaign finance rules and supports a ban on fundraising in regular and special sessions. But she said the campaign system isn’t built for candidates like her, a young mother of two who chose to become a public defender instead of pursuing a higher-paying legal job.

“It’s set up to benefit people who have been in politics for their whole lives, career politicians who have put special interests first,” Carroll Foy said.

By resigning, Foy is giving up the option to run for reelection to her House seat if she loses the gubernatorial primary, a maneuver commonly employed by members of the General Assembly who seek their party’s nomination for statewide office.

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