Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
New lawmakers get seniority rankings
Most voters probably couldn’t care less where their state legislators rank on the seniority scale. After all, it makes little difference outside the General Assembly, at least until a lawmaker has been around so long that seniority helps confer committee chairmanships or other powerful roles.
But the seniority ranking a new legislator starts out with can impact their attainment of those power positions later in their careers.
The Virginia Public Access Project has posted the seniority rankings for new lawmakers, elected last month, here.
For the Fredericksburg region’s new legislators, seniority was the luck of the draw, as none of them have prior service (the Senate counts service in the House when determining seniority).
In the Senate, 17th district senator-elect Bryce Reeves will rank 38th in seniority (out of 40). He drew that lot to rank ahead of new senators Tom Garrett (of the new 22nd District, which includes part of Louisa), who is 39th, and Barbara Favola, who’s 40th.
In the House, delegate-elect Peter Farrell of the 56th House District (which includes part of Spotsylvania) drew the best lot of the freshmen, coming in 85th in seniority (out of 100). Margaret Ransone, of the 99th District, ranks 92nd, and Mark Dudenhefer, of the 2nd District, ranks 98th.