Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Del. John Cox won’t run for reelection
Del. John Cox, R-Hanover, has announced he won’t run for re-election in the 55th House District.
The district covers all of Hanover and parts of Spotsylvania and Caroline counties. All 100 House of Delegates seats are up for election this November.
Cox, who served two terms in the seat, said in a telephone interview today that he is simply ready to do other things — primarily spending time with his first grandchild, three-month-old Reagan, and traveling with his wife.
“I’m getting at the age now, I’ve got my first granddaughter and my wife and I really enjoy traveling, and I felt like the timing was right,” Cox said. “Life is so short and I do value my family time greatly. No other reasons other than that.”
Cox runs a trucking business out of Ashland, successful enough that he was one of 15 legislators whose personal finances were worth $1 million or more, according to a compilation of annual financial reports by VPAP.org.
He said he enjoyed serving “two wonderful terms,” but did admit to frustration that government in Richmond doesn’t run like a business.
He referred specifically to the transportation funding reform bill, which raises some taxes, and which Cox voted against. He called the bill “a hodgepodge of tax increases.”
“We operate in a business on our bottom line profit in order to continue to stay in business. Unfortunately the bottom line in the government is some other person’s pocketbook, i.e. the taxpayer,” Cox said. ““You’ve got 100 different ideas when it comes to how we’re going to move the commonwealth forward. At my age I just feel like it would better be suited to someone else so I could enjoy spending my time with my little Reagan.”
Republicans in the district will choose a new candidate for the seat through a primary election June 11.
Cox said he has heard of “a fair amount of people looking at” running for his seat, but no one who has fully committed yet.
Hanover County GOP chairwoman Nancy Russell said candidate for the party’s nomination can file with the party between March 11 and March 28. Hanover is about 65 percent of the district, Caroline is 24 percent and Spotsylvania is 11 percent.
Russell said she’d be sorry to see Cox go.
“He was a very good delegate … I am disappointed,” she said.