Del. David L. Englin, who announced last spring that he would not seek a fifth term because of an extramarital affair, will resign from Virginia’s House of Delegates in August.
When disclosing the affair in April, the Alexandria Democrat said he had not decided whether he would finish out his term or resign before it expires in January 2014. In a letter to supporters Thursday, he said he had decided to step down at the end of August so he could focus on repairing his personal life.
“In April, I announced that I would not seek another term in elected office in order to focus on rebuilding my marriage and my family,” Englin said in the letter. “That remains my highest priority, and I have concluded that the time has come for my family and me to leave public life.
“Therefore, earlier today, I submitted to the House Clerk, the Speaker, and Governor McDonnell my resignation from the House of Delegates, effective August 31. To ensure the best possible stewardship of taxpayer resources, I also conveyed my hope that Governor McDonnell will schedule the special election to coincide with the general election on November 6.”
Once considered a rising Democratic star, Englin was an outspoken supporter of gay and women’s rights, health care and economic equality. The boyish-looking Air Force veteran and former Eagle Scout gained national attention this year as the first delegate to use the term “vaginal probe” on the House floor while debating a bill requiring that women get an ultrasound before an abortion.
In his letter, Englin endorsed Karen Gautney to be his successor.
“Karen Gautney and her partner of 23 years are longtime Alexandria residents, and she has a distinguished record of service to our community,” he wrote. “Her leadership roles include chairwoman of the Alexandria Commission on Human Rights, president of the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association, and diversity trainer for the domestic violence and sexual assault programs. Karen’s early professional experience was in law enforcement as a special agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which gives her insight into the challenges of first responders as well as military service members and veterans.
“Her promising career as a federal law enforcement officer was cut short unjustly because of her sexual orientation, driving her strong desire to defend the right of all people to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. She went on to a graduate degree in family therapy and a second career as a non-profit executive in a mental health association.”
Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka (D), who made an unsuccessful bid for state Senate last year, also plans to run for Englin’s seat.
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