Del. Robert H. Brink (D), who has represented north Arlington, Crystal City and part of McLean in the Virginia House of Delegates for 17 years, announced Friday that he will resign June 30 in order to accept a position with Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration.
Brink, 13th in seniority in the 100-member House, will be taking the job of deputy commissioner for aging services in the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services. He will start July 1.
Brink said his proudest work in the General Assembly was helping to provide health care to the children of the working poor and maintaining the health-care safety net for other vulnerable residents. Prior to his election in 1997, Brink served for 15 years as counsel to two congressional committees and four years as deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice.
His 48th District seat is considered a safe Democratic district. Brink won his last race, in 2013, with 95 percent of the vote after a Republican and a Libertarian dropped out. The date for a special election will be set by the speaker of the House and is likely to be in August, when another special election, to fill the seat of former state senator Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) is planned.
Arlington Democratic Committee chairman Kip Malinosky said the party is likely to hold a caucus to choose its candidate. Several people have already expressed interest, but the filing deadline is not yet set.
Del. Algie T. Howell Jr. (D-Norfolk) also announced his resignation Friday.
Fellow legislators immediately lined up to praise Brink and his work.
Brink “brought Arlington’s values to Richmond in an outspoken, yet gentlemanly, way,” said state Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria). Del. Alfonso H. Lopez (D-Arlington) added that Brink “accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience that has helped him fight for Arlington’s values and priorities in Richmond.” Del. Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington) called serving with him an “honor [and] privilege. Arlington thanks you for your service. I thank you for your friendship.”