The following is the complete text of the announcement last week by Virginia State Sen. Adelard L. Brault (D-Fairfax) that he will not run for reelection when his fifth term expires at the end of this session.
Brault, who was first elected in 1965, will relinquish senior positions on five major Senate committes when he retires. He also served as Senate majority leader from 1976 through 1979--the first Northern Virginian to hold such an important leadership position since shortly after the Civil War.
Brault, who said he was retiring because he was wearying of the physical toll extracted during hectic legislative sessions, announced his decision Jan. 6 with the release of this statement:
In a commencement address at George Mason University in 1978, I had occasion to refer to Cicero's oration, "De Senectute," in which he said: "There is nothing in the arguments of those who say that old age takes no part in public business."
Accordingly, in comfortable concurrence with that position, I decided that the fact that I was approaching the proverbial three score and ten should not deter me from seeking reelection to the Virginia Senate in 1979.
Neither did it deter the voters who cast their ballots in favor of the perspective, knowledge and experience offered by my previous fourteen years of legislative service.
But candor now compels me to admit to some second thoughts about septuagenarians in the Virginia Senate--particularly in view of the ever-increasing and now year-round demands of legislative office.
By the time campaigns for the Assembly get under way this year, I shall have reached the age of 74. Although I am blessed with generally good health and shall in no way diminish my efforts on behalf of my constituents in the forthcoming Assembly, I have decided I shall not seek reelection at the end of my current term in the Senate.
It is time for the 34th District to look to other representation come next November. It is time for me to retire.
I consider myself fortunate in having been able to participate in bringing about some of the most progressive and productive legislative changes in Virginia's history. Beginning with the 1966 Assembly--my first--we have in the last decade-and-a-half seen long-overdue election reforms, revision of the state constitution, creation of an independent legislative budget process, more influential representation of urban metropolitan areas--Northern Virginia in particular--and, in general, a healthy change in attitude about how our state government should respond to people's needs.
Specifically, I take personal satisfaction in the results of my efforts to improve education at all levels--especially in providing greater opportunities to the mentally and physically handicapped--and I share with many of our other Northern Virginia legislators, past and present, pride in our community college system and the George Mason University and its law school.
In addition, I am glad to have been able to do my part in obtaining state support for Metro, Capital Beltway improvement, I-66 completion and the general upgrading of transportation and highways throughout the Commonwealth.
In the forthcoming Assembly, my major goal is to strengthen our conflict of interest and ethics laws and make them more enforceable and understandable. I shall also, as a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, exert all my influence to see that Northern Virginia is treated fairly in the apportionment of available funds and services.
When I arrived on the scene in 1966, the conservatives who controlled the Senate did not look with very much favor on the moderate and liberal representation from Northern Virginia. That control changed during the '70s--largely through the efforts of Senators William Hopkins, William Rawlings and me.
The more moderate representation which has developed from areas outside Northern Virginia will be an important factor in future Assemblies' approach to the problems I foresee, among them: meeting the demands of education for a high-tech age; resolving the perennial conflicts on equitable funding for transportation; the issue of uranium mining in Virginia; utility costs and the economic impact of coal slurry pipelines in striking a balance between consumer interest and investor incentive; and making already pressing adjustments in state programs at the mercy of federal support.
It is both with much regret and, frankly, with some relief that I will yield my position as dean of the Northern Virginia delegation to the General Assembly. I shall always be grateful to my constituents in the 34th District who gave me the opportunity to serve them, and I hope they will remember my 18-year tenure as having contributed to the respected and influential position Northern Virginia now commands in the Commonwealth.