Del. Harvey Morgan, the second-longest serving member in the Virginia House of Delegates, announced Wednesday that he would not run for reelection in November.
The 80-year-old, bow tie-wearing Republican from Gloucester County has served 32 years. He is chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee.
“I know of no higher calling than public service, and cherish the relationships made possible by such a privilege,’’ Morgan said in a statement. “Serving is truly a labor of love and the decision to step down next January has been the most difficult of my life.”
A moderate, Morgan is known for speaking his mind, his gentlemanly ways and occasionally straying from his members of his own party on issues.
He proposed decriminalizing marijuana, though members of his own party poked fun of him, and more recently speaking in support of the the always outspoken Del. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) as he fights to win back his law license.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), a former delegate who has known Morgan for more than two decades, roomed with him in Richmond for eight years.
“For more than 30 years, Harvey has been a dedicated and stalwart advocate for his constituents in the 98th District and for all the citizens of the commonwealth,’’ McDonnell said in a statement. “While passionately advocating on issues such as mental health reform, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay, Harvey has always been a true statesman and the epitome of a Virginia gentleman.”