The Washington Post

Virginia’s Democratic House chair bows out

Ken Plum

Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who has been House caucus chairman for the past three years, said Wednesday that he no longer wants the job. And not because he wants to become the chamber’s new minority leader, a position he thinks will go to Del. David Toscano of Charlottesville.

“I am not a candidate for any of these positions,” Plum said. “I’m going to focus on the policy stuff, not the caucus business.”

Plum said the “policy stuff” will include “how to balance a severely imbalanced budget” and “a broad social agenda” including education, immigration and abortion that he expects the GOP to bring forth — and that he intends to “work to defeat.”

House Democrats are expected to meet Saturday to chose their new leaders in the wake of last week’s elections, which gave Republicans a record majority in the chamber in addition to control of the Senate. House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong lost his re-election bid last week. Plum said he thought that job would go to Toscano, a lawyer who’s been in the house since 2006.

“Toscano appears to be the consensus candidate,” Plum said. “He’s a very capable fellow.”

Delegates running for caucus chairman are Dels. Scott Surovell of Fairfax and Onzlee Ware of Roanoke. Del. Mark Sickles has said he is weighing a run.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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