Dickie Bell will not seek re-election in 20th House District in 2019

dickie bellDel. Dickie Bell announced today that he will not seek re-election to the 20th District seat in the House of Delegates in 2019.

Bell issued the following statement regarding this decision:

“In 2009 I was elected to serve the citizens of the 20th House District as their Delegate to the General Assembly. It was a tremendous honor then, and it remains a tremendous honor now. Public service has always been a calling for me, and I am pleased and proud to say that I have answered that call.

“This coming year, 2019, marks a decade of service for me in the House of Delegates, following thirteen and a half years of service as a member of Staunton City Council and fourteen more years of volunteer service on the City’s boards and commissions prior to that. It has not been without its challenges, but it has been a labor of love. Public service has given me the opportunity to meet and serve many, many wonderful people, making me aware everyday of why I chose to do this.

“My family has been incredibly supportive of everything I have done and they have suffered the slings and arrows so common in politics just as I have. Their support has never wavered and they have made many sacrifices on my behalf without ever complaining. They have been my sounding board, my confidantes, my defenders, and my team. I will continue to spend the rest of my life repaying them for their love and support.

“In a profession where staff people come and go all the time I have been blessed with a loyal staff that has been with me, supported me, shielded me, defended me and protected me from the very first day of this journey. I will be forever grateful for that blessing of loyalty.

“It has been an honor to serve and I am proud of my service. However, it is not my highest honor. That would be the honor and blessing of being a husband and father and a humble servant of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have never apologized for my faith or my love for this country and my battle cry has always been “family first.” Those are the things of which I am proudest.

“I have tried to be a good representative and a good public servant. Being a good politician never really mattered to me because I don’t have a fondness for politics and I never have. It’s a game I just don’t play well. I care more about people than politics. Today’s political climate saddens me and the partisan divide we see at every level of government makes public service more difficult.

“There is an old quotation from a gentleman named James Freeman Clarke that says “a politician cares about the next election, a statesman cares about the next generation.” It’s not original to me but I think it describes my service well, and I believe my legislative record supports that claim. It would be an honor to someday be remembered as a statesman.

“Anne and I treasure the friendships that have sprung out of my time in public office and we hold them dear. The opportunity to have more time to spend with my family and repay them for their loyalty and sacrifice over the years, as well as time for a new granddaughter due in January has a strong pull on me and has me very excited.

“I have been overwhelmed and humbled over the last 10 years by all of the support I have received from across the 20th District. It has been my honor and pleasure to serve in the House of Delegates. May God bless the Commonwealth of Virginia and may God bless the United States of America.”

Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. He is currently serving in his fifth term.

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