Senate Democrats announce leadership, committee chairs

senate democratsSenate Democrats held leadership elections for the 2020-2024 term on Wednesday.

Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) was elected Senate Majority Leader. Saslaw was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 1980. Prior to that, he served in the House of Delegates from 1976-1980. Saslaw has served as the Senate Majority Leader before, most recently in 2014, and is credited with helping to pass Medicaid Expansion which gave health care access to 400,000 Virginians. Saslaw represents the 35th Senate District.

Sen. Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) was elected Caucus Chair. Locke has served in this capacity since 2016, overseeing the successful 2019 elections that flipped the Senate to a Democratic majority. Locke served as chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus from 2011 to 2015. Locke is also chair of the Virginia Housing Commission. Locke was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 2004 and represents the 2nd Senate District.

Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) was elected President Pro Tempore-designee. Lucas was elected to the Senate in 1991 and represents the 18th Senate District. She will be both the first African American and the first woman to serve as President Pro Tempore.

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) was elected Caucus Vice Chair. Surovell was elected to the Senate in 2015 and represents the 36th Senate District.

Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William) was elected Caucus Vice Chair for Policy. McPike was elected to the Senate in 2015 and represents the 29th Senate District.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) was elected Caucus Secretary. McClellan was first elected to the Senate in 2017 and represents the 9th Senate District.

Sen.-elect Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) was elected Caucus Treasurer. Hashmi was elected to the Senate in 2019 and will represent the 10th Senate District.

Sens. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) and Lionell Spruill, Sr (D-Chesapeake) were elected Senate Democratic Whips. Favola was elected to the Senate in 2012 and represents the 31st Senate District. Spruill was elected to the Senate in 2017 and represents the 5th Senate District.

Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) was elected Senate Democratic Sergeant at Arms. Boysko was elected to the Senate in January, 2019 and represents the 33rd Senate District.

Additionally, Senate Democrats announced the following committee chairs for the 2020 legislative session:

  • Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources: Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City)
  • Commerce & Labor Committee: Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax)
  • Courts of Justice: Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke)
  • Education & Health: Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth)
  • Finance: Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax)
  • Rules: Sen. Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton)
  • Rehabilitation & Social Services: Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington)
  • General Laws: Sen. George Barker (D-Fairfax)
  • Local Government: Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack)
  • Transportation: Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax)
  • Privileges & Elections: Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath)

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