Del. Rick Morris, the delegate from Suffolk who was facing domestic abuse charges, has announced that he won’t be running for reelection. The announcement comes after he had already been receiving pressure from Speaker Howell and others in the Republican leadership to step down.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the reason he’s stepping down has nothing to do with his guilt. He still claims he’s innocent. Instead, he claims he’s resigning is to spend more time with his children.
“While at the General Assembly in Richmond, it has been a challenge to give them the attention they deserve, and my commitment to them is greater than no other,” he wrote.
“I am supremely confident that these false allegations will be dismissed in May, however to seek re-election to this office will take dedicated time away from my children that I am not willing to further sacrifice.”
There are already two Republicans who are running to replace Morris in the General Assembly — Emily Brewer and Rex Alphin. Brewer, who owns a wine shop and is a well known Republican activist, is considered to be the front runner at this point in the race.
Despite the fact that the district was represented by Democrat Bill Barlow for twenty years before Morris defeated him back in 2011, he hadn’t faced an opponent in the last two elections. Morris’s controversy, however, has brought more attention to the district as there are also three Democrats who are running. Two are military veterans (Rebecca Colaw and John Wandling) and the other’s a teacher (Jerry Cantrell).