A special election will be held Jan. 11 to fill the House of Delegates vacancy in the 89th District left by Norfolk Del. Jay Jones.
House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn issued the writ of election Friday, a day after Jones announced he would step down from the General Assembly at year’s end. Jones’ resignation is effective Dec. 31.
“I am taking the necessary steps to hold this special election in a timely manner to ensure that the 89th district is represented during the 2022 General Assembly Session,” Filler-Corn said in a news release.
The vacancy opens a historically Democratic seat in the House of Delegates after the GOP secured a 52 to 48 House majority in the November election. Jones, 32, won reelection with 80% of the vote after an unsuccessful bid for the attorney general’s office earlier this year.
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The candidate filing deadline for the special election is 5 p.m. Dec. 22. No candidates had filed as of late afternoon Friday, according to the Norfolk registrar’s office.
The outgoing delegate’s father, Jerrauld C. Jones, represented the district from 1998 to 2002. He’s now a Norfolk Circuit Court judge.
Jones’ resignation comes after he announced Tuesday that he and his wife are expecting their first child. In a letter detailing his decision, Jones said he’s ready to make fatherhood his “highest priority.” But he said he intends to remain in the state’s political landscape — including a potential run for state attorney general in 2025.
“Although my circumstances will be different, I’m not leaving public service,” Jones wrote in the letter.
The General Assembly is in special session, which means the house speaker is charged with setting the special election. Although pending redistricting is poised to shake up House District boundaries, the election will be held in the district as it is currently drawn, according to the state Constitution.