Just as the Virginia General Assembly kicked off its 2015 January session, state Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-36) announced her decision to not run for re-election later this year.
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve the people of the 36th district in the Senate of Virginia,” Puller said in a Jan. 14 statement. “Now, with the encouragement, love and support of my family I have made the decision to step down.”
The 23-year Assembly veteran first won a seat as delegate of the 44th district in 1991. Eight years later she was elected to represent the 36th district as senator.
“Toddy’s public service career has been dedicated to uplifting all Virginians,” U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in a statement, “but her primary legacy will be the incredible work she has done to support Virginia veterans. Her tireless advocacy for initiatives such as property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and Virginia's Wounded Warriors Program will aid veterans for generations to come.”
Puller’s former seat in the 44th district is currently held by Del. Scott Surovell (D-44).
“There is not member in the Virginia legislature who is more focused on moving our state government to address the concerns of our nation’s veterans and their families,” Surovell said of Puller in a statement.
“Whether it is government services, tax exemptions or helping Virginians recognize the long-term consequences that combat injuries have on military families, Senator Puller has lived her public life on the frontlines fighting for resources for our community and the larger community.”
Puller said she plans to fight as hard as ever for her constituents and legislative agenda during the session, and that she will still involve herself in her community and Fairfax and Prince William County local politics.
“I look forward to spending more time with my children and two grandsons,” she added.
— Tim Peterson