Eric Phillips, a businessman from Henry County, won the special election on January 9 for the 48th District House of Delegates seat. The district spans all of Martinsville, most of Henry County, and a portion of Pittsylvania County.
Phillips won 4,317 votes, or 70.2 percent, of the votes cast.
Melody A. “Mel” Cartwright, the democratic in the election, received 1,783 votes, or 29.2 percent of all votes cast.
Phillips said he feels good about the victory.
“It’s been a whirlwind, you know, finding out last night that we won and having to get everything together and heading straight to Richmond,” he said of the General Assembly session which convened on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Phillips said he and his team were hopeful that he would win the election, and worked in advance to secure housing for him in Richmond during the session.
“I ended up sleeping in my own bed last night, just getting up really early. The governor called me at 6:30 this morning to congratulate me and welcome me to the House here,” he said.
Phillips was one of the 99 member-elects of the House sworn in on January 10. He believes the individual swearing-in will occur sometime later this week.
Phillips said he sought the post because he wanted to do good things for the district.
“It’s my home. I love it there, I love the people, I love our culture, and there’s a lot of opportunity in our area. I came to Richmond to hopefully help capitalize on that as much as I possibly can,” he said.
Cartwright said she called Phillips to express her congratulations.
“This journey has been enlightening and educational, presenting challenges that have tested my resilience. The experience, though demanding, has only fueled my passion for our community,” she said.
Cartwright said she’d willingly embark on this journey again to continue making a positive impact on the place she deeply cares about, her hometown, and the surrounding areas.