UPDATE 12/14/23 – Eric Phillips won the GOP nomination Thursday in Chatham.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin is calling for a special election on January 9 to fill the vacancy in the 48th House District, which includes the City of Martinsville and portions of Henry and Pittsylvania counties.
The seat is currently held by Del. Les Adams, who announced he will resign when his current term in office ends.
Adams represents the current 16th House District. He was reelected in November to serve as the delegate for the 48th District in the first election for that seat following redistricting.
“Although I have been elected to continue serving as Delegate for the new 48th House District in the next session, I will decline to accept the oath of office to be seated with that General Assembly so that I may make myself available for another position of service,” Adams wrote in a letter notifying some of his constituents.
In a letter to the House Clerk notifying him of Adams’ decision, he wrote that although he was elected to continue serving, “I will decline to accept the oath of office … so that I may make myself available for another position of service.”
First elected in 2013, Adams served five terms in the General Assembly. In addition to his leadership on various House Committees, he was recently the Vice-chairman of the Virginia State Crime Commission and is the Vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Rural Virginia.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to represent the people of Pittsylvania, Henry, and the City of Martinsville over the course of the past decade, and I will always be grateful to you for affording me that honor. I am filled with appreciation for my family and friends who supported me during each election and lifted me up in prayer when I was in Richmond. I am truly blessed by God to have such relationships,” he wrote.
During his tenure, Adams said he has “had the opportunity to meet and work with many remarkable people and have enjoyed fulfilling experiences I will long cherish as a member of the historic institution that is the House of Delegates. My love for our people, the Commonwealth, and this place we call home, has only grown stronger.
A Pittsylvania County native, Adams wrote that “as a son of Southside Virginia, I deeply value the time I was able to help lead as a legislator for the Commonwealth and am proud of what has been accomplished. There has never been a moment when I did not appreciate the significance of this role within our system of self-government. In my stewardship of this office, I strove to consistently display dignity and respect to my constituents and colleagues alike, even during contentious debates, while remaining true to my principles and the communities I represented.”
An attorney at law, Adams lives in Chatham with his wife Melanie and their two sons.
The last day for candidates to file for the special election is December 18, 2023. Information about candidacy requirements is available on the Department of Elections website.