Senator Black to Retire at the End of His Second Term

January 6, 2019

ASHBURN, VA. Senator Dick Black (R-13) announced that he will retire at the end of his current term of office, which ends in January 2020. By that time, Senator Black will have completed 50 years of public service.

Over the past 20 years, Black has won twelve hotly-contested elections. "It's been an honor serving Virginia in the House of Delegates and in the Senate," Black said. "I thank the people of Loudoun and Prince William Counties for electing me to represent them in Richmond."

Black began his service at 19 years old when he fought in Vietnam as a Marine lieutenant. He flew 269 combat missions as a helicopter pilot, then fought in fierce ground combat as a forward air controller for the 1st Marine Regiment. Lt. Black was awarded a Purple Heart when he was wounded and his radiomen were both killed as they attacked to rescue an embattled Marine outpost.

After law school, Black rose through the Army JAG Corps, becoming Chief of the Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon. He advised the Senate Armed Services Committee, prepared Executive Orders for the President and represented the U.S. Army in testimony before Congress. Colonel Black retired after 32 years of service.

After moving to Sterling, he was appointed to the Loudoun County Library Board, where he fought to block pornography on computers in public libraries. The library battle made national news in 1996 and launched Colonel Black into the House of Delegates, where he served for eight years. In 2011, he was elected to the Senate for a four-year term; and was reelected in 2015.

During his time in office, Black opposed every tax increase. He supported religious freedom, the Right to Life, 2nd Amendment Rights, tough criminal enforcement, and school choice. He was a staunch pro-family conservative and passed important legislation including:

  • Banned minors' abortions without Parental Consent;
  • Created the Rt. 28 Freeway by replacing 13 traffic lights with interchanges;
  • Firearms Preemption Act, repealed local anti-gun ordinances across the state;
  • Criminalized Female Genital Mutilation, making it a Class 2 felony;
  • Banned Partial Birth Abortion;
  • Expanded criminal jurisdiction of courts to children below 14 years of age;
  • Denied bail to most repeat sex offenders;
  • Let car owners designate beneficiaries to receive vehicles automatically upon death;
  • Reduced petition signatures for presidential primaries from 10,000 to 5,000;
  • Established Use-of-Force framework for School Resource Officers in public schools;
  • Established "High School to Work Partnerships" for students not attending college;
  • Authorized the Attorney General to prosecute voter fraud;
  • Passed Hannah Graham Law, protecting college students from sexual assault;
  • Ended censorship of religious sermons by Virginia National Guard;
  • Passed a study that discovered 2,369 untested DNA Rape Test Kits;
  • Established strict guidelines for prompt testing of Rape Test Kits.
  • Required schools to have a Dyslexia specialist on staff
  • Established Diwali Day and Vaisakhi Day;
  • Established a holiday recognizing the heroic sacrifices of the Republic of South Vietnam;
  • Fixed a major loophole in Virginia's search and seizure laws;
  • Reduced time it takes to build roads by eliminating hearings on government-owned land;
  • Enhanced the legal authority of Sheriff's Departments;
  • Required Social Services to report suspected financial exploitation of seniors;
  • Expanded property tax exemptions for seniors;
  • Enacted historic government ethics overhaul;
  • Reduced property taxes for places of worship;
  • Streamlined emergency hospitalization of dangerous psychiatric patients;
  • Defended Religious home school exemption.

Black is considered the most conservative member of the General Assembly. He received the American Conservative Union's Award for Conservative Excellence (with a 97% Lifetime Score), was Family Foundation's Northern Virginia Legislator of the Year, and received the top national award from National Right to Work.

A foreign policy expert, Senator Black worked tirelessly to end America's long war in the Middle East. He traveled to Syria, visiting the front lines just after terrorists were ousted from Palmyra in 2016, and again in 2018 after they were driven from Aleppo.

Senator Black celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary this year. He and Barbara have three children and 16 grandchildren.

Black said, "I've been honored to serve, both in uniform and in elected office. My family has made enormous sacrifices which enabled me to serve. I'm indebted to voters for their support." And, I'm especially grateful to my wife, Barbara, and to my daughter and Chief of Staff, Michelle, whose work was vital over the years."

"I'm blessed with 16 beautiful grandchildren and look forward to spending more time with them now. Although I've appreciated representing a quarter million people in Richmond, it takes a tremendous amount of time away from the family. I will continue to support our nation's quest for strength-through peace. I'm proud of what we've accomplished and look forward to adventures ahead."

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