State Senator Phillip Puckett’s sudden resignation shocks General Assembly, “disappoints” Governor

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RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia State Senator Phillip P. Puckett (D - Russell) plans to officially resign from the General Assembly due to family reasons, sources told CBS 6 News. Puckett is expected to make the announcement Monday and the resignation would take effect immediately.

He is reportedly leaving the General Assembly in an effort to help his daughter win a full appointment as a judge. The General Assembly generally does not approve full appointments to the family of other state lawmaker, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Republican State Delegate Terry Kilgore told the Times-Dispatch he would be interested in hiring Puckett on the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. Kilgore is the chairman of that commission.

Puckett's resignation would give state Republicans a majority in the Virginia Senate, making it difficult for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to move forward with his plan to expand Medicaid coverage in Virginia.

"I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially those in Southwest Virginia," Governor McAuliffe said in a statement released Sunday night. "This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap."

The unexpected resignation adds another layer of turmoil to Virginia's unresolved budget impasse.

"What that does, is that it takes the Democratic majority in the Senate and essentially makes that a Republican majority, making it much more difficult for Governor McAuliffe and the Democrats to get their way with Medicaid expansion," CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said.

While the resignation has angered some Democrats who now accuse Republicans of trying to "buy" the Senate, the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus did not address the issue in its statement on Puckett’s resignation:

"We regret Sen. Puckett's decision to resign, but we are grateful for his many years of service. We wish him and his family all the best," the statement read.

This is a developing story.


  • manalishi

    ” get in the way of McAuliffe’s attempt to extend healthcare coverage for low-income Virginians.” Is’nt that what the obamacare disaster supposed to do?

  • Friend of Bill W

    The supreme court decision not to repeal ObamaCare (brought to the supreme court by NFIB) says that states can reject Medicaid for their poorest (leaving up to 7% of their states poorest uninsured).

    Why would a state want to reject Medicaid? It’s because they don’t have to reject the funding, they just can opt not to funnel it to poor people. This drives the cost of health care up for the rest of the country and makes ObamaCare less effective.

    • Pass the Budget

      The feds pay for 100% of the cost for 3 years. After that, the state has to pay 10%.

      • Justme

        That’s if you believe this administration. Didn’t some one once say, “If you liked your plan, you can keep your plan.” How did that play out??

      • Amy Bryant

        Only covers newly qualifying people. A lot of people already qualify, but hadn’t taken advantage of for any number of reasons, who will now sign up because it is the only way to make the A CA policies affordable (subsidized); well those persons will NOT be federally funded. Several states are already seeing a substantial rise in non – funded enrollees.

      • silbernerkopf (@silbernerkopf)

        And who’s behind his resignation? Blackmailing Republicans who don’t care a whit for their constituents quality of life and health care needs. Although it’s true that Puckett is abdicating his duties. It’s slimy Rove tactics that’s behind it. The only way the GOP can get ahead anymore.

      • manalishi

        BWAAAAA!!!! He says blackmail, Listen up PETA puffer, this stereotypical democrat sold out so his daughter could get a court appointment (if that’s the case). But let’s face it, democrats sell their soul daily for free phones, free healthcare, section 8, snap cards, grants, or anything honest taxpayers will tote in lue of work or commitment.

        So what’s your angle? gov job? tuition amnesty? Your soul had a price, what was it?

    • manalishi

      Now how/why would you possibly be disappointed for getting exactly what democrats vote for?

  • ejsjr

    Wow! The name “Puckett” will never appear in “Profiles In Courage.” Isn’t naked bribery of a public official by the Republicans a crime?

  • Jim

    He’s doing exactly as many other retiring legislators have done. He is going to work in a higher paying Virginia government for his last few years in order to increase the size of his retirement check.

    • manalishi

      He’s not retiring, he’s exercising his core democrat values by quitting. Fraud, betrayal, failure, deception, mitigation, pandering, theft and malfeasance are just a few of the character traits of democrat politicians and their supporters.

  • David Louis Harpe

    Senator Puckett: You have demonstrated that you are a worm, the better part of which ran down your mother’s leg. You should be shot! Better still, I’d prefer that you take your own life!

  • Awake Sista

    What goes around comes around. When Virginians who are unable to get healthcare infect the rest of y’all with treatable infections, all will suffer. TB, cholera, typhoid, MERS, etc., anyone?

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