Henry Marsh to resign from Virginia Senate

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RICHMOND, Va. - Two weeks after he denied rumors of his imminent retirement to CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George, Virginia State Senator Henry Marsh (D – Richmond) has resigned his Senate seat and will retire from the General Assembly.

"Senator Marsh has always been a pioneer in the field of civil rights. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, there is no doubt of the hand that Senator Marsh played in making that dream a reality," Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. "He solidified his place in history as Richmond’s first African American mayor, and he has been a devoted public servant for over 50 years. He has guided Virginia through its transformation from segregation to celebration of diversity, and without his contributions our Commonwealth would not be what it is today."

Marsh, 80, has served Richmond in the General Assembly since 1992. He was Mayor of Richmond in the late 1970s.

Sources told Joe St. George that Marsh has been introducing his daughter to major political donors in the hopes that she would take over his 16th District Senate seat. A special election would be held to fill Marsh's seat.

Related: Will Puckett resignation ruin Marsh’s plan? by Paul Goldman

The 16th District consists of parts of Richmond, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hopewell, Petersburg and Prince George. 

When Marsh leaves the Virginia Senate, Republicans will hold a 20-18 advantage with two Senate seats currently open. Earlier this month  Virginia State Senator Phillip P. Puckett (D – Russell) announced his resignation.


  • Trina

    “Ted Kennedy’s seat” comes to mind.Marsh thinks he owns the seat,and can give it to his daughter.Typical Democrat.

  • Russell

    Henry Marsh III has served his country as a veteran,the city of Richmond as the first African-American Mayor and the community at large in Virginia as a voice on even keel for improving civil rights for all Virginians. Thank you Mr Marsh for your years of “service” to Virginia citizens!!!

  • Zelda Peterson


  • me

    Odd, the new Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring, is oh, so silent Oh, that’s right. He had to hire a tax paid,
    outside contractor to help him do his job. McAuliffe has to call in the Feds when Republicans do what
    Democrats are doing. Republicans = Investigated. Democrats = Perfectly Politically Correct.

  • Asterix

    Looking at the expansion and spectrum of the district, it spells Gerry,Jerry,Gerry,j Jerry..is mandering something… I thought only R people were blessed with this distinction. Creating an artificial voting district. Oh Yeah! The man has had a hand in Richmond Pawlitics for 50 years! Oh,boy! If the walls could talk… This is a moment in history. Learn from it!

    • Jim

      You have to keep in mind section 2 of the voting rights act. Section 2 requires that officials draw plans that do not unfairly dilute minority voting strength and they take a whole lot of words making their point.

  • mbaker9105

    Good luck in Retirement. Not sure why they didn’t list any accomplishments, other than being first this and first that and other general statements. Kind of looks like a Hillary Clinton list. And it is a bit presumptuous to try to crown your own successor. That’s like a Bush or Kennedy family move.

  • athynz

    Interesting. In the space of 2 weeks we go from Henry Marsh not retiring to him retiring.


    There are rumors – yes rumors at this point – that he plans to do what Phil Puckett did and retire from the State Senate to take a cushy job with the current governor’s administration and help his daughter’s political career.



    This is as morally wrong as McDonnell accepting gifts although like McDonnell and like McDonnell’s situation it is not against VA State law. I just wonder if the same people who were so morally outraged over McDonnell’s issues will speak out over either Puckett or Marsh – likely not because they are both libpros and as such it’s okay for them to do something like this. And before some libpro bleats about how McDonnell was accepting gifts and this is different… not really. From Goldman’s article:

    “There is a special law, passed by the General Assembly and challenged by me for years, that gives elected officials like Marsh a huge, unearned boost in their tax-free state pension if they resign and take a job with the prevailing gubernatorial administration.

    This is law targeted in the Puckett furor.”

    So this move takes taxpayer money from the citizens of Virginia and gives it to Puckett and Marsh. This sounds far worse than McDonnell accepting gifts from 1 private citizen.

    Queue trolling posts from the usual suspect.

  • Joe

    good riddance…he’s had a negative influence over the Richmond metro area for far too long. And please, don’t replace him with a McQuinn, Dance, or his daughter. This area needs new leadership that can better relate to a rapidly transforming metro area. Better ideas, better leadership.

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