After more than two decades representing Merrifield and Falls Church in the House of Delegates, Del. Jim Scott (D-Dist. 53) has decided not to seek re-election this fall.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and just decided that now is a pretty good time,” Scott said.
He cited the passage of a transportation funding bill this session, something that has been a top goal for Northern Virginia legislators for the past decade.
Scott was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991, winning by just one vote. His elections became a bit easier in later years, as he faced no opposition for multiple elections.
Scott, 74, also served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors as the Providence District representative from 1971 to 1986, a position he left to join the Inova Health System.
“He was someone who was very highly regarded on the Board of Supervisors,” said current Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova (D-At large). Bulova worked as an aide to Supervisor Audrey Moore in the final years of Scott’s board term.
After a five-year hiatus from politics, he ran for an open General Assembly seat.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting a lot of people from all over the state,” Scott said. “I am particularly grateful that I have been involved in a number of issues that I think have been resolved pretty well.”
Scott said he is proud of sponsoring legislation that created the Virginia secretary of technology position and working on increasing telework opportunities.
He also is well-known for his commitment to human services, dating back to his time on the Board of Supervisors. Scott said he likely will become more involved in a volunteer capacity in Fairfax County..
“He’s just one of those really great public servants,” said Del. Vivian Watts (D-Dist. 39), who has worked with Scott in the legislature since 1996. “He really believes in serving all people.”
Scott was effective in the legislature, Watts said, because he is kind, trustworthy and easy to work with. He also grew up in Galax, in southwest Virginia, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which helped him relate to legislators from other parts of the state, she said.
“Sometimes with Northern Virginians you don’t have that bridge,” Watts said.
Scott’s unassuming demeanor and strong work ethic have made him well-liked by Republicans and Democrats alike, Bulova said.
“There is no hidden agenda for Jim,” she said. “He is just a good, solid representative. He is one of those rare people who transcends partisanship.”
Scott is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which he expects will keep him busy through the final months of his term, which extends through the end of 2013. Watts said it was very helpful to have Scott on Appropriations as they worked on transportation issues over the years, as most transportation bills end up going through that committee.
For example, she said, he was able to stop toll revenue from the Dulles Toll Road from being shifted to other parts of the state.
So far, one candidate has filed to run for Scott’s seat: Democrat Marcus Simon, a real estate attorney and former aide to both Scott and Kate Hanley, during her time as the Providence District supervisor and chairwoman of the county board.