Ending his decade-long tenure in the Virginia House of Delegates, Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) has announced his retirement from the state legislature, the sixth Republican member of the House to do so in the run-up to the 2019 elections. Delegate Garrett said the decision came after “much thought and prayer,” and that it is time for him to serve “full-time in my role as a husband to Whitney and a father to our two teenagers, Tyler and Haley Gray,” because “God has granted me no greater title than that of ‘Dad.'”

“I’ve always felt called to public service – first as a general surgeon, saving lives and then as a legislator, ensuring our state government works for all Virginians,” he said in a news release. “In this chapter of life, the public service I will provide is to do my best to continue preparing these two young people with hearts and minds to serve as productive, responsible adults.”

In a press release, Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) spoke of the healthcare knowledge, budgetary expertise, and humbleness that Delegate Garrett brought to the 23rd House District and the Virginia legislature:

“Since 2010, Scott has worked to establish himself as one of the most-respected legislators in the House on both sides of the aisle. His knowledge and expertise on healthcare and budget matters is second to none. He demonstrated his tireless work ethic on a daily basis by chairing multiple subcommittees, serving as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions, working late into the night as a budget conferee, and contributing regularly on the floor of the House with passionate speeches. He never shied away from an assignment and was always willing to do anything asked of him.

On a personal level, Scott is one of the most humble, grounded, and down-to-earth people you will ever meet. He is confident in who he is and what he believes. His passionate beliefs and values were shaped by his deep and abiding faith, love for his family, and experiences as an emergency room surgeon saving the lives of his fellow man on a daily basis.

But more than all of this, Scott was a loyal friend to me. He had a remarkable ability to show you every single day how much he cared for you. He was never lacking for a one-liner or quip, but the one we will all miss the most is his consistent admonishment to smile. And while it is incredibly difficult to see him leave, I will smile today for Scott, Whitney, Tyler and Haley Gray as they close this chapter of public service and move on with their lives.

The House of Delegates, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a better place because of Scott Garrett’s service. He is owed a deep debt of gratitude and nothing but well wishes for his future.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Delegate Garrett gave a highly emotional response to the controversial late-term abortion bill from the Democratic Caucus, which went viral with pro-life voters across the Commonwealth and elsewhere. Days later, he rose against an effort championed by another Democratic legislator to change chamber rules and revive the failed measure hailed by abortion advocates to require taxpayer funding for unrestricted access to abortion.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) issued a statement explaining that he will miss Delegate Garrett’s advice, wisdom, and calm spirit in Richmond.

“I am saddened to hear Delegate Garrett has decided to retire this year. Scott is one of the brightest, and most honorable men with whom I have ever served with in Richmond and he will be greatly missed. At a time when seniority is critical in Richmond, we are losing a tremendous conservative voice for our region and our shared values. However, I understand the tremendous sacrifices serving in the legislature places on members and their families.”