By a 21-19 vote, the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate has blocked Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s nominees for the state’s parole board and one appointee for the Safety and Health Codes Board.
Democrats partially admitted the vote was retribution for House Republicans’ blocking 11 appointees of former Gov. Ralph Northam last month.
House Republicans said they obstructed Northam’s appointees after Senate Democrats blocked former Trump EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler’s appointment to be Virginia’s secretary of natural resources.
Virginia Mercury reports:
The appointees blocked Thursday are Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin, Cheryl Nici-O’Connell, a former Richmond police officer who was wounded in a shooting, Tracy Banks, a Charlottesville lawyer and Carmen Williams, who works in Chesterfield for the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.
Youngkin’s pick for Parole Board chair, former judge Chadwick Dotson, was already confirmed in an earlier resolution.
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, said Senate Democrats “weren’t going to be walked all over.”
“I think that the House needs to be taught a lesson,” Ebbin said.
Senate Republicans vented their frustration with one calling Ebbin’s remarks “childish.” Others accused the Democrats of impeding the state parole board’s ability to operate.
Senate Democrats responded by saying that Republicans could have chosen not to continue the legislative tit for tat after Wheeler’s nomination went down in flames.
Youngkin still has the ability to make new appointments to the parole board once the General Assembly session ends. However, he cannot renominate candidates that the legislature has rejected.