State Senator Bill Carrico Announces Retirement, Two Republicans Vie For Seat

After 18 years in the Virginia General Assembly, Republican State Senator Bill Carrico announced his retirement, saying he has been "thankful" to serve Southwest Virginia.

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State Senator Bill Carrico (R-Grayson) announced Tuesday afternoon that he will not seek reelection this November as all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly will be on the ballot. Carrico finishes his legislative career after 10 years in the House of Delegates and eight years in the State Senate.

The retired state trooper and Marion native has represented Lee, Scott, Grayson, and Washington counties, parts of Smyth, Wise, and Wythe counties, as well as the city of Bristol the southwestern part of the Commonwealth. The legislator explained that he had “served long enough” in Richmond’s statehouse, and would like to spend more time with his family.

“I don’t think our founders intended for this to be long term, so while they didn’t set term limits, they did expect it to be a sacrifice and not something to make careers out of,” Carrico said in a report from The Roanoke Times. “Serving in the General Assembly, being from Southwest Virginia, is a real sacrifice.”

“I feel like I’ve done my very best. I haven’t been perfect by any means, but I tried to help everybody that asked for my help, regardless of their party or if they voted for me or not,” he added. “That’s what I want to leave on, that fact I’m just one of the people, and I served them honorably, and when I see them, I don’t have to bow my head in any way. I’ve been thankful to serve them.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Carrico introduced and passed S.B. 1512, which would allow the Virginia State Police to operate handheld speed monitoring devices in highway work zones to protect the workforce.

Aimed at restoring Christian values, he also patroned S.B. 1502 to require local school boards to offer an accredited course on the “Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament of the Bible or the New Testament of the Bible or a combined course on both. The bill, however, was left in the House Appropriations Committee.

Carrico also worked to provide solutions to improve infrastructure on Interstate 81 during this year’s 46-day session.

To replace Carrico in the reliably Republican 40th State Senate District, two GOP candidate have announced their intentions.

Delegate Todd Pillion (R-Washington) and Marion Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath are the only candidates that have announced thus far. Nevertheless, Carrico endorsed Pillion just after he relayed his retirement to his constituents.

On April 25, Republicans will convene at the Scott County Career and Technical Center at 150 Broadwater Avenue in Gate City for a mass meeting to choose between Pillion and Heath. Prospective Republican candidates have until March 25 to file paperwork with the legislative district committee, with open an primary being the way they will choose a Republican nominee for the 4th House District.