Ending two terms in the Virginia State Senate, Richard H. “Dick” Black (R-Loudoun) has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2019, leaving behind a 50-year legacy in public service.

As the only member of the General Assembly to have received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in battle – during the Vietnam War as a Marine lieutenant – Senator Black retired from the Army in 1994 with the rank of colonel after 32 years of service to his county that included time in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, also heading the branch’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon. Afterwards, Black first held elective office on the Loudoun County Library Board, then being serving in the House of Delegates from 1998 to 2006.

Upon his election to the upper chamber of the state legislature in 2011, he continued a conservative agenda that included advocating for lower taxes, supporting pro-life legislation, the Second Amendment, religious freedom, and school choice.

During his time in the General Assembly, Senator Black has been awarded the Samuel Adams Award for Leadership in Government, the Brent Society Distinguished Service Award for defending life, marriage and family values, the Project Michael Award for protecting unborn children, the Lamplighter Award for defending human life. He was also Virginia’s National Right to Work top legislator for 2003, and has received accolades from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Virginia Association of Chiropractors, the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, and the Family Foundation.

In a news release, Senator Black said, “It’s been an honor serving Virginia in the House of Delegates and in the Senate. I thank the people of Loudoun and Prince William Counties for electing me to represent them in Richmond.”

Black added that his “family has made enormous sacrifices” while he has been elected official, and that although he has “appreciated representing a quarter million people in Richmond, it takes a tremendous amount of time away from the family.” Though, he “will continue to support our nation’s quest for strength–through peace.”