Virginia Del. David L. Englin, Alexandria Democrat, announced Monday night that he will not run for a fifth term in the Virginia House of Delegates, saying he was leaving political life to focus on rebuilding his marriage after having an extramarital affair. He and his wife, Shayna, had recently separated.
He made the announcement at an Alexandria City Democratic Committee meeting.
Mr. Englin, who served in the Air Force from 1992-2004, has been an unabashed progressive during his time in the state House, working on environmental and health issues, among others.
He serves on the Finance, Health, Welfare and Institutions, and Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources committees.
He gained particular notoriety during the 2012 session by making the rounds on national cable television to denounce legislation that was eventually approved that requires women to undergo ultrasound imaging before an abortion. He also proposed forming a joint subcommittee to study the potential revenue impact from legalizing marijuana and selling it at state ABC stores.
A full statement from Mr. Englin and one from his wife can be found below:
“Today I’m announcing that this will be my last term in elected office, so I will not seek re-election to the House of Delegates. Serving the people of the 45th District has been one of the great honors of my life, and I hope they are proud of the work we have done together. But political life has affected me in ways I never expected. In my public role, I have worked hard to serve my constituents and to be an effective, progressive voice in Richmond. But in my personal life, I let down my family and was unfaithful in my marriage, so Shayna and I recently separated.
”Shayna has always been the true source of my strength and happiness, and we have been a team in my political work. I will leave political life to put Shayna and Caleb first and to focus on rebuilding what is and always was most important to me: my marriage and my family. I am deeply sorry for hurting the people I love the most and for letting down so many others who put their faith in me. This will be my only public statement about our marriage, and Shayna and I both ask everyone to respect our family’s privacy as we work through this immensely difficult, painful, and personal time.
“With this announcement, attention will no doubt turn to choosing my successor. Our community is blessed with a wealth of smart, dedicated, and energetic Democrats. When I first ran for this seat in 2005, I was 30 years old, fresh out of the Air Force, and Shayna, Caleb, and I had barely lived in Alexandria for a year and a half. The race was supposed to be unwinnable for me, but we won. No matter how improbable others may think your candidacy, if you believe you have something to offer the people of the 45th District, I hope you will consider stepping forward to serve.
“Despite our current personal challenges, it continues to be a tremendous honor for Shayna and me to serve our community and to stand up for our progressive values. Please know that, as long as I am still your delegate, I will continue fighting for you, and if you ever need service or assistance, my staff and I are here to help. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.”
Shayna Englin said:
“Public service has been a priority for both David and me. I’m proud of the work we did together and am grateful for the many who supported David and me in public life.
“During this very difficult and painful time, I hope we can each have the privacy and space we need to refocus on private priorities, be great parents to Caleb, and work through this however we need to.”
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