Former Virginia House speaker Kirk Cox mulling run for governor

Former Virginia House speaker Kirk Cox mulling run for governor
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Virginia state Delegate Kirk Cox (R), who lost his position as state House Speaker when Democrats flipped the majority of the assembly in November, said Monday he is considering a bid for governor in the commonwealth. 

The Republican said he is “seriously looking” at a gubernatorial run but said he will hold off on launching a campaign “out of respect” for candidates on the ballot in November.

“After the policies put in place by Democrats this year, the vacuum of leadership during this health and economic crisis, and the violence and destruction in our streets, it’s clear we need credible and steady leadership,” Cox said in a tweeted statement. 

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“That leadership certainly isn’t coming from Governor [Ralph] Northam, whether you look at the failures on coronavirus testing, the parole board illegally and secretly releasing violent criminals early, or the mismanagement of how to best send our kids back to school this fall,” Cox added. 

Cox said his focus, for now, will remain on winning back congressional seats for Republicans, and defeating Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerIntelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing l Air Force reveals it secretly built and flew new fighter jet l Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats MORE (D-Va.) and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll GOP set to release controversial Biden report Can Donald Trump maintain new momentum until this November? MORE

“I’m going to keep listening to Virginians, talking with friends and people from across our Commonwealth, and working to support the constitutional amendment on redistricting this fall,” Cox said. 

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Democrats have made big gains across Virginia. When Democrats won control of the state Assembly in November, they gained total control of the state government for the first time since 1994. 

Northam cannot seek reelection in 2021 because Virginia blocks governors from serving back-to-back terms. 

A range of Democrats have expressed interest in running for governor in Virginia next year, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Others have already declared their candidacies, including Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, state Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan. 

Among Republicans, the field of candidates mulling or who have declared a run already is smaller. State Sen. Amanda F. Chase is the only declared GOP candidate.