Dick Black Announces Retirement from Va State Senate

| January 2, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Virginia State Senator Dick Black

Virginia State Senator Col. Richard “Dick” Black, (R-13th District), will not be seeking reelection this November, according to a recent announcement.

Today Sen. Black Tweeted:

I’ve decided to retire at the end of my term. What started out as a fight to filter porn on library computers turned into serving for 20 years in Richmond. I’m proud of what we accomplished over the years. Thanks to everyone who fought along side me in these many battles!

Prince William County’s Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, Republican, confirmed he may run for Black’s seat. Del. John Bell (D-87th) has said he may also make a run for the seat, according to the Loudoun Times Mirror.

Also running as Democrats are Kyle Green, Lucero Wiley, Suhas Subramanyam and Jasmine Moawad-Barrientos.

Black, 74, is one of the most conservative legislators in the Commonwealth. He presides over a district that is becoming increasingly more competitive. The 13th district includes Bristow and Gainesville in Western Prince William County, and portions of Western Loudoun County including Ashburn and Sterling.


Black states his key issues include reducing business regulation, reducing congestion without tax increases, domestic energy production, securing borders, addressing illegal immigration head-on, harsh penalties for violent offenders, and elimination of gang violence.

Black is pro-life/ anti-abortion, pro-second amendment and has not been supportive of LGBTQ issues or legislation. He has not supported Medicaid expansion.

Legislation he is most proud of includes bipartisan legislation SB 712, requiring public colleges to report an alleged campus sexual assault to police within 24 hours, and passing a law ruling a minor could not secure a legal abortion without parental permission.

Black has been a very involved senator and has been a frequent presence in Prince William County and Loudoun.


Black’s tenor has been controversial, and many consider him an extreme conservative. He publicly supported Syrian President Bashar a-Assad, claiming he is not murdering his own people as reported by the press and the U.S. government.

Black has not been supportive of pro-LGBTQ policies such as same-sex marriage. He opposed adding sexuality and gender identity to Prince William County Schools nondiscrimination policy. He once said that polygamy is more natural than same-sex sexual relations.

In support of pro-choice/ anti-abortion legislation he handed out tiny plastic “fetuses,” looking like small children’s toys.

Bio and Career

Black came to the senate after a series of successful careers in military service, engineering and the practice of law and government.

Richard Black was born in rural Maryland in 1944. He enlisted in the Marines in 1963. In a short time he was promoted to second Lt. He few hundreds of combat helicopter missions and saw action in Vietnam. He was the only member of the Virginia General Assembly who held the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in battle.

He graduated from engineering school while a Marine and was made a Company Commander at 25, deploying a 240 man unit in Puerto Rico.

After leaving the military, he attended the University of Florida. He graduated with honors from the School of Business in 1973 and earned a law degree in 1976.

Later, he accepted a commission as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp. He lobbied Missouri legislature for legislation that curbed drunk driving. He led a crackdown on houses of prostitution. He negotiated and legislation protecting interest of state and federal agencies, environmental groups, ranchers and the Yakima Indian Nation.

In 1994 he retired from military service to partner in the law firm of Taylor, Horbaly and Black. He is permitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Black and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 42 years. They have three children and 14 grandchildren.

Black continued to be elected to the Virginia State Senate since 2011 with elections every two years. Before that he served on the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2006.

Elections in the 13th District

Black narrowly won his 2015 race over Democrat Dr. Jill McCabe.This year, he would have faced a challenging election. Hillary Clinton won his district in 2016. And since the 2016 presidential election, there has a been a huge uptick in voter turnout in Virginia, even during off-year elections.

Races also indicated a “blue wave.” In the 2018 Congressional races, Democrat Jennifer Wexton (10th District) won a portion of Black’s district, against incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock. Del. Robb Wittman (1st District) won his district, but lost the portion in Prince William County.

In 2017, Democratic Del. Danica Roem beat longtime incumbent Republican Del. Bob Marshall in the 13th District. Del. Lee Carter also beat Jackson Miller in the 50th District.

 Candland’s Possible Run

Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, Republican, provided Bristow Beat with the following statement, saying he will give the run “some serious thought.”

Senator Black has served honorably in the Virginia General Assembly, and his announced retirement at the end of this term will provide voters with the opportunity to elect another strong conservative advocate for fiscal responsibility to continue his legacy. With Senator Black’s announcement, I have had many people call to express support for me to enter the race to replace Senator Black, and I am honored that my work here in Prince William County has instilled such confidence in those supporters.

I have committed to give these recommendations some serious thought, but a part of that equation are the significant issues that have consumed me in Prince William County and that require my continued efforts in restraining the growth in County government that has significantly outpaced both the population and inflation rates combined. As I weigh these issues, I will seek the input of my constituents as to where my service can be most effective for them in helping improve their quality of life.

I entered public service with a focus on serving, and that has never been influenced by seeking higher office to “move up the ladder.” I will make my decision after discussing with my family and carefully reviewing the input of the people who entrusted me to work for them here in the Gainesville District, and look forward to announcing my decision when I have completed that assessment.

Candland has proven to be not as extreme in his conservative beliefs and voted to support a day to recognize the LBGTQ community in Prince William County back in late 2018.

No one has yet officially come forward to say they are running against Candland in his race for supervisor.

Other Possible Candidates

In addition to Candland exploring a run, Prince William Republican Committee spokesman, D.J. Jordan, said there is some interest among Loudoun Republicans to run for Black’s seat.

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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