Del. Peter F. Farrell, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2012, has decided not to seek re-election this year. The Henrico County lawmaker, considered an up-and-comer, won and held a solidly Republican seat with virtually no opposition.
“It was a tough decision, but with a young family and a growing business I cannot give the job as delegate the time and energy that it deserves,” Farrell posted on his Facebook page Friday. “Thank you to everyone who has given me the opportunity to be your representative and thank you to all the wonderful staff at the General Assembly who are some of the best public servants around!”
Farrell represents House District 56, which includes Louisa County and parts of Goochland, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties.
Farrell has a 16-month-old daughter and his business, Tuckahoe Holdings, is growing quickly, he said in an interview. He started the investment firm in 2015 with his brother.
“I had to really weigh my family and my full-time job, and it was a really hard decision but it’s the right one,” he said.
Among his recent work in the legislature, Farrell served on the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Twenty-First Century, chaired by Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath. Farrell sponsored legislation this year, which was supported by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, to require community services boards to provide same-day access to certain treatment services for people with mental illness.
His father is Tom Farrell, CEO of Dominion Resources, the Richmond-based energy company.
Peter Farrell was nominated for the seat in a GOP meeting in 2011 and won the nomination with a mere four votes from a committee, beating other candidates that included Dave Brat, now the Republican congressman from the 7th District. The unusual circumstances arose after then-Del. Bill Janis unexpectedly resigned to run for Henrico commonwealth’s attorney.
Farrell was then elected to the seat in November 2011 and re-elected in 2013 and 2015. He faced no challengers in all three general elections.
This year a Democrat, Lizzie Drucker-Basch, is running for the House seat, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Farrell said he expects plenty of interest among Republicans.
Graven W. Craig, a Louisa trial attorney and the county Republican chairman, announced for the GOP nomination several hours after Farrell disclosed his pending retirement. Craig unsuccessfully sought the nomination in 2011.
All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for election this year, as are the statewide offices of governor, attorney general and lieutenant governor.