Del. Monty Mason (D-Dist. 93) has resigned from his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, clearing the way for a contest that could coincide with the November general election.
The resignation is effective Nov. 21. Mason, who is running to fill the 1st District Senate seat of the late Virginia Sen. John Miller, said he decided to resign to “ensure consistency and continuous representation for the people in the 93rd District.”
“The work from my House district will not stop,” Mason said. “By focusing on the work we have always done there and getting the message out to win the election, it guarantees the 93rd is represented at all times.”
Mason added that the election for the 93rd District seat could now be held Nov. 8, the same day as the presidential election.
“It’s a good opportunity to make sure there’s the maximum participation of the electorate to vote for my successor,” Mason said. “We really have everyone’s attention.”
Mason has represented the 93rd District, which includes the City of Williamsburg, parts of James City and York counties and part of Newport News, since he was elected to the House of Delegates in 2013. The 1st District includes the City of Williamsburg, parts of James City and York counties and parts of Newport News, Hampton and Suffolk.
If Mason had not resigned and went on to win the election, a special election would have been held in December to fill his House seat. Dianna Moorman, James City County’s general registrar, said it would save the state an election if the 93rd District contest is held Nov. 8.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will issue a writ of election to announce when the contest will be held.
Mason is facing Republican newcomer Thomas R. Holston in the race for Miller’s seat. He said he knows his decision to resign his current seat before any votes are cast in the 1st District race is a gamble.
“We’re knocking on the doors, making the phone calls, doing the things you have to do to get the word out and win,” Mason said. “I understand it’s not without risk, but I’m committed to winning that race and working hard over the next few months to do it.”