Home GOP The Most Important News in Virginia Politics Yesterday Was Actually Senate GOP...

The Most Important News in Virginia Politics Yesterday Was Actually Senate GOP Leader Tommy Norment’s Retirement Announcement. Here Are a Few Thoughts.


Buried somewhat in the news about the Democratic “firehouse primary” yesterday for Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s seat was what was, arguably, FAR bigger news: the retirement announcement by powerful Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment.

Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment made a point of doing it quietly, without making — or listening to — the usual sentimental speeches when a long-serving member of the General Assembly retires.

“I came in quietly, and I want to leave quietly,” said Norment, R-James City, who as leader of the Senate Republican caucus and for a time doubled up as majority leader of the Senate and co-chair of the Senate Finance committee, has been one of the most powerful – and at times feared – politicians in the Capitol.

“Politics is an old man’s sport and it’s also a contact sport. I’ve got a very competitive personality, and I like that,” said Norment, a senator since 1992.

Along with the retirement announcement of Norment’s friend – and they actually seemed to be friends, not just fake political “friends” – Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, this really marks the end of an era in the Virginia Senate.  Or the end of an “error,” in the sense that both Norment and Saslaw epitomized the “Virginia Way” in the sense of being very cozy with powerful moneyed interested, big corporations, Dominion Energy (of course!), etc.

On the other hand, Norment was certainly conservative but not a Trumpist, insurrectionist or extremist. Just recently, for instance, Norment disparaged Youngkin’s corporate tax cuts. And looking through Norment’s ratings on various issues, he wasn’t exactly a progressive but he also wasn’t at the far right of the poltiical spectrum. Which is probably one of many reasons why Norment and insurrectionist/extremist Amanda Chase HATED each other so much.

That could very well change now that Norment’s leaving, both because whoever leads the two caucuses won’t have the long-standing and close relationship that Saslaw and Norment had, but also as I’m hearing that far-right, hard-edged Sen. Mark Obenshain could replace Norment as Senate Republican leader. That would really change the tone of that Senate GOP caucus, much more in a Trumpism direction, and most definitely NOT for the better, despite all of Norment’s many many flaws (racism, corruption, insufferable arrogance, etc.). Which really shows you how crazy and extremist Republicans have gotten these days…ugh.

By the way, for some background on Norment’s…er, “illustrious” career, see:


Sign up for the Blue Virginia weekly newsletter

Previous articleBREAKING: Del. Lamont Bagby Wins Democratic Nomination to Fill the Seat of Congresswoman-Elect Jennifer McClellan (D-SD09)
Next articleFairfax NAACP “Shocked and Deeply Saddened by the Unnecessary Brutal Slaying of a Black Citizen, Mr. Timothy Johnson, 37, by the Fairfax County Police Department”