NORFOLK, Va. — Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates picked Del. Don Scott as their next minority leader, over a month after former Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn was removed from the position.
Scott, who currently represents the 80th House District encompassing Portsmouth, was elected in a caucus vote Wednesday morning.
The change in leadership comes after House Democrats lost their majority in the November 2021 election, following two years where the party held both the Governor's Mansion and General Assembly.
At the end of April, House Democrats voted to remove Filler-Corn as minority leader but didn't immediately decide who should take her place, according to the Associated Press. Scott led the campaign to oust Filler-Corn, resigning his caucus leadership post of vice-chair for outreach in the process.
In a statement released via the House Democrats, Scott said he will focus on combating Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's agenda:
“I’m not afraid to stand up and say it: Youngkin and his party don’t care one bit about effective governance or how their decisions impact everyday Virginians. They are happy to sit back and stoke the flames of the culture war while our constituents struggle to make ends meet. I will never forget the people who have been counted out by those in power, because they are my constituents, my clients, and my community. So, when Youngkin vetoes good bills out of spite or turns our public schools into ideological battlegrounds for his own partisan gain, I will always speak truth to power, and I won’t back down."
Scott was first elected to the House in 2019 in an election where Democrats took full control of Virginia's legislature. Outside of politics, he founded a law firm in Portsmouth and formerly served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
Louise Lucas, the highest-ranking Democrat in the Virginia Senate as president pro tempore, tweeted Wednesday afternoon congratulating Scott on his new position.
"I know Don better than most as we both represent Portsmouth and House Dems are getting a leader of integrity, grit and smarts that will lead them back into the majority," Lucas tweeted.
The Democratic Party of Virginia also tweeted their congratulations, saying "We look forward to working with Leader Scott to take back the House and protect our progress."
13News Now reached out to the Republican Party of Virginia and the Virginia House Republican Majority Caucus for comment on Scott's election. The latter declined to comment, while the former sent the following statement:
“In electing Rep. Don Scott as their new leader, Virginia House Democrats have traded one far-left radical for another. While Democrats have been focused on internal partisan disputes, Republicans, led by Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, Attorney General Jason Miyares and our leadership in the House of Delegates and Senate, have been working to deliver historic wins for Virginia families, and will continue to do so despite Democrats’ obstructionist antics."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.