The House Republican Caucus unanimously elected Colonial Heights Delegate Kirk Cox as Speaker-Designee on Wednesday.
Cox will be the next Speaker of the House in January 2018 when current Speaker William J. Howell completes his term. Howell announced on Monday his plans to retire. Cox will remain Majority Leader of the House Republican Caucus until then.
“I am humbled and honored by the trust my colleagues have placed in me, and I hope to earn the support of the entire House of Delegates when we convene for the 2018 session,” said Speaker-Designee Cox. “I take this responsibility seriously and I pledge to serve with the judiciousness, honor and integrity that the public expects and demands. Speaker Howell leaves behind a legacy as an institutional leader that I will strive to live up to every day. I know this House of Delegates can continue to be a beacon for transparent, and responsive self-governance can.”
Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) will fill Cox’s shoes as Majority Leader. Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) were each also re-elected unanimously.
Howell has been Speaker of the House since 2003, the second-longest term in the history of the House of Delegates.
Cox will be the first Speaker to represent part of Chesterfield since the middle of the 19th Century and the first to work full-time as a public school teacher.
The entire House of Delegates will officially elect the new Speaker of the House in January 2018.