State Del. Kirk Cox thinks it’s “pretty cool” being House Speaker.
Cox – who’s in his 30th year serving in the General Assembly – was honored last week as the Chester Kiwanis Club’s “Person of the Year.”
The Colonial Heights native said that, despite being tentatively redistricted into a district that favors Democratic voters by 6.5 percentage points, he plans on running for re-election in November.
He spoke March 4 before the club about the recently-concluded legislative session.
He noted that because of a U.S. District Court order, a professor from the University of California-Berkeley redrew the boundaries for the state Assembly, but that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal of the lower court’s decision on March 18.
The Supreme Court could decide one of three ways, Cox said. They could affirm the old lines that were drawn by the Assembly, uphold the lower court’s decision and
But even if the new map stands, Cox said he plans to run in a district that runs from Colonial Heights north to the Stonebridge Shopping Center on Midlothian Turnpike (Route 60).
“No one’s going to outwork me,” he said, adding that he doesn’t mind knocking on doors.
In the new District 66, Cox would face Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman, who lost to Del. Riley Ingram in old District 62 by 19.1 and 3.5 points in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
Cox touted the Assembly and Senate agreeing on a budget that includes $975 million in income tax relief. This, he said, includes rebates that will be sent to state residents this fall, $110 for individuals and $220 for couples. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the bill last month.
The state also set aside $1.5 million in two reserve funds, Cox said, including a “rainy day” fund and a cash reserve fund. This will help the state retain is AAA bond rating, he said, noting that the state is one of only eight
In regard to the negative attention the state has recently received due to its top three officeholders, Cox said his office phone was ringing off the hook.
“I’ve never gotten so many calls from so many [national] talk shows in all my life,” he said, adding that he took very few of them.