Thursday, January 15, 2015

Statement on Retirement of Senator Toddy Puller

Senator Toddy Puller has represented me as state delegate or senator since 1991 when she was the first modern Democrat to win the 44th District and I was a junior at James Madison University.  I have had a “front seat” to her dedicated public service since I was a child.
Senator Puller’s career has been dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life for the U.S. 1 Corridor in Fairfax  and Prince William Counties.  Because of her legislation, the first U.S. 1 Centerline Study was started in 1998 and the $2 million U.S. 1 Multimodal Study would not have been funded or concluded in 2014 without the seniority and wisdom she brought to the process. Tens of millions of dollars are currently being directed to enhancing transportation in Fairfax and Prince William Counties due to her three generations of leadership.

Growing up as a “military brat,” as the incredibly dedicated wife of a disabled veteran and as the daughter in-law of the most-decorated Marine in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. “Chesty” Puller, there is not member in the Virginia legislature who is more focused on moving our state government to address the concerns of our nation’s veterans and their families. Whether it is government services, tax exemptions or  helping Virginians’ recognize the long-term consequences that combat injuries have on military families, Senator Puller has lived her public life on the frontlines fighting for resources for our community and the larger community.
Like her predecessor in the 36th District of the State Senate, Joe Gartlan, Toddy stood up for the voiceless as the Chairwoman of the Senate Health and Rehabilitation Committee, led the way to find innovation and efficiency in our healthcare system and helped lay the groundwork for decades of savings.

Senator Puller’s retirement is a significant loss for the Mount Vernon and Lee areas of Fairfax County, the Occoquan, Woodbridge, and Montclair areas of Prince William County and Northern Stafford County. Her three decades of seniority and policy experience are an irreplaceable asset for her 200,000 Fairfax, Stafford and Prince William County constituents.

I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Puller as she continues to focus on developing the Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic at the William and Mary Law School and enjoying time with Lewis, Jr., Maggie and her grandchildren. Senator Puller has changed the lives thousands of Virginians. It has been an honor to serve with her and she will be difficult to replace. 

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