Months after declaring he would not seek another term in the Virginia House of Delegates, Rob Bell has found a new role in the Glenn Youngkin administration.
On Monday, Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that Bell has started at his new post: deputy attorney general for health, education and social services.
“I have known Rob from our work together in the General Assembly, especially on the Courts of Justice Committee,” Miyares said in a statement announcing the news. “I have a deep respect for his work ethic, intellect and knowledge of Virginia laws.”
Miyares office declined to comment further, referring The Daily Progress to his written statement.
Bell, a Republican, has been a longtime member of the General Assembly’s lower chamber. He first took office in 2002 representing the 58th District, which included Greene County as well as parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna and Rockingham counties.
In February, he announced that his time in the body had come to an end.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the House of Delegates. I want to thank the voters who allowed me to represent them in Richmond for the last 22 years,” Bell said from the House floor, touting his legislative accomplishments.
The decision not to seek a reelection bid was almost certainly influenced by Virginia’s recent redistricting.
If he wanted to stay in the House, he would have had to run in the new 55th District, which is home to far more Democratic voters than he is accustomed.
In the safely Republican 58th District, Bell regularly received more than 60% of the vote against Democratic challengers.
His time in the House would have ended next January, but the Albemarle County resident resigned before taking on this new role in the attorney general’s office.
“As delegate, I had the chance to learn about a wide variety of legal and policy issues while serving on the Education Committee, the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee and the Behavioral Health Commission. I am excited to bring this knowledge into a new public service role,” Bell said in a statement issued Monday. “I am honored that Attorney General Miyares has asked me to join his office.”
That statement cites Bell’s time on House committees such as the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee and the Education Committee.
“Bell patroned numerous bills into law, including measures to address mental health, school safety and bullying, college sexual assault, protective orders and rules for special-needs Virginians,” it reads.
Bell’s resignation will not trigger a special election, as the General Assembly has concluded its session for the year.
Republican Steve Harvey and Democrat Amy Laufer are running to represent the redrawn 55th District in the House, which includes much of Bell’s old territory: parts of Albemarle, Louisa, Nelson and Fluvanna counties.