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State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple Announces Her Retirement

by ARLnow.com | February 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm | 1,116 views | 19 Comments

(Possible candidate list updated at 8:10 p.m.) Mary Margaret Whipple, who represents Arlington in the Virginia Senate, announced her retirement today.

Whipple has represented Virginia’s 31st Senate district since 1996. Before being elected to the state Senate, Whipple served on the Arlington School Board, the Arlington County Board and the Metro Transit Board.

News of Whipple’s retirement seemingly came as a surprise to some.

“Wow – another one!” Del. David Englin said on Twitter. “[Sen. Whipple has] been a champion for Arlington, good government, and progress.”

Others had press releases ready for the announcement.

“Senator Mary Margaret Whipple’s retirement from the Virginia Senate will leave behind a void that will be difficult to fill,” said Del. Adam Ebbin, who is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Patsy Ticer. Ticer announced her retirement last week.

Del. Patrick Hope had more praise for Whipple.

“Today, we honor the service of one of Arlington’s most dedicated and admired public servants,” he said in a statement. “I know I join Arlingtonians in thanking Senator Mary Margaret Whipple for over three decades of hard work, dedication, and service. She will surely be missed but her legacy will be long-lasting, not only to her constituents but to our entire great Commonwealth.”

As state political blogger Ben Tribbett points out on Twitter, Hope is thought to be considering a run for Whipple’s seat. Via an aide, Hope neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.

“Today is Mary Margaret’s day and we should honor her outstanding service,” Hope said.

Other names being floated as possible candidates for the seat are Tribbett, former lieutenant governor candidate Mike Signer, Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Mike Lieberman and county board member Barbara Favola.

“I applaud Sen. Whipple for her incredible insightful and thoughtful service,” Favola told ARLnow.com. “She has always been a wonderful role model and friend to me.”

“I think this is her day,” Favola said when asked whether she might run for Whipple’s seat. “I suspect over the weekend I’ll think about the next steps.”

Del. Bob Brink, a close friend of Whipple’s, also had kind words to say about the long-time public servant.

“Mary Margaret has shown how to be both principled and effective, and she’s done it with grace, determination, and, above all, civility,” Brink said in a press release. “She’s been my political mentor and the best friend my family and I could ever hope for.”

“On the Arlington School Board and County Board she gave life to Arlington’s historic commitment to world-class public schools, smart growth policies that create a sustainable environment, and an inclusive, welcoming community in which each person is important,” Brink continued. “In the General Assembly, she is a nationally recognized advocate for the environment. If we’re able to save the Chesapeake, much of the credit will belong to her.”

“She is simply irreplaceable,” Brink said.

“Sen. Whipple has never lost sight of the importance of expanding educational opportunity for all, and she has also been an outstanding chair of our Commonwealth’s Senate Democratic Caucus,” said Del. Ebbin. “However, it was the vision she applied to urban planning and tackling Northern Virginia’s transportation problems that will leave the most enduring impact on our region. Through her leadership on the County Board and the WMATA Board of Directors, Senator Whipple transformed Arlington into a vibrant and exciting place to live and work by planning a series of world-class urban villages.”

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  • steve

    I’m pretty sure she’s a dem, but why not list an (r) (d) or (i) after a politician’s name?

    • Allan

      Because it might actually teach some of us to pay more attention to the person’s views and record instead of their party. It would be good practice for Arlington to actually vote based on a person’s stand on issues instead of the (d). And it might make some of the politicians here actually do what they campaigned about instead of resting on what really got them in office; the (d).

  • JR

    Thank you Senator Whipple. You’ve been a great leader for Arlington and Virginia.

  • Dan

    It would be redundant for an Arlington based politician !!
    (hint: there are NO elected positions held by anyone other than a democrat in Arlington).

    But beyond that, this is an interesting development.

    • steve

      Kinda fu nny how many liberals move to a southern state, hoping to make it into some liberal uptopia, kinda like the horrible place they came from.

      • local

        steve’s back!

        How long you lived here, steve, and how old are you?

        • TGEoA

          Steve, the next time you get banned, change your ip address. While i think you’re kinda a nut, I like how you annoy so many.

          • Lou

            Or so few.

          • borf

            Annoying? steve is pure entertainment! Welcome back steve!

      • Glebe Roader

        Anyone have a smoke?

  • Joe

    Uh, who exactly is floating Tribbett’s name? Wait, is that a deleted Ingrid Morroy “tweet”? Would Ingrid be silly enough to suggest Tribbett as a candidate?

    • Ingrid Morroy

      @Joe: Sorry, but I didn’t delete my tweet. And Ben is my good friend.

  • Marjie M

    Shocking to think of losing these 2 strong females in our VA legislature: Mary Margaret Whipple and Patsy Ticer!

    Mary Margaret Whipple has helped so many to understand and engage in a progressive effort for Virginia. She began with school concerns and prepared to add to her studies our Arlington County Board concerns and then, similarly, to the Virginia legislature. Support from her husband Tom in pushing us to think more about changing climate matters has not been insignificant. She has a host of supporters in this community who credit her commitment to the idea that considering political questions is an art and not a adversarial situation! There may not be many others ready to offer such gifts in filling her slot in the Senate!

    We should encourage discovery and agreement on 2 females to fill these two retiree slots! Their scholarship is not any less than any man’s, but the presence of women on the scene of any difficult event gives women, you know, the effect of their tears calming, without the men’s understanding or ability to notice the difference, the testosterone emphasis so many let guide their actions. Women are essential at any bargaining because of that effect! If you haven’t read about this scientific experiment, you may still note that in the protesting occurring in several locations across the world this month, women are present and the engagements are more peaceful. Please look at the science. You might find yourself voting for passionate women like Mary Margaret in hopes it leads both men and women to a shared decision for proceeding. I, so often, suspect decisions made by men without guidance from women being involved. Walker in Wisconsin comes to mind. May I mention abortion which only involves women? No, the man is not involved in carrying the fetus to birth and can do nothing when the baby dies in the womb to relieve his wife of this pain. She needs an abortion that is now closed to her. Please raise up the women you know who can contend with the demands of dealing with the Virginia Senate! Men may just jostle for control and position. It’s hard to support them until they reveal their assent to the fact that women are their equals. Some cannot do that.
    Marjie

  • jjc632

    Typical “arlingtonian” democrat. Labor “supporter”, bill of rights “supporter” in front of the camera and media but her voting record does not support that! Good riddance!

    • DSD

      Who are you? And what kind of decorum do you have treating a distinguished Senator who represented the large majority of her constituents and yes upheld the bill of rights and supported working people in such a disrespectful manner? We’re proud of Senator Whipple and glad that neanderthals like yourself who don’t believe in respecting in our people maintaining a safety net and developing a solid infrastructure are in a distinct minority here in NOVA!

  • Cyrus

    State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple Announces Her Retirement

    This is a soft story. Let’s squeeze some more important news into today’s update.

  • John Andre

    Perhaps Del. Ebbin should run for Whipple’s seat rather than Ticer’s cf. my post under “Progressive Caucus”.

  • jjc632

    Even a neanderthal can check past voting records and comment on the facts. Last time I checked,supporting the bill of rights means supporting ALL of the amendments not picking and chooseing which ones to support,As Whipple has done.

  • Pingback: Another retirement in Arlington! – Red NoVA

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