Avalanche of General Assembly Retirements Includes My Delegate

Well, this news was certainly disappointing to see over the weekend. This is my delegate. The press release that was sent from his office said it all:

Staunton, Virginia: Delegate John Avoli has officially announced he will not run for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates. Having served two terms representing Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Highland County, and Nelson County, Delegate Avoli is ready to retire after 49 years in public service.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of the 20th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. The past four years are the culmination of my 49-year career in public service. I want to thank each and every one of you for placing your faith in me to serve as your representative in Richmond. After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election.”

John Avoli was mayor of Staunton in 1996 when my family moved just outside the city. In 2003, aware of his life story about being an immigrant family when his parents moved from Italy to America, I asked him to speak at a Support the Troops rally in Gypsy Hill Park. America’s military had gone into Iraq after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and I thought his remarks would be inspirational for their families, friends, and neighbors. They were.

A decade later, during his 15 years as director of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, I was privileged to serve on FCMV’s Board of Trustees. Four years ago, he ran for the House of Delegates and became our representative.

Knowing John Avoli, after his many years in education, 16 years on Staunton City Council (14 as mayor), 15 years at FCMV, and four years in the Virginia House of Delegates, there is no indication he will sit down and prop up his feet. I suspect he will instead dive into another project to keep him involved in the community he loves. Thank you, Mr. Delegate, for all the years of service.

Political reporter Bob Stuart has an excellent in-depth article at the Waynesboro News-Virginian and publisher/reporter Chris Graham has more at Augusta Free Press about this long-time public servant.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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