Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, announced her retirement Monday from the Virginia House of Delegates.
Kory’s decision clears the way for fellow Democrat Marcus Simon to run for the 13th District seat this fall. The 2021 redistricting placed both Kory and Simon in the Falls Church-based district, and they would have had to run in a June primary for the Democratic nomination. Kory had represented the 38th District since first being elected in 2009.
“Serving the people of Fairfax County, first on the School Board and then in the House of Delegates, has been the honor of my life,” she said in a statement. “My first priority was always to take incredible care of my constituents, and I pride myself on listening to every opinion of the people I represent.”
Kory becomes the eighth Northern Virginia legislator to announce they will not seek re-election this fall, an unusually high number following the redistricting, which paired a number of incumbent legislators in the same districts. Virginia legislators must live in the districts they represent.
Kory noted that the bulk of her previous district is now in the 14th District, where Del. Vivian Watts is running as the Democratic candidate this fall.
“She is the hardest-working legislator in the House of Delegates, and I am fortunate that the vast majority of my current district’s constituents will soon be represented by Delegate Watts in District 14,” Kory said.
The new 13th District is heavily Democratic, with nearly 72% of its vote in the 2021 gubernatorial election going to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Kory’s campaign received just $15,000 in contributions in the second half of 2022 and had just $18,610 in hand at the end of the year, according to VPAP. During the same period, Simon raised nearly $64,000, and he had over $102,000 on hand at the end of the year.
Simon has represented the 53rd House District since 2014 and has become a leader within the House Democratic Caucus.
In her statement, Kory said she was proud in particular of her work on issues such as women’s health care and animal rights, including the rescue of the Envigo beagles. She also introduced legislation ensuring animals in Virginia are not subjected to testing of cosmetic products.
For the past eight years during the legislative session in Richmond, Kory hosted an art show, “Art-Ability,” to highlight the work of artists with developmental disabilities. “Not only has this been personally rewarding, but the public show encouraged artists who never before had a platform for their work,” she said.