Former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox makes gubernatorial bid official, widening Republican field

Your Local Election HQ

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former House Speaker Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is running to be Virginia’s next governor in 2021.

The conservative political veteran and retired high school government teacher of three decades made his bid official on Tuesday after teasing the announcement on social media in August.

Cox is the second Republican to announce a campaign for the state’s chief executive position. Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) was the first to launch her candidacy in February.

On the other side of the aisle, an already crowded Democratic field is expected to continue to grow. Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy (D-Prince William) was the first to announce her candidacy, followed by Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. 

Former Gov. Terry McCauliffe has filed paperwork signaling his intentions but has yet to make it official. In Virginia, governors are not allowed to run for consecutive terms but nothing bars them from running again after another person has served. 

Attorney General Mark Herring recently announced he’s running for re-election in 2021, discarding expectations that he would also run for governor.

In a press release, Cox makes his pitch for the job in part by citing his extensive credentials in Virginia politics. While serving in the House of Delegates since 1989, Cox has led Republicans as the Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and House Speaker. He touts his record of cutting taxes, freezing college tuition, and slashing regulations. 

More recently, Cox has served in the minority as Democrats control the House, Senate and Governor’s office. He has been a frequent critic of Gov. Ralph Northam as he presides over the coronavirus pandemic.

While criticizing the state’s leftward lunge, Cox also pointed out his success in an area that has backed Hillary Clinton and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“I am running for Governor because I cannot watch the Virginia we’ve built slip away. The timeless principles upon which our representative democracy were built are under attack, unchecked one-party Democratic control in Richmond is tearing our state apart, and people feel like their leaders are not listening,” said Cox in the release. “We have to fight back against the cancel culture and the elitism, against misguided collectivist policies, and against a worldview that puts the government in charge of every facet of our lives.” 

This is a developing story.

Latest Stories

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form