On Saturday, June 7, I mailed a letter to Senator Charles Colgan, President Pro Tempore
of the Senate of Virginia resigning from my position as Senator of the 38th district effective
June 9, 2014.
I have been grateful for the opportunity to serve my constituents from Southwest Virginia
for the past sixteen years. And, my family has sacrificed greatly to allow me to serve, especially
considering how far we live from the state Capitol. But that family sacrifice is now too great.
Due to recent developments in our family, I feel I should be more available to them. They have
supported me during the sixteen years that I have served the people of Virginia and now I will
devote my time to them.
My daughter, who is an established attorney in Russell County has been appointed by area
judges to serve in a temporary capacity as a juvenile court judge. She cannot be confirmed into the
position permanently as long as I serve in the General Assembly. My colleagues on both sides of the
aisle acknowledge that she is fully qualified for the position. At this point in my life, I feel that I cannot
allow my political career to hamper my daughter's future and her desire to
serve the families and children of our area on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. While I
regret the circumstances, I stand by the ethical rule that generally prohibits the appointment of
judges who are directly related to sitting legislators.
But this is not the sole reason for my resignation. My family is dealing with several difficult issues
that need our attention. These are private matters and I ask that you respect our privacy
in working through them as a family.
As a State Senator representing the 38th Senatorial district, I strongly supported the Senate budget
and Medicaid Expansion and defended those who were without healthcare. I voted with my
colleagues in a bipartisan 23-17 vote. My resignation now leaves that vote at 22-17 and remains as
a favorable status for the budget and Medicaid Expansion in the Senate. It is my heartfelt prayer that
the General Assembly will be able to close the gap for healthcare coverage for all Virginians.
Some reports have suggested that I am resigning to accept paid employment with the Virginia
Tobacco Commission. Those reports are incorrect. I have never been officially offered a job by the
Tobacco Commission.
As stated previously, I have resigned from the Senate of Virginia due to the recent issues that have
developed in our family and require our full attention, I ask again that you accept my decision and
give us the privacy that we desire, to work through these important issues.
Respectfully Submitted,
Phillip P. Puckett