Del. Jay Jones Quits Before He Starts

Sorry, Delegate, I don’t buy it.

I’m delighted that you and your wife are expecting your first baby. And your determination to be a good dad is admirable. Every child should be so lucky.

But you’re quitting your job because a child is on the way? You’re gone in two weeks? You’re not even going to finish your current term, let alone begin your next one?


None of this makes sense.

Yet one day after the rising star of Virginia’s Democratic Party Tweeted about his growing family Jones released “My Letter to Virginia” that announced his departure from the House of Delegates. The letter went on at length about his commitment to the Commonwealth and the many demands on him. And the new baby, of course.

The upshot? He’s resigning “at the end of this year.”

That’s two weeks from now. A full two weeks before his first term ends. Yet, according to his Tweet, the baby isn’t due until summer.

Odd that Jones doesn’t feel a moral obligation to the 17,450 voters who came out in November to elect him to his second term, fully expecting him to represent them in Richmond. Or to the donors who funded his campaign. Or the volunteers who helped get him elected.

Frankly, I’d want a refund if I stroked a check to a politician who quit even before taking office.

Jones claims that he’ll likely run for attorney general again in 2025.

Good luck with that.

The young delegate is getting very bad advice if he thinks that clearing out now helps his prospects in four years. Voters and supporters feel betrayed when politicians suddenly throw in the towel.

Just ask anyone in Virginia Beach. Former Mayor Will Sessoms was re-elected for a four-year term in 2016 after being convicted on a conflict-of-interest charge. Rather audacious of him to run, but the voters wanted him.

Less than a year and a half into that term, however, Sessoms abruptly announced that he was quitting and offered some gibberish about needing a new job.

No one likes a quitter.

Jones has had an interesting but short political career. He was elected to the General Assembly in 2018 when he was 29. It wasn’t long before he announced that he was seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia Attorney General.

He lost that bid last spring to soon-to-be-former Attorney General Mark Herring by a wide 43% to 57% margin. Jones, 32, then turned his attention to retaining the seat in the House he’d held for two years.

The 89th District is heavily Democratic and Jones won in a landslide, with nearly 80% of the vote.

It appears that a special election will have to be called to fill his seat, courtesy of taxpayers. That also won’t endear him to the electorate.

Look, I don’t know what’s going on. There are rumors that Jones may be taking an out-of-state job. I messaged Jones Thursday asking him about his future and as of this writing, he has not responded.

When a politician flees his office to “spend more time with his family,” it’s often a troubling sign. Absent a good reason, it indicates that at the very least, the politician is unserious about public service.

If Jones can’t come up with a cogent explanation for his sudden departure his political future in Virginia is not promising.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.