Embattled Del. Dave Englin officially resigned his seat Thursday after admitting in April to an extramarital affair that kept him from seeking a fourth term.
Englin's resignation is effective Aug. 31. He sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asking that a special election be held Nov. 6 to fill his seat.
"I have concluded that the time has come for my family and me to leave public life," said Englin, D-Alexandria, in a statement.
Englin said he and his wife, Shayna, were working on rebuilding their marriage.
"Because we have lived such a public life these past several years and invited people so freely into our home and our family, a great many people have been curious for details about our relationship, our family, and our future," Englin said. "While we understand the interest, we hope others understand and respect that leaving public life means living life more privately."
Englin, once a rising star in the Democratic Party, represents one of the state's most liberal districts. He co-founded the Progressive Caucus and was a persistent critic of a Republican push this year to enact a number of conservative social bills. He earned time on network TV after bashing legislation that would have required women to receive a transvaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion.
After informing his colleagues he would not run for a second term, Englin was rarely seen in Richmond and did not attend a special session to vote on the state budget.
In his statement, Englin asked local Democrats to rally behind Alexandria activist Karen Gautney. If elected, Gautney would become just the second openly gay lawmaker currently serving in Richmond.
According to her website bio, Gautney serves as chairwoman of the Alexandria Commission on Human Rights and president of the Alexandria Gay & Lesbian Community Association. Sheis a diversity trainer for the domestic violence and sexual assault programs.
Previously, Gautney was a special agent with the U. S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but her career was cut short because of her sexual orientation, her bio said.