Sen. Steve Newman announces he will not seek another term

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT
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FOREST, Va. (WDBJ) - Another veteran lawmaker from our part of Virginia is planning to leave the legislature.

Wednesday morning, Sen. Steve Newman (R-Bedford Co.) said he will not seek another term in the General Assembly.

“I’ve decided not to seek reelection,” Newman told WDBJ7 in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my family and my friends and my business, and actually turning this over to someone else.”

During 28 years in the State Senate, Steve Newman has been a consistent conservative voice. Among his achievements, he cites major legislation in the areas of transportation, education and mental health, and especially his work on behalf of people at the Central Virginia Training Center.

“I’ve always thought, even as a conservative, that God told us to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves, Newman said. “And now we just need to be sure in this new phase, that those who are in many ways the least among us, are well taken care of.”

First elected to Lynchburg City Council 35 years ago, Newman said he is thankful for the support of his wife Kim and his family.

“Both of the boys were born while I was in session,” Newman said while showing us family photos, “so she had to deal with that.”

And Newman said the friendships he has on both sides of the aisle made his decision to leave bittersweet.

“It was bitter, because I am leaving a Senate of Virginia that I actually love and I respect deeply a lot of friends that I made there. But it’s also sweet, because I get to spend more time with my wife Kim, my two boys and that brand new grandbaby, and that makes me happy,” Newman said.

Redistricting placed Newman in the same district as fellow Republican Sen. Mark Peake. Peake had indicated he would defer to Newman if Newman decided to run again.

With Newman’s announcement, at least nine members of the 40-member State Senate will not be back next year.

We asked Newman if he might run for office again in the future.

“Never say never,” he told us, but for now, he said, he’s excited to spend more time with his family.