Del. Rick Morris announces he won’t seek re-election

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Del. Rick Morris, R-64th, who is facing child cruelty and domestic abuse charges, announced last week he will not seek a fourth term in the House of Delegates. 

Instead, he will spend more time with his three youngest children, planting vegetables and obtaining a pony and goat, according to a press release Morris passed out Thursday at the Richard J. Holland Post-Legislative Breakfast.

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“Over the last 4½ months I’ve been the primary care provider for my three smallest children ages 2, 4 and 5. While at the General Assembly in Richmond, it has been a challenge to give them the attention they deserve, and my commitment to them is greater than no other,” said Morris in the press release. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Morris, charged with two counts of child cruelty and two counts of assault and battery of a family member, is facing trial in Suffolk Circuit Court. The child cruelty charges are Class 6 felonies, and the assault and battery charges are Class 1 misdemeanors.

At the breakfast, Morris said he is confident the “false allegations” will be dismissed in May.

Since Morris’ difficulties became public, four individuals, two Democrats and two Republicans, have announced their intention to replace him as representative of the 64th District in the General Assembly.

Morris endorsed Republican candidate and Chairman of the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors Rex Alphin at the breakfast. Alphin faces a primary challenge against Emily Brewer of Suffolk. Running on the Democratic side in the primary is John Wandling of Carrollton and Rebecca Colaw of Suffolk. The primary is June 13.

Morris cited his dedication to individual rights, open and transparent government, the virtues of individual responsibility and the free market system as the hallmark of his time in the House of Delegates.

“I am extremely grateful to the good people of the 64th District for allowing me to serve them, and this has truly been one of my greatest honors,” said Morris in his press release.  {/mprestriction}