Virginia Elects First Female House Speaker

Eileen Filler-Corn is sworn in as the first female house speaker in Virginia state’s 401-year history.

Eileen Filler-Corn (D) was welcomed with applause on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female House Speaker in the state’s 401-year legislative history.

Filler-Corn, who represents the state’s 41st District in Fairfax, is also the first Jewish person to hold the position in the Old Dominion state.

“I must acknowledge the tremendous honor I feel at being the first woman Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates,” Filler-Corn said in her first speech on the chamber’s floor. “I know that being the first is a privilege and it comes with a responsibility that I take with great seriousness.”

She was chosen by members of the House Democratic Caucus after Democrats won control of the Virginia General Assembly in November for the first time since 1994. 

Democrats now control all three top statewide elected offices, both U.S. Senate seats and both chambers of the General Assembly. Democrats also hold seven of Virginia’s 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) shared a photo of himself watching Filler-Corn’s swearing-in ceremony. 

“We have the opportunity to make our Commonwealth stronger, fairer, and more equitable in 2020—let’s get it done,” the governor wrote. 

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