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'I want Virginia to continue to progress' | First woman to become House Speaker in Virginia considers running for Governor

Eileen Filler-Corn was the first woman and first Jewish House Speaker in Virginia. She told WUSA9 she will not seek re-election for the House.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — In 2020, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) made history when she became the first woman and the first Jewish Speaker of the House.

"It's shocking that it took 400 years. I mean I think we can all say that, but it did and I know so many young people see themselves in these positions," said Filler-Corn.

Filler-Corn represents the 41st district in Fairfax County. She announced this week that she will not seek re-election in the upcoming election.

"This past session made me realize without having control of the Governor's mansion of the executive branch, we're not gonna make a progress, the type of progress that we were able to make in the past. So, I realized that I want to continue to move things forward. I want Virginia to continue to progress, and the best way I can do that and the best way I can effect change will be outside of the compounds of the house of delegates," said Filler-Corn.

She told WUSA9 Monday, this decision doesn't mean her political career is over. 

"I'm definitely interested in exploring for Governor," said Filler-Corn.

"I think it's too soon to say much more than that, but I'm not being coy, I'm very interested in exploring that option," she said.

Filler-Corn, who represents part of Fairfax County, was first elected in 2010. A strong fundraiser, she led the Democratic caucus during the national scandal and party strife that exploded after the 2019 discovery of a racist photo in former Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook. She helped the party flip control of the House and Senate later that year and took over the speakership in 2020.

Next week, Delegate Filler-Corn's official Speaker portrait will be unveiled in the House of Delegates Chamber in Richmond. Her staff told WUSA9 this will be the first time a portrait of a woman is displayed in the Chamber.

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