Brewer to chair House committee, run for Senate

Published 1:17 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

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State Del. Emily Brewer, R-Isle of Wight, will chair the House of Delegates’ Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee this year — while also gearing up to seek the newly created District 17 state Senate seat next year.

House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, announced the committee chair appointment on Jan. 12, the first day of the General Assembly’s 2022 session.

This year’s House Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee will be composed of 12 Republicans, including Brewer, and 10 Democrats.

According to Gilbert’s communications director, J. Garren Shipley, the committee is tasked with reviewing telecommunications-related bills, ranging from drone regulations to changes in Virginia’s rules related to phone companies. Specific bills will be assigned to the committee as more are filed.

As a result of November’s elections, House Republicans now hold a 52-48 majority, though the state Senate remains under Democratic control. The 17th District, which currently has no incumbent senator living within its borders, includes Isle of Wight, Southampton, Greensville and Brunswick counties, the cities of Franklin, Suffolk and Emporia, and part of Dinwiddie County and the city of Portsmouth.

Brewer was re-elected last November to the 64th House of Delegates District, which has gone Republican every election since 2011. Under the redistricting plan adopted by the Supreme Court of Virginia in December, Brewer now resides in the 84th District.

The 84th is expected to swing Democratic based on its share of votes from the 2016 presidential election and the 2017 Virginia attorney general race, according to analyses by the court-appointed special masters who drew the new maps, and by the Virginia Public Access Project. The 17th Senate District is also expected to lean Democratic based on its share of votes from the 2016 and 2017 elections.

Brewer announced her Senate run on Jan. 18, stating in a press release that “serving in the House has been one of the great honors of my life.”

“I am proud of what I have accomplished with my colleagues to improve broadband access and stand with law enforcement,” she added. “ I have opposed costly tax hikes, advocated for Virginia’s children, and stood up for our values in Richmond. In the Senate, I will stand up for life, the Second Amendment and traditional values. I look forward to the campaign and working to earn the support of the 17th District.”

Brewer will also chair the General Assembly’s Virginia Commission on Youth this year, and serve on the House of Delegates’ General Laws and Appropriations committees.

“I am honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve as chair for the Commission on Youth,” Brewer said in a Jan. 11 press release. “The children of our Commonwealth are our future, and the commission remains committed to creating an environment of successful outcomes no matter where a child may live.”

The Commission on Youth has 12 members — six delegates, three senators and three citizens appointed by the governor.