Virginia House will have its first female and first Jewish speaker


(JTA) — The Virginia House of Delegates will have its first female and first Jewish speaker.

The current minority leader, Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn, 55, of Fairfax County, Virginia, was chosen as speaker by the House’s incoming Democrats on Saturday. She has served in the state General Assembly since 2010.

Filler-Corn said in a statement that she is “humbled and honored” to have been chosen speaker by her colleagues.

“The firsts are not lost one me – the first woman and the first Jewish person elected Speaker-designee in our 400-year legislative history – but it doesn’t define me. When I joined this body less than 10 years ago, I was the only mom serving with school-aged kids. We have come so far since then. We have the most diverse House Caucus in our history, which includes cultural, gender and geographic diversity. It also means a diversity of experience and perspectives on issues that affect Virginians, in all regions,” she said in the statement.

Democrats won a majority in the Virginia State house on Tuesday. It is the first time in 20 years that Democrats will be the majority, The Associated Press reported.

Filler-Corn is on the board of directors of the Washington region’s American Jewish Committee chapter. Until Saturday she had been serving as leader of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

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