Jason Boleman//September 25, 2023
Jason Boleman//September 25, 2023//
Retiring Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, has joined the office of Attorney General Jason Miyares as deputy attorney general for health, education and social services.
Bell began his new position on Sept. 18 and has formally resigned his position in the House of Delegates, according to a press release from Miyares’ office. Bell previously announced in February that he would not seek re-election in November.
“As delegate, I had the chance to learn about a wide variety of legal and policy issues while serving on the Education Committee, the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee and the Behavioral Health Commission. I am excited to bring this knowledge into a new public service role,” Bell said via press release. “I am honored that Attorney General Miyares has asked me to join his office.”
Miyares, who served with Bell in the House of Delegates from 2016 until 2022, said in a statement that he has “a deep respect for [Bell]’s work ethic, intellect and knowledge of Virginia laws.”
“I have confidence that he will work vigorously for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Miyares said.
Bell attended the University of Virginia both as an undergraduate and law school student before working as a prosecutor in Orange County following law school.
In 2001, Bell was elected to the House of Delegates from the 58th district, replacing retiring Del. Paul Clinton Harris. During his two decades in the legislature, Bell chaired the House Courts of Justice Committee and was appointed to serve on the Virginia State Crime Commission, among other committee assignments.
A statement from Miyares’ office noted that Bell patroned bills into law addressing mental health, school safety and bullying, college sexual assault, protective orders and rules for Virginians with special needs.
Bell ran for the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Virginia in 2013, losing in a convention to Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham. His campaign for the party’s nomination for the 2017 attorney general election ended after he withdrew from the race in November 2016, citing his duties as a parent to young children.
With the passage of the state budget earlier this month concluding the General Assembly’s voting matters for 2023, no special election will be held to fill Bell’s seat. After redistricting in 2021, Bell would have had to run in the new 55th district.
All seats in both chambers of the General Assembly will be up for election on Nov. 7.