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Exclusive: Mark Dudenhefer won’t seek reelection to House of Delegates

STAFFORD, Va. — After this year, Mark Dudenhefer is done in Richmond.

The two-term Republican represents northern Stafford County and Woodbridge in eastern Prince William County. His term is up at the end of 2017. 

Dudenhefer is expected to make a formal announcement by press release later today. He told Potomac Local on Thursday that he will serve out the remainder of his term, and attend the General Assembly which begins Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2017. 

“My family, and my wife and I have been talking about it for a long time,” said Dudenhefer. “They’ve stood by me through seven elections, but they don’t want me to do House of Delegates Election again.”

Dudenhefer, who lives in Stafford, was first elected to the newly created 2nd District House of Delegates seat in 2011. He was unseated two years later by Democrat Micheal Futrell, of Woodbridge. 

Dudenhefer won back the seat in a 2015 election against Futrell Josh King by winning a majority of the votes in Stafford County. King is once again seeking this seat this year, said Trent Armitage, Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

Before going to Richmond, Dudenhefer served on as Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. Serving on that Board again is something he has not ruled out. 

“I really enjoyed my time on the Board of Supervisors because I felt like I got more done. It’s easy to get more done when you are a big fish in a small pond,” said Dudenhefer. 

Dudenhefer served as Garrisonville District Supervisor, and he still lives in the district. Laura Sellers (who was elected as a Democrat) currently holds the Garrisonville seat, and she’s up for reelection this fall.

Dudenhefer’s shining piece of legislation was “Gweneth’s Law” which required automated external defibrillators, or AEDs to be installed in schoolhouses across the state. The law is named after 12-year-old Gwyneth Griffin who collapsed while running track at Stafford County’s A.G. Wright Middle School and then later died.

The lawmaker also played a vital role in securing funding for the Widewater State Park on the Potomac River in Stafford County.

While on the Board of Supervisors, Dudenhefer focused on improving roadways in Stafford County — the impetus for him seeking a seat on the county body following the death of his daughter who died in a car crash on a two-lane county road.

Updated 

Dudenhefer’s official statement:

Delegate Mark Dudenhefer officially announced today that he will not seek re-election to the Second House of Delegates District seat.

“I want to thank my family, constituents, and colleagues for their selfless support during my time in the House of Delegates. One of the great honors of my life has been serving in the Virginia House of Delegates. Many times, as I sat in my chair on the House floor, I reflected on the great individuals who served in those very chambers. I take pride in the work that we accomplished. I only hope that my small contribution has lived up to the high standards expected by the citizens of the Commonwealth, especially those in House District 2.”

“It has become clear to me that I can better serve my God, my family, and my fellow man by pursuing a different course. I have not decided exactly what that path will be, but I will always remain a steadfast voice for transportation improvements and better communities. I felt it was important to announce my intentions not to run for re-election early enough to give others as much time as possible to plan an effective campaign.”

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