Jimmie Massie, a former Republican delegate who represented Henrico County’s 72nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2008 to 2018, died suddenly on January 25, 2024. He was 64 years old. His death was confirmed by House Speaker Todd Gilbert, who expressed his shock and grief over the loss of his colleague and friend. The cause of death was not immediately clear, and no details were released by his family or his office. Massie’s death has left a void in the Virginia political scene, where he was known for his business acumen, his policy expertise, and his outgoing personality.
Jimmie Massie’s Life and Career
Jimmie Massie was born in 1959 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from St. Christopher’s School and the University of Virginia, where he majored in economics. He worked as a financial analyst and a venture capitalist, and founded his own investment firm, James W. Massie & Partners, in 1997. He was also involved in several civic and charitable organizations, such as the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the Henrico Education Foundation.
Massie entered politics in 2008, when he ran for the House of Delegates seat vacated by retiring Republican Bill Janis. He won the election with 62% of the vote, and was re-elected four more times, serving until 2018. He was a member of the Education, Appropriations, and Rules Committees, and chaired several subcommittees related to education and budget. He was known for his fiscal conservatism, his support for charter schools and school choice, and his opposition to tax increases and Medicaid expansion. He was also respected for his bipartisan approach and his willingness to work with both parties on issues of common interest.
Massie announced in 2017 that he would not seek re-election, citing his desire to spend more time with his family and his business. He endorsed his former legislative aide, Schuyler VanValkenburg, who won the seat as a Democrat. Massie remained active in the political arena, serving as a board member of the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics. He also endorsed several Republican candidates in the 2021 and 2023 elections, and was considered a potential contender for higher office in the future.
Jimmie Massie’s Legacy and Impact
Massie’s death has been met with an outpouring of condolences and tributes from his former colleagues, friends, and constituents. Many have praised his leadership, his integrity, and his service to the Commonwealth. Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a statement saying that he was “deeply saddened” by Massie’s passing, and that he was “a true public servant who loved Virginia and worked tirelessly to make it a better place for all.” House Speaker Todd Gilbert called Massie “a fine public servant” and “a joy to serve with.” House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn said that Massie was “a dedicated legislator who always put his constituents first.” Former Governor Terry McAuliffe said that Massie was “a good man and a good friend” who “always put Virginia above politics.”
Massie’s death has also sparked some speculation and uncertainty about the future of his district and his party. The 72nd District, which covers parts of Henrico and Goochland counties, has been a swing district in recent years, with both parties competing for votes and resources. Massie’s successor, Schuyler VanValkenburg, is facing a challenge from Republican Mary Margaret Kastelberg, a former school board member and businesswoman. Massie’s endorsement of Kastelberg could have boosted her chances of winning the seat, but his absence could also motivate his supporters to turn out for her. Massie’s death could also have implications for the Republican Party in Virginia, which has been divided and weakened by internal conflicts and electoral losses. Massie was seen as a moderate and pragmatic voice within the party, who could appeal to a broad range of voters and donors. His death could leave a gap in the party’s leadership and vision, and make it harder for the party to regain its footing and relevance in the state.
Jimmie Massie’s cause of death remains unknown, but his legacy and impact are undeniable. He was a successful businessman, a devoted family man, and a respected politician. He was a man who conquered his challenges, achieved his goals, and made a difference in his community. He was a man who will be missed by many, and remembered by more.