Senator Myron D. Jackson announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in the 2020 Elections.
The announcement comes one week after Senator Alicia Barnes announced that she would not seek reelection, leaving two seats open for the incoming 34th Legislature of the Virgin Islands.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided not to pursue re-election for a seat in the 2020 senatorial race. The impact of COVID-19 has transformed the world and our lives to unprecedented proportions, such that our daily existence and our way of life has required change…what is called ‘The New Normal,’” Mr. Jackson said. “In this regard, I have deeply evaluated what this requires of me in serving my family and beloved community.”
Mr. Jackson began his first term office in 2013 in the 30th Legislature. He served as Legislative Secretary of the 31st Legislature, President of the 32nd Legislature, and is currently Vice-President of the 33rd Legislature. Along with shepherding the institution through recovery after the two Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria, his efforts included execution of the official ceremonies for the 2017 Transfer Centennial and the 2019 Year of Return: Ghana/Emancipation Day, as well as working with the Smithsonian Institution to preserve and digitize the Legislature’s historic journals dating back to the early 1900s, according to a release Mr. Jackson's office issued.
“I have determined that after 40 years of public service – eight of those years which have been spent as one of your elected senators in the halls of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, I will step down and defer my advocacy to advancing community projects,” the senator said. “It has truly been a life-changing and rewarding experience serving you at this laudable institution. No one said it would be an easy task, however through it all I have loved the privilege and honor you have given me to serve you in the first branch of government.”
Mr. Jackson said that not being a politician and entering the Senate arena came with many challenges, noting that through it all, “I came to truly love the institution, its purpose, and the function it serves in the daily lives of our people and territory. The opportunities afforded me by my colleagues to serve in various leadership capacities, the development of policy, the passage of legislation, the interfacing and collaboration with colleagues and leaders at home, nationally and internationally, have been the most rewarding experiences of my professional career.”
His successful legislation includes Act No. 7659 (Bill No. 30-0418), establishing the Virgin Islands Sports Policy; Act No. 8169 (Bill No. 32-0237), a Transfer Upon Death policy to assist seniors; Act No. 7736 (Bill No. 31-0055); toward developing Fruit Processing Plants for the territory; Act No. 8153 (Bill No. 32-0308) establishing the Division of Festivals under the Department of Tourism; and Bill No. 33-0093, establishing a St. Thomas Capital Improvement Fund. He looks forward to advancing additional measures through this term.
“I would like to thank the voters, constituents, well-wishers, my critics, colleagues, family and friends for your unceasing support, and prayers. I will always consider and hold dear to my heart my service to you and the first branch of the Government of the Virgin Islands as the pinnacle of my career,” Senator Jackson concluded. “United In Pride And Hope … God bless the Virgin Islands.”