Del. Ronnie Campbell, R-Rockbridge County, has died. Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, said in an email Tuesday that the lawmaker passed away from cancer.
”This morning’s news is the worst. Virginia has lost a good man and dedicated public servant, the House of Delegates has lost a sterling voice, and I have lost a good friend,” Gilbert said in a statement. “Ronnie Campbell was a good and decent man, and we are less as a commonwealth today for his passing. I would ask that all Virginians join me in holding Ronnie’s wife Ellen and his entire family in their prayers.”
Campbell, 68, was first elected to the 24th House of Delegates District in a special election in 2018 for the seat vacated by former Del. Ben Cline, who had been elected to Congress. A native of Waynesboro, Campbell spent much of his life as a Virginia State Trooper. He also served on the Rockbridge County school board, followed by a stint on the county’s Board of Supervisors.
Campbell was reelected to the House of Delegates in November of 2021. One month later, the Virginia Supreme Court approved new district maps that drew him into the same district with Del. John Avioli, R-Staunton.
In the House of Delegates, Campbell served on the Courts of Justice, Finance and Public Safety committees. A staunch constitutionalist, he sponsored several election integrity measures during the 2022 session. In early 2021, he was one of three members of the House of Delegates signing a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence asking him to throw out Virginia’s election results, which gave Democrat Joe Biden the win and Virginia’s 13 electoral votes.
Campbell’s family said in a statement that the lawmaker died “after a hard fought battle” with cancer. “Delegate Campbell was a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. From his time in the Virginia State Police to his time in the House of Delegates, Ronnie served with honor and relentlessly fought for the best interests of others. While he is no longer with us, he will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone touched by him.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered state flags at half-staff Tuesday and Wednesday in Campbell’s memory. In a statement, the governor said: “Suzanne and I are saddened to learn of Delegate Campbell’s passing. Ronnie served the Commonwealth he loved in so many ways: as a State Trooper for over two decades, on the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors and School Board, and in the House of Delegates. He cared deeply about his community, the Commonwealth, law enforcement, and above all his wife, Ellen, and their family. Suzanne and I are praying for the entire Campbell family during this difficult time.”
Cline also issued a statement: “Ronnie served our community and Commonwealth with dedication and distinction. He made a career in law enforcement with the Virginia State Police, serving both in northern Virginia and in Rockbridge County. He pursued higher education and spent time as a contractor, giving him added insights into the impact government regulations can have on small businesses. Ronnie was driven to serve both his Rockbridge community and his home county of Augusta.”