On the day that he disclosed plans to resign from the House of Delegates, Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware is getting praised by leaders and lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Gov. Bob McDonnell, House Speaker Bill Howell and Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, issued statements this afternoon saluting Ware.
Gov. Bob McDonnell:
“Over the past ten years, I’ve gotten to know Onzlee Ware very well. I know him as someone who always puts Virginia first. And I know him as a leader who will always tell you, directly and without nuance, just where he stands.
“Those two traits were on full display when Onzlee took the floor of the House of Delegates during the final debate on this year’s historic transportation bill. Onzlee rose to let the body know why he, a Democratic representative from Roanoke, was voting for this measure. He made it clear he didn’t love the bill. That’s the nature of any compromise. But he said he was voting for the legislation because, ‘I always tell people it’s easy to do nothing, because you don’t have to think, just say no.’ And he noted, ‘I intend on voting on this bill because in my opinion, it’s the right thing to do for all Virginians.’ And he did the same thing when he also took to the floor to support the creation of the Opportunity Educational Institution that will help turnaround failing schools in our Commonwealth. Onzlee always put policy ahead of party; he put results ahead of rhetoric. He strove to do the right thing for all Virginians. We’re all better for it.
“Onzlee has always sought out common ground in the service of our Commonwealth, and now our Commonwealth will greatly miss his service to our people. I know that personal reasons have made this decision necessary, and Maureen and I extend our thoughts and best wishes to Onzlee, his mother, and their family. I hope his involvement in the life of our Commonwealth will extend far beyond this day. Virginia needs more individuals like Onzlee Ware in public service.”
House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford County
“Onzlee has been a valuable member of the Virginia House of Delegates. His candor and unique personality are appreciated by members on both sides of the aisle. Onzlee has been an effective legislator, working on issues important to the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth as a whole. His early support of this year’s landmark transportation reform package was critical to its final passage. Because of Onzlee’s tireless efforts, passenger rail will soon be returning to Roanoke. I want to thank Onzlee for his service and wish him the best of luck in the years ahead.”
Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem
“Onzlee has been an important member of the Roanoke Valley delegation and a true mentor to me since my special election. It has been an honor serving beside him in the House and working together across party lines to best represent the Roanoke Valley. Onzlee is known on both sides of the aisle as a man of character and integrity and his presence in Richmond will be sorely missed. I wish Onzlee the best of luck and will pray for his mother’s speedy recovery.”