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EXIT STAGE LEFT: Admitting Affair, Del. David Englin Steps Away from Public Life to Repair Marriage

Posted on Apr 06,2012
Filed Under Local Politics , Politics,
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Photo by John Arundel <br />
Photo by John Arundel
"In my personal life, I let down my family and was unfaithful in my marriage, so Shayna and I recently separated," Del. David Englin said in a statement.

By John Arundel

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -
To many in Alexandria's energized,  closely-knit political circles. Del. David Englin (D-45) represented the next great hope for state or national leadership for a city that for so long had catapulted its great leaders to higher public office. Names like John Warner, Mark Warner or Jim Moran.

The 36-year-old Air Force veteran had cut a swath in Richmond as one of the state's more progressive lawmakers, with support from leading environmental, pro-abortion rights, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups. In 2006, he was recognized by National Journal as one of the state's up-and-coming legislators.

Republican Ben Cline (Left) and Democrat David Englin (Right) discuss their bipartisan effort to reform Virginia's tax code.
Republican Ben Cline (Left) and Democrat
David Englin (Right) discuss their bipartisan
effort to reform Virginia's tax code.

But it all ended badly this week for Englin, who stood before his longtime supporters at a routine meeting of the Alexandria Democratic Committee Monday night and confessed to them a longtime affair that he says is causing him to remove himself from public life and work to repair his marriage.  

"In my personal life, I let down my family and was unfaithful in my marriage, so Shayna and I recently separated," Englin said in a statement. "Shayna has always been the true source of my strength and happiness, and we have been a team in my political work."
Englin said that he would not seek re-election for a fifth term in 2013, saying that he and his wife had recently separated following his disclosure about the affair. Englin did not say whom he had an affair with but noted that he wanted to work on rebuilding his marriage and focusing on his family, which includes a son Caleb.

"I will leave political life to put Shayna and Caleb first and to focus on rebuilding what is and always was most important to me: my marriage and my family," Englin added. "I am deeply sorry for hurting the people I love the most and for letting down so many others who put their faith in me."

For some it was perhaps ironic that for Englin, whose recent public statements cost one of his colleagues sex with his wife, was acknowledging that his own affair had cost him his coveted state delegate seat and posed a threat to his marriage.

Earlier this year, Englin registered his opposition to Virginia's failed transvaginal ultrasound bill, and he regularly appeared on cable shows such as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show to highlight the bill.

In a statement on the House floor in February, Del. David Albo (R-Fairfax Station) said that after he and his wife watched Englin discussing Albo's support of the bill, Albo's wife denied him sex.

"If the gentleman's plan was to make sure there was one less Republican in the world, he did," Albo said at the time to a chuckling Englin. "I expect an apology from him later in person on the House floor."

Other than Monday night's tersely-worded statement, Englin said that he would not be addressing his marriage publicly.

But Shayna Englin did, in a statement released by her estranged husband. "Public service has been a priority for both David and me," she said. "I'm proud of the work we did together and am grateful for the many who supported David and me in public life."

The Englin name is a combination of David's and Shayna's last names used prior to marriage -- English and Wolin.

"During this very difficult and painful time, I hope we can each have the privacy and space we need to refocus on private priorities, be great parents to Caleb, and work through this however we need to," Shayna Englin said.

City Councilman Rob Krupicka (D) confirmed Tuesday that he intended to run for the open seat being vacated by Englin. Krupicka ran for the Virginia Senate last year but lost the Democratic nomination to Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30).



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