Mary Margaret Whipple

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Mary Margaret Whipple
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 31st district
In office
January 1996 – January 10, 2012
Preceded byEdward M. Holland
Succeeded byBarbara Favola
Member of the Arlington County Board
In office
November 1983 – December 1995
Preceded byStephen H. Detwiler
Succeeded byChristopher Zimmerman
Personal details
Born (1940-05-26) May 26, 1940 (age 82)
Watseka, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceArlington County, Virginia
Alma materRice University
American University
George Washington University
CommitteesRules (chair); Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; Education and Health; Finance; Privileges and Elections

Mary Margaret Whipple (born May 26, 1940) is a former Democratic member of the Senate of Virginia, representing the 31st district from 1996 - 2012.

Political career[edit]

She was the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and she was the first woman to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly.[1] On February 25, 2011, Whipple announced that she will not be seeking reelection.[2] Whipple also serves as a member of the Eighth District Democratic Committee and the State Democratic Committee.[3]

Perhaps Whipple's most notable achievement in the 2007 legislative session was inserting renewable energy portfolio requirements in legislation applicable to Virginia electric utilities. Her committee assignments in the 2010-11 legislative sessions were: Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; Education and Health; Finance; Privileges and Elections; and Rules.[4] Whipple believes Virginia's tax system is "grossly regressive" and has sponsored bills to change it. Her bills would share state income tax revenues with localities and would increase the cigarette tax to 60 cents per pack. In 2001-02, Whipple served on the Commission on the Structure of Virginia's State and Local Tax System and Service Responsibilities.[5]

In December 2009, while serving in the Senate of Virginia of the Virginia General Assembly Whipple wrote the Governor Tim Kaine, requesting a conditional pardon and clemency for Joseph Giarratano.[6]

Whipple was raised in College Station, Texas and attended Rice University. She holds a B.A. in English from American University and an M.A. in American Studies from George Washington University.[1] She was appointed to the Arlington School Board in 1976 and served as Chair in 1978-79. Whipple was elected to the Arlington County Board in 1983-95, and was Chair in 1986. While on the County Board, she served as the Arlington representative to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("Metro") Board in 1985 and in 1988-1995, serving as chair in 1990.

Among the possible successors in the 31st Senate District were Delegates Patrick Hope and Robert Brink, former Lieutenant Governor candidate Mike Signer, County Board member Barbara Favola,[2] and lawyer Jaime Areizaga. Barbara Favola eventually won the seat.


  1. ^ a b Senate of Virginia bio
  2. ^ a b Helderman, Rosalind (2011-02-26). "Va. Sen. Whipple retiring". Washington Post. p. B1. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  3. ^ "Leadership". Arlington County Democratic Committee. Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  4. ^ "Senate of Virginia - Membership". Senate of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  5. ^ "Tax Reform: A critical issue for Virginia". Whipple. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2011-02-26. (flash subpage)
  6. ^ "Others on Joe: Margaret Whipple, Senate of Virginia" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-12-19.


External links[edit]

Senate of Virginia
Preceded by Virginia Senate, District 31
Succeeded by