Tommy Norment

Last updated
Tommy Norment
Minority Leader of the Virginia Senate
Assumed office
January 8, 2020
Preceded by Dick Saslaw
In office
January 28, 2014 June 12, 2014
Preceded byDick Saslaw
Succeeded byDick Saslaw
In office
January 2008 January 12, 2012
Preceded byDick Saslaw
Succeeded byDick Saslaw
Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate
In office
June 12, 2014 January 8, 2020
Preceded byDick Saslaw
Succeeded byDick Saslaw
In office
January 12, 2012 January 28, 2014
Preceded byDick Saslaw
Succeeded byDick Saslaw
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 3rd district
Assumed office
January 8, 1992
Preceded by William E. Fears
Personal details
Thomas Kent Norment Jr.

(1946-04-12) April 12, 1946 (age 74)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Formerly)
Education Virginia Military Institute (BS)
College of William and Mary (JD)
CommitteesCommerce and Labor
Finance and Appropriations
Website Official website

Thomas Kent Norment Jr. (born April 12, 1946) is an American politician serving as the Minority Leader of the Senate of Virginia. He has served in the Virginia General Assembly since 1992. A Republican, he represents the 3rd district of the Virginia Senate, which includes parts of the Virginia Peninsula, plus King and Queen County, King William County, New Kent County and Gloucester County on the Middle Peninsula. [1]



Norment graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and received his J.D. degree from William and Mary School of Law. [2]

Norment is an Adjunct Professor of Law at William and Mary Law School. [3] He served as on-campus attorney, and counselor and attorney to the President of William and Mary. [4]

In 2008, Norment requested an opinion from Attorney General Bob McDonnell stating "at no time will I assume a relationship of 'attorney-client' that would result in the exercising of any attorney client privilege or any work product privilege. It is my understanding the College would continue to rely upon legal services through the Office of Attorney General." [5] Attorney General McDonnell concludes his opinion to Norment that "it is my opinion that you do not have an impermissible conflict of interest under the Act based on the facts herein." McDonnell writes "I affirm the intention that your relationship with the College will not be that of attorney and client." [6]

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, released the Norment opinion to the public and issued a press release on September 2, 2011. The press release states the following: "Recent public statements made by state Senator Thomas Norment suggest that for the past several years, he assumed a role of legal counsel for the College of William & Mary. One of his reported statements also incorrectly implied that a 2008 opinion he requested from the Office of the Attorney General affirmed that such an arrangement would be acceptable under the law." [6]

Political career

Initially a Democrat, [7] Norment won election to the James City County Board of Supervisors as a Republican and served from 1987-1991. [2] He was elected to the state Senate in 1991, defeating Democrat Bill Fears with 54% of the vote. [8] Norment was unopposed for re-election in 1995, re-elected with 63% of the vote in 1999, re-elected with 62% of the vote in 2003, re-elected unopposed in 2007 and 2011, and re-elected with 70% of the vote in 2015. [9] Norment has led the Virginia Senate Republican caucus since 2008. [7]


In January 2001, Norment was charged with driving under the influence after he was pulled over on Interstate 64 outside Richmond with a blood alcohol content of 0.10. [10] He apologized from the floor of the Senate to his constituents and colleagues two days later, saying, "I offer no excuses, no avoidances of responsibility. I do, however, offer my sincere and contrite apologies for any embarrassment or shadow I may have cast over the integrity and dignity of this body." [10]

In April 2015 a letter from 2013 was made public, the letter written by Norment to the Virginia State Bar, saying that he had previously had an extramarital relationship with a female lobbyist. Norment was responding to allegations from an unsatisfied legal client, Christopher Burruss, who attempted to extort Norment by revealing Norment's earlier sexual impropriety. Rather than comply with Burruss' demands, Norment turned the evidence over to the Virginia State Bar. Burruss was convicted of extortion and sentenced to two years in prison. [11] [12] Norment reported that his marriage had recovered from the affair, [13] but he later divorced. [14] The lobbyist's name, Angie Bezik, was withheld from news reports [15] until 2018 when Norment announced he was engaged to marry her. [14] Norment restricted press access to the Virginia Senate in 2016, a move that observers saw as catalyzed by the negative press coverage of his affair. [16]

In August 2015, Norment's name and personal information appeared on the hacked Ashley Madison servers, showing one payment of $68.99 and two payments of $79. Clients of the dating service were required to pay to initiate a conversation with another client, and male clients paid to read the first messages from female clients. [17] Norment declined to comment. [17]

Former students of his at William and Mary in the 2010s accuse Norment in 2019 of teaching racist material and making racist and transphobic statements in class. [18]

In February 2019, it was revealed that Norment was an editor of the 1968 Virginia Military Institute yearbook that showed students in Ku Klux Klan attire, blackface, and listed them with racially offensive nicknames, which came to light in the context of the 2019 Virginia political crisis. [19] Norment does not appear in any of the yearbook photos and issued a statement saying he condemned the use of blackface [20] and said his role was ensuring writers and photographers made their submissions on time and that he was "still culpable, but it is by association with a team that produced that yearbook with those photos". [21] Norment pointed out that page 236 of the same yearbook shows he supported the racial integration of VMI in 1968, and led an effort to enroll women there in 1997. [20]


  1. Senate of Virginia
  2. 1 2 In Norment-Reyes race, it's the old versus the new (Daily Press)
  3. William and Mary Law School
  4. Virginia Gazette
  5. Case Finder
  6. 1 2 ": Tommy Norment Gets In Trouble?".
  7. 1 2 Tommy Norment: the Peninsula's new legislative powerhouse (Daily Press)
  8. Elections Database
  9. Elections Database
  14. 1 2
  17. 1 2
  18. "Former students say Virginia Senate Majority Leader taught racially insensitive college course" . Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  19. ": Virginia Sen. Tommy Norment was an editor for VMI yearbook filled with racist photos and slurs".
  20. 1 2 Top Republican Virginia Sen. Norment caught up in blackface scandal (NBC News)
  21. Virginia Sen. Tommy Norment was an editor for VMI yearbook filled with racist photos and slurs (Virginian-Pilot)

Related Research Articles

Marshall Coleman American politician

John Marshall Coleman is an American lawyer and Republican politician who served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly during the 1970s. He was the first Republican elected as Attorney General of Virginia since Congressional Reconstruction and served 1978-1982, although his later campaigns for Governor of Virginia and U.S. Senate proved unsuccessful.

Donald McEachin U.S. Representative from Virginia

Aston Donald McEachin is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 4th congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, his district is based in the state capital, Richmond; it includes most of the area until Hampton Roads.

Mark Obenshain

Mark Dudley Obenshain is an American attorney and politician. He is currently serving as a member of the Senate of Virginia from Harrisonburg. He is a member of the Republican Party. He took office in 2004. At the 2013 state Republican convention he became the Republican nominee in the 2013 election for Attorney General of Virginia.

Christopher Joseph LaCivita is an American political consultant, and partner in FP1 Strategies, a national public-affairs and campaign firm. Since 2004, he has been president of the firm Advancing Strategies LLC. He was formerly with Crosslink Strategy, a conservative lobbying and political consulting firm founded by former John McCain advisor Terry Nelson, a founding partner of FP1 as well. LaCivita is often mentioned for his role as media advisor to the Swift Boat Veterans, an independent-expenditure group credited with a significant impact on the 2004 presidential election.

Mark Lawrence Earley is an American attorney and former politician. A Republican, he was elected to the Virginia State Senate (1988–1998), and then elected Attorney General of Virginia. In 2001, he resigned as Attorney General to focus his time on the 2001 campaign for Governor of Virginia. He ran to succeed James Gilmore, but lost to Democrat Mark Warner.

Mark Herring American lawyer and politician

Mark Rankin Herring is an American lawyer who is the 47th Attorney General of Virginia. A Democrat, he previously served in the Senate of Virginia since a 2006 special election, representing the 33rd district, made up of parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

Dick Saslaw

Richard Lawrence Saslaw is an American politician serving as Majority Leader of the Senate of Virginia since 2020. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1976–80, then was elected to the Senate of Virginia. He currently represents the 35th district, made up of the city of Falls Church and portions of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.

Ralph Northam American physician and politician

Ralph Shearer Northam is an American politician and physician serving as the 73rd Governor of Virginia since January 13, 2018. A pediatric neurologist by occupation, he was an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1984 to 1992. Northam, a member of the Democratic Party, served as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018 prior to winning the governorship against Republican nominee Ed Gillespie in the 2017 election.

Joe Morrissey American lawyer and politician

Joseph Dee Morrissey is an American Democratic politician, businessman, and former lawyer who won election to both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly from districts including Richmond or surrounding Henrico County, Virginia. He currently represents Virginia's 16th Senate district, having been elected during the 2019 Virginia elections. He represents much of southern Richmond, as well as all of the cities of Petersburg and Hopewell and portions of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties.

2009 Virginia elections

The following offices were up for election in the United States Commonwealth of Virginia in the November 2009 general election:

William Cleveland Mims is a Justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia. He is a former member of the Virginia General Assembly and Attorney General of Virginia. He is the second person in Virginia history to serve in these three offices.

William E. Fears American politician

William Earl Fears was a long-serving Democratic member of the Senate of Virginia from the 1960s to the 1990s.

2013 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election

The Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election of 2013 took place on November 5, 2013, to elect the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. The incumbent Lieutenant Governor, Republican Bill Bolling, had originally planned to run for Governor of Virginia in the 2013 gubernatorial election, but withdrew upon the entry of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Jennifer Wexton American politician

Jennifer Lynn Wexton is an American lawyer and politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia who has served as the United States Representative for Virginia's 10th congressional district since 2019. The district is anchored in the outer portion of Northern Virginia. It includes all of Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun counties; Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester cities; and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties. From 2014 to 2019 Wexton was a member of the Virginia Senate, representing the 33rd district, which includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

2017 Virginia Attorney General election

The Virginia Attorney General election of 2017 was held on November 7, 2017. The incumbent attorney general, Democrat Mark Herring, was expected to run for governor, but announced he would run for re-election instead. As only Herring and Republican John Adams qualified for their respective party primaries, the two automatically became their parties' nominees. In the general election, Herring defeated Adams to win a second term as Attorney General of Virginia.

Edward Almer Ames Jr. was a Virginia lawyer and member of the Virginia General Assembly representing Virginia's Eastern shore between 1956 and 1968. A member of the Byrd Organization, Ames was also a member of the new legislative Boatwright Committee which investigated the NAACP as part of the Massive Resistance to racial integration vowed by U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd after the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education.

Robert S. Burruss Jr.

Robert Sidney Burruss Jr. was a state Senator and businessman from Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1963 he became the first Republican elected to represent the area since Congressional Reconstruction.

John Donley Adams is an American lawyer from Virginia. He is a partner at McGuire Woods, where he chairs the Government Investigations Department and co-chairs the Appellate Team. Adams ran for Attorney General of Virginia in 2017 and received the Republican nomination, but was defeated in the general election by incumbent Democrat Mark Herring. Adams is a member of the Adams political family.

2019 Virginia political crisis February 2019 Virginia political scandals

The Virginia political crisis of 2019 occurred when all three of Virginia's statewide elected executive officials became engulfed in scandal over the course of one week in February 2019. All three were the consequently the subjects of nation-wide bipartisan calls for resignation or removal from office. The crisis started when a photo of Governor Ralph Northam's page in his 1984 medical school yearbook depicted an individual in blackface and an individual in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam had sparked a national outcry two days earlier over comments interpreted by conservatives and pro-life groups as supporting infanticide. Amid widespread calls for Northam's resignation, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax had multiple sexual assault allegations raised against him dating to 2000 and 2004. Attorney General Mark Herring revealed shortly thereafter that he had also worn blackface while in college.

2020 West Virginia elections West Virginia elections 2020

West Virginia held elections on November 3, 2020. Elections for the United States Senate and House, as well as for several statewide offices including the governorship were held. These elections were held concurrently with the 2020 U.S. presidential election and other elections nationwide.The Democratic and Republican party primary elections were held on June 9, 2020.


Senate of Virginia
Preceded by
William E. Fears
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 3rd district

Preceded by
Dick Saslaw
Minority Leader of the Virginia Senate
Succeeded by
Dick Saslaw
Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate
Minority Leader of the Virginia Senate
Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate
Minority Leader of the Virginia Senate