Longtime Virginia Beach Resident
As one of six children in a Navy family, Senator Ken Stolle grew up in and out of the Hampton Roads area. In 1971 the Stolle family permanently settled in Virginia Beach, where Senator Stolle graduated from Cox High School.
Ken is currently serving his first term as Virginia Beach’s Sheriff, having been elected in November 2009 with over 70% of the vote. He had previously served in the Virginia Senate as the Republican Leader Pro Tempore and represented the 8th Senatorial District, located in the eastern half of Virginia Beach.
Prior to being elected to the Virginia Senate in 1991, Ken served in the Virginia Beach Police Department from 1976 until 1987, where he was a Narcotics Detective, SWAT Team Sergeant and Tactical Team Sergeant. In addition, he was a Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve.
When he’s not running the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, Ken enjoys hunting and recently founded the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation, a nonprofit committed to providing our community with safe and educational outdoor programs, preserving our hunting and fishing heritage, and protecting our environment for future generations to enjoy. Partnering with Hunters for the Hungry, the foundation is also dedicated to providing quality high protein, low-fat venison to food banks and other nonprofit organizations feeding Virginia’s needy. He and his wife Debbie have three children: Whitney, Kenny and Ross.
A Leader in the General Assembly
Ken served in the Virginia General Assembly as the Majority Whip and the Republican Leader Pro Tempore, representing the 8th Senatorial District, located in the eastern half of Virginia Beach.
As a member of the Senate leadership, Ken chaired the Courts of Justice Committee, the Virginia State Crime Commission and the Finance Public Safety subcommittee.
He also served on the Secure Commonwealth Panel, initiated following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Ken’s work on the Panel has helped to ensure Virginia remains at the forefront of disaster planning and homeland security.
Tough on Crime
Over the past decade Ken has been the leading advocate for public safety at the state and local levels. As a member of the Senate, Ken used his first-hand law enforcement experience to champion stricter penalties for gang activity, the abolition of parole and enhanced penalties for DUI offenders.
Senate’s Voice for Law Enforcement
For years Ken led the charge for increased retirement benefits for state and local police officers, deputy sheriffs and fire fighters. He’s remained committed to ensure that these first responders who risk their lives every day for the safety of others are afforded better pay and enhanced benefits. Furthermore, as chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice committee, Ken supported improvements to the Line of Duty Act in order to make certain the children and spouses of fallen or disabled public safety officers are appropriately cared for. For his long-term commitment to law enforcement, Ken has been recognized by the Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Chiefs of Police and State Police Association with their highest awards.
Ensuring our Children’s Safety
As chairman of the Crime Commission, Ken sponsored new legislation to strengthen Virginia’s laws that crack down on sex offenders. These initiatives have improved Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry and begun GPS tracking of known sex offenders, allowing police to monitor their whereabouts 24 hours a day.
Standing Up for the Consumer
Over the course of his tenure in the General Assembly, Ken carried several pieces of landmark legislation helping small businesses while protecting the consumer. In fact, Virginia FREE consistently rated his as one of the top 5 most effective legislators in Virginia. He also helped eliminate the estate tax, cut the grocery tax, and initiate both the back-to-school and hurricane preparedness sales tax holidays.
Putting our Families First
In 2005, Ken helped pass a reduction for all Virginians who file personal income tax returns. He also voted to cut the burdensome grocery tax, fulfilling a long-standing promise made by the General Assembly to the people of Virginia. During the 2006 session, he helped eliminate the estate tax and initiate Virginia’s sales tax holiday.
Leading the Way for Virginia’s Teachers and Students
Ken is committed to ensuring Virginia’s K-12 public schools and institutions of higher learning remain a priority for City Council and the General Assembly. He has been honored by the Virginia Beach Education Association with its “Friend of Education” award and by the Virginia School Board Association with its “Legislative Award of Excellence” for continually supporting increased funding for public schools in addition to pay raises for all state employees, including teachers.
Investing in Virginia’s Future
As a Senator, Ken worked hard to ensure that the General Assembly honor its commitment to our children by fully-funding K-12 education and by supporting teachers through long-overdue pay raises and additional classroom resources.
Protecting the Rights of Landowners
When it came to protecting the rights of property owners, Ken was one of the first to propose changes to Virginia law to strengthen the existing prohibition that keeps government from seizing land for economic development purposes or other non-essential reasons. He also helped passed legislation that struck a balance between the Navy’s training needs at Naval Air Station Oceana and the property rights of Virginia Beach citizens without condemning homes.
Keeping Government Accountable
In order to ensure that the money you pay in taxes is used wisely, Ken sponsored legislation requiring a joint commission to conduct an annual review of state programs. The commission would make recommendations as to each program’s overall effectiveness and success in achieving its stated goals.
Easing the Burden on Vulnerable Homeowners
Ken understands that senior citizens and handicapped individuals across Virginia face many hardships every day. To ease the financial burden placed upon them, Ken consistently voted to protect our most vulnerable citizens in the community from rising real estate taxes
Making Our safety A Priority
Ken Stolle has made the safety and security of our families his highest priority, serving as: – A Virginia Beach Police Officer and Supervisor, Narcotics Detective, SWAT Team Leader, and Tactical Team Sergeant. – A Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, designated as a Special Agent assigned to the Naval Investigative Service. – A State Senator, leading efforts to abolish parole for violent criminals, establishing the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” rule, and putting in place truth-in-sentencing. – The Chair of the Senate Finance Public Safety Subcommittee, overseeing Virginia’s near $2 Billion-a-year public safety budget. – The Chair of the Crime Commission, fighting for enhanced penalties for drunk drivers, sex offenders, drug dealers, and domestic violence perpetrators.