Thursday, November 24, 2005

Free Lance Star on Bolling Seat

Free Lance Star had an article regarding the State Senate seat currently held by Lt. Gov-elect Bill Bolling:

Delegate eyes seat in Senate November 23, 2005 12:50 am RICHMOND--Lt. Gov.-elect Bill Bolling says that if Del. Ryan McDougle wants to run for his state Senate seat, he has Bolling's endorsement. McDougle, R-Mechanicsville, hasn't formally announced his interest in the 4th Senatorial District. But he was the only delegate to attend last week's Senate Finance budget retreat, invited there by Sen. John Chichester, the committee chairman who lives in Northumberland County. The district includes part of Spotsylvania County and all of Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King and Queen, King William and Middlesex counties. McDougle, a 34-year-old attorney, said he wouldn't formally announce his plans until Bolling officially resigns the seat, which Bolling expects to do next week after the state Board of Elections certifies the votes and his victory in the Nov. 8 election. However, it may be some time before McDougle or anyone else can be elected to fill that vacancy. After Bolling's resignation--which he said he probably will make effective at the end of December--the governor must call a special election to fill the seat before the legislative session starts in January. That could happen in December, except that another race is posing a problem. Because the election results in the attorney general's race are so close--a matter of a few hundred votes--Democrat Creigh Deeds is planning to ask for a recount after the votes are certified next Monday. Until a recount is completed, which could take three weeks, all the voting machines in the state are sealed. That puts everything into mid-December. Add the holidays into the equation, and Bolling said he expects a special election won't be held until early January--just before the General Assembly opens on Jan. 11. "I wish it could have been done sooner," he said. If McDougle wins a special election, it would force yet another special election to fill his House seat, then 97th district. McDougle said he has been doing some traveling in the Senate district, which partly overlaps his House district. And he is holding a press conference on the subject next week. "There will be an open seat, we certainly have considered it. We're interested in pursuing that opportunity," McDougle said. Bolling said as far as he knows, McDougle is the only Republican interested in the seat, although the Henrico Citizen has reported that Chris Peace, the son of a former Hanover supervisor, may run, as well. "Delegate McDougle will have my full, complete and enthusiastic support," Bolling said yesterday, adding that he thinks McDougle's conservatism would be a good fit in the Senate. "He is the logical successor to me." While the attorney general's race is in doubt, Bolling's is not. He beat Democrat Leslie Byrne by about 20,000 votes, about one percentage point. So while the certification process hasn't formalized his victory, Bolling has already moved into his new offices and appointed a three-person staff, he announced yesterday. Unlike Gov.-elect Tim Kaine, and both attorney general candidates, all of whom are in transition offices waiting for the current office-holders to move out in January, Bolling gets to move right into the lieutenant governor's office. That's because the office is new, and Kaine, who's currently lieutenant governor, never used it. The new lieutenant governor's office occupies space in the old Senate Finance building, now newly renovated.

I don't think McDougle's interests surprises anyone. I'd guess he'll be the only candidate with any chance who will enter the nomination process. I ran into Chris Peace a couple of weeks ago. He actually indicated to me a stronger interests in the HOD seat McDougle will vacate when he's elected to the State Senate.

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