Republican Greg Habeeb kept the Salem-area 8th House of Delegates seat in Republican hands tonight with a win in a special election to fill the vacated seat of former Majority Leader and now-U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith. The details are at the Roanoke Times, here. His win keeps the GOP majority at 60-39 with one seat open (91st district) due to former Delegate Tom Gear’s sudden resignation.
Archive for January 11th, 2011
Republican Bill Stanley a few minutes ago claimed victory to the Virginia Senate in a special election to fill the 19th district seat vacated by fellow Republican and now-U.S. Representative Robert Hurt. His win keeps the Senate at a 22-18 Democrat advantage. Here is Stanley’s statement:
Our two-month campaign for Senate was an effort to ensure that the people of the 19th District continue to receive a strong voice in Richmond that represents their values and their concerns. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers and supporters across the district who took our message to heart, this effort was successful. Without their hard work and dedication, our victory would not have been possible.
I congratulate my opponent, Hank Davis, on running an admirable, spirited campaign that focused on issues most important to the citizens of the 19th Senate District, and thank him for his long and dedicated service to the people of Pittsylvania County.
I am humbled to have the privilege of serving my friends and neighbors in the 19th Virginia Senate District. Now comes the important work of government, and I look forward to my immediate trip to Richmond to begin work with my colleagues and Governor McDonnell to help create more jobs, and increase prosperity and long-term economic opportunity that the 19th District so badly needs.
As Senator I will keep my promise to focus on bringing jobs to our area by opposing higher taxes, cutting spending and excessive regulation, and promoting a limited, efficient, and responsive state government. Most importantly, I look forward to responding to the concerns of the citizens of the 19th District and dutifully representing them in our State Capitol.
Capitol Square is busy in spurts today. Lawmakers and their staffs reacquaint themselves with the General Assembly Building, but it’s still sparse. Then, at Mr. Jefferson’s capitol, a herd of pages noisily rumble by, interrupting a tour. Outside it’s cold, but not bad, as the predicted storm never materialized.
Lobbyists comb Capitol Square looking for legislators to get in some early words. Making pre-session courtesy calls is important. The General Assembly, after all, is about relationships and it’s never going to be this serene. Nor as congenial. As the pace picks up (almost immediately) nerves gradually fray and stress mounts non-stop until the Sine Die gavel is brought down.
Meanwhile, as you peak into conference rooms that will morph into slammed packed sub-committee rooms in a couple of days, you see other lobbyists huddled, strategizing. Many give you a knowing look, a smile, familiar nods, unexpected hellos and happy New Year wishes. There are lobbyists giving literal meaning to their profession, hanging out in a lobby outside a lawmaker’s office, waiting patiently. As if expecting them, Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-67, Chantilly) had a tray of muffins, scones and pastries outside his office. We now have an official GA bakery.
Delegates pass you by on the way to the elevator (or to a restroom) and say hello. The mini-reunions are refreshing — it’s nice to be recognized — and networking is always a benefit.
There is some practical business to be done. Lobbyist IDs need to be updated and the General Assembly operations guys are the best. Easy going, affable, eager and always prepared to help. Need that 2011 sticker on your ID? Got it for you, and how are you doing? Great to see you again.
Impromptu meetings with certain staff to get the lay of the land for some bills leads to running into staff from the Attorney General’s office. More strategy time. That’s just the way it happens. Scurrying through the GAB inevitably leads to making connections because everyone has the same thing on their minds. It’s organized chaos. One legislative staffer is starting a news service to cover the General Assembly. Not an easy task while making the trains run on time for her boss.
It’s pre-dawn in Capitol Square. Not in a chronilogical or meteorlogical sense. But the dawn of a 45-day-legislative whirlwind.