Wednesday, June 12, 2013

GOP defeats open two chairmanships in House of Delegates - Richmond Times Dispatch

English: The state seal of Virginia. Српски / ...
English: The state seal of Virginia. Српски / Srpski: Застава америчке савезне државе Вирџиније. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:22 pm
The defeat of two veteran Republican delegates in Tuesday’s primary opened more committee chairmanships in the House of Delegates and fanned debate about the impact of this year’s historic transportation funding vote.
Both Del. Joe T. May, R-Loudoun, and Beverly J. Sherwood, R-Frederick, supported the transportation funding overhaul that passed in this year’s General Assembly session, a landmark infusion of cash into the state’s beleaguered roads fund.
Many conservatives were displeased with the tax increases in the bill, which is expected to raise about $3.4 billion statewide over five years and an additional $2.5 billion in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
On the heels of Tuesday’s results, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform said May’s defeat “can be directly attributed to his vote for Speaker Bill Howell's misguided $6 billion tax hike.”
Of the 34 Republicans -- and one Independent who caucuses with Republicans -- in the House who supported the transportation measure, four faced primary challenges and two were defeated. Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, beat a primary challenger but Gilbert did not support the transportation plan.
Del. Robert D. Orrock Sr., R-Caroline, and House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, both survived primary challenges – and Howell sponsored the transportation legislation.
Howell noted that May and Sherwood had each served for about 20 years and had taken thousands of votes.
“Two people losing out of 35, I think it’s hard to say that the transportation bill was a sole factor or even a primary factor,” he said. “I think in both Joe and Bev’s races there were a lot of other things that took place.”
Sherwood lost to retired physician Mark J. Berg and May lost to general contractor Dave A. LaRock.
The losses will also mean a greater shifting of committee chairmanships, as May chaired Transportation Committee and Sherwood chaired House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.

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