Teresa Vanasse Schmidt

Representative Rigell Endorses Stuart For 91st HOD Seat

Recently elected U.S. Representative Scott Rigell, from Virginia's second Congressional district, has wasted no time in using his newly gained prestige by endorsing Hampton City Councilman Chris Stuart today for the 91st district House of Delegates seat which opened with the retirement of Tom Gear in late December. The GOP will nominate its candidate in a canvas Tuesday, January 18. The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8. Also running for the GOP nomination are Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton; attorney Chad Green, the second vice-chairman of the York County Republican Committee; and Poquoson Mayor Gordon C. Helsel, Jr., made it four when he threw his hat into the ring last Thursday (see The Daily Press). Gear is backing Schmidt for his old seat.

In a statement, Rigell said:

Republicans have four fine candidates running to fill the seat vacated by my friend, Tom Gear, in the Virginia House of Delegates. All would make fine Delegates, but I am personally supporting . . . Chris Stuart. Chris is a proven job creator and a respected leader in our community and I believe he is the right candidate to fight for our shared conservative values in Richmond. Chris is committed to fighting for lower taxes and less regulation. ...

Canvass Set To Select GOP Nominee In 91st HOD District

The 91st District Republican Legislative Committee today selected a canvass as the method of nomination for its nominee to fill the unexpired House term of Delegate Tom Gear (R-Hampton), who recently resigned.  The canvass will be  held on Tuesday, January 18, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. (The special election isn't until March 8.) Here's where voters will cast their ballots:

Hampton: Syms Middle School, 170 Fox Hill Road.

York County: General Services Building and Grounds Building at 1801 Wolf Trap Road.

Poquoson: Emmaus Baptist Church, 814 Yorktown Road.

There are three announced Republican candidates thus far: Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton; Hampton City Councilman and businessman Chris Stuart; and attorney Chad Green, the second vice-chairman of the York County Republican Committee.

Special Election Set For 91st District House Seat

Governor Bob McDonnell today set March 8 as the date for the special election to fill the 91st district House of Delegates seat suddenly vacated last week when Delegate Tom Gear (R-Hampton) resigned for health reasons. Delegate Gear's multiple sclerosis is worsening and his wife and sister both have cancer (see Rosalind Helderman at the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog). That date ensures that 91st district voters will not be represented in the House of Delegates this 46-day session. The earliest the election could have been set, by law, was 45 days after Delegate Gear's resignation.  We will miss Delegate Gear. Quick witted and always genial, his great sense of humor frequently was on display, especially in the small chat world of General Assembly Building elevators and waiting areas, and often timely to relieve certain stress over upcoming committee votes those elevators were taking us to. An unwavering conservative, he is a public servant committed to principle. We wish him and his loved ones well and the restoration of their health.

Of course,  just because he resigned doesn't mean he's gone inactive. There are three Republicans running to succeed him in a largely GOP district (no word on whether the Democrats will field a candidate) and he's already thrown his endorsement to Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton, calling her "a rock-solid conservative. She's pro-life. She's big on the Second Amendment. And she doesn't believe in raising taxes" (see the Post). 

Also running are Hampton City Councilman Chris Stuart, who owns a security company, and attorney Chad Green, the second vice-chairman of the York County Republican Committee. Stuart today released a statement announcing that he is the first of the three to sign the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" which states that a candidate will never vote for a tax increase.