Agreeing and rejecting to Governor Bob McDonnell's amendments Wednesday wasn't the only business going on in Mr. Jefferson's Capitol. When the governor selected former Delegate Sam Nixon to head up VITA, not only did it create a vacancy for his seat, it created a vacancy in the House GOP leadership since he was the House GOP Caucus chairman. In his place, the caucus elected Delegate Tim Hugo (R-40, Fairfax) (see VA GOP Caucus Blog). From Delegate Hugo's news release:

"As a recognized leader within the Caucus, Tim understands the duties required of this position and has the right temperament and experiences to be very successful in his important new capacity," stated Speaker William J. Howell. "During these tough economic times and need to reform state government to make it smarter and simpler, it is imperative that we have an energetic, dedicated and knowledgeable member like Tim joining our leadership team. Like so many, I am looking forward to working with him and our Majority Caucus will be better off because of his leadership."

He will have large shoes to fill, but he has something in common with former Delegate Nixon, which, if it is any indicator of future success, bodes well for conservatives: then-Delegate Nixon, before becoming GOP Caucus chair, was the Virginia Conservative Caucus chairman. Delegate Hugo, first elected to the House of Delegates in a special election in December 2002, has been an active member of the "concaucus" where we have forged an excellent relationship with him. He also is a member of the Commerce and Labor, Finance, Transportation, and Privileges and Elections Committees. He is vice-chair of the Finance Committee and chairs sub-committees in Finance and Commerce and Labor. He represents parts of Fairfax, Centreville, Clifton, and Fairfax Station. We congratulate him, wish him well and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.