GOP Hokie (www.eears.blogspot.com) has a good post up about the 40th Senate seat currently held by William Wampler. I served with William for 8 years in the Senate and consider him a friend. He has been a tremendous asset to Southwest Virginia. An asset we will sorely miss. Even though we lost the majority to the Democrats, Wampler would be the ranking Republican on Finance, still a powerful position. His potential retirement is yet another blow to this part of the State.
I think Donnie Ratliff’s close ties to Wampler will give him the inside track on the Republican nomination. As GOP Hokie says, his company has given to both parties. But I seriously doubt most Republican voters will hold him accountable for the contributions of the company he works for.
Speaking of our regional political woes, a recent Roanoke Times article said that SW Democrats Edwards, Puckett and Reynolds have been given leadership posts within their caucus. As nice as this sounds, these posts are largely ceremonial, as the real power lies with the Committee Chairs, none of which are from SW. Interestingly, Senator Locke, the new General Laws Chair, actually has less seniority than all three of these men. It’s really quite unfortunate for our region that none of these Senators received a Chairmanship.