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Delegate O'Bannon Responds to Blackburn

Tim Craig

In a posting earlier today, we published a letter that conservative activist Joseph Blackburn wrote to Del. John M. O'Bannon III (R-Henrico) about a potential challenge to House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

O'Bannon responded this afternoon. Some Republicans say this is the first skirmish of a potential GOP primary contest between O'Bannon and Blackburn in 2009. You can read O'Bannon's reponse to Blackburn's letter below.

Dear Joe,

Thank you for your letter and for sharing it.

I appreciate the history lesson, but want to remind you that I wasn't the only one to "take a walk". (Delegate) Bill Janis (R-Goochland), one of your best friends and a loyal supporter, also missed that vote. We both voted against the tax increase on the floor in 2004, against the proposed Billion Dollar tax increase in 2006 and we've taken hundreds of votes against tax increases over the years on the Finance Committee.

Certainly HB 3202 is flawed--we should not have accepted the Governor's amendment at Veto. We can fix that and I'm willing to do so and see if the reckless driving citations in Virginia continue to go down, as they have been doing over the past few months. It was hard to vote for 3202, but by definition any compromise has opposition and I'm certainly against raising gasoline taxes.

As far as "Disgusted Republicans", we'd be better off in the Senate if Tricia Stall (a 2007 GOP Senate candidate) had won or (former GOP senator) Marty Williams hadn't been taken out. I hope some day we can stop the Circular Firing Squads and begin to work together to build the majority.

Actually Joe, we could have done much worse in the House, and while we lost a few seats we will still have a comfortable, functional majority. Our current leadership hasn't been perfect, but I do believe we have good ideas on immigration, education, public safety and yes, taxes--we'll certainly need to be unified after the Senate elections.

We'll certainly have a healthy debate Sunday, but I plan to support our current leadership and hope we have a successful legislative session.

I look forward to continuing to be your Delegate and to working with you productively for the betterment of our Party, as we have done in the past.


John O'Bannon

By Tim Craig  |  November 16, 2007; 10:49 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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