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Hog Farmer May Be Headed to Richmond

Tim Craig

Vegetarians beware.

Barry D. Knight, who operates one of Virginia's largest hog farms, has emerged as the leading Republican candidate to replace Del. Terrie L. Suit (R-Virginia Beach), who plans to step down next month to go work for a lobbying firm.

Knight runs a farm in Virginia Beach that produces 12,000 hogs a year. In 1983, Knight was named Virginia Farm Bureau's young farmer of the year. In the mid-1990s, former governor George Allen (R) appointed Knight to the Virginia Pork Board. Former governor James S. Gilmore III (R) later reappointed him.

Besides running the 480-acre pig farm, Knight is a member of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission.

Another GOP candidate could still emerge, but party leaders say Knight is currently the front-runner for their nomination because he has been endorsed by Suit. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) still has to set a date for the special election, but the Republican who gets the nomination will be favored to retain the seat.

No word yet on who will tend to the pigs if Knight gets to the State House.

By Tim Craig  |  September 16, 2008; 11:11 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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