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Republican PAC asks Marsden to resign House seat

Anita Kumar

Republicans are calling on Del. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax) to resign from the House of Delegates as he runs in a special election for the state Senate seat being vacated by Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli.

OurVirginiaNow, a new state political action committee that aims to help Republican candidates get elected across the state, is encouraging district residents to contact Marsden and ask him to resign.

"I think Marsden ought to resign his House seat immediately,'' said Paul Miller, president of OurVirginiaNow. "He owes us that. He was elected to produce results for his constituents, not continue to seek other elected positions he may deem more attractive for his career."

If Marsden wins the Jan. 12 election, the governor would have to call a special election to fill his House seat, which would leave the 41st District without representation for some time when the General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 13. OurVirginiaNow also complains that it would cost thousands of dollars.

Marsden said today that he will not resign from the House, and that if he won the Senate seat he could represent the House district for a short period until a replacement is elected.

In previous elections, some elected officials have continued to serve while running for another job, while some don't.

Bob McDonnell and Brian Moran resigned while Creigh Deeds and Ken Cuccinelli did not. Of course, the circumstances differed for each man. McDonnell had a full-time job as attorney general. Moran wanted to resign so he could fundraise and campaign during the legislative session. Deeds and Cuccinelli could easily run and serve as part-time legislators.

Marsden said Monday that he has rented a room in a house which sits in both the House and Senate districts, allowing him to run for Cuccinelli's seat. He said he has slept there for several nights.

Three Republicans are running to replace Cuccinelli -- Marianne Horinko, a former George W. Bush appointee who runs a consulting firm, Steve Hunt, a former member of the Fairfax County School Board, and Will Nance, executive director of Greenspring Retirement Community.

By Anita Kumar  |  November 23, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , State Senate  
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BS. Marsden shouldn't have to resign. Funny - no one called for Ken Cuccinelli or Ken Stolle to resign. Or do these calls for resignation only apply to Democrats?

Posted by: anonymous2006x | November 23, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Slow day? Just because a self-appointed PAC that had a fundraiser with Joe "You Lie" Wilson said something doesn't make it news.

Did Jay O'Brien resign when he ran for his senate seat? No.

Ryan McDougle? No.

Why is this news? This is newsworthy of a right wing blog, not the Washington Post.

Posted by: FederalGraphics | November 23, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat, and I hope Marsden wins, but I find this very troubling:

"Marsden said Monday that he has rented a room in a house which sits in both the House and Senate districts, allowing him to run for Cuccinelli's seat. He said he has slept there for several nights."

I don't like this at all.

Posted by: BigDaddyD | November 23, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Marsden's renting a room... and I'm a Dem, too. That makes for a good campaign commercial against him.

Posted by: ChrisD4 | November 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How nice. Marsden has a found a supporter who will allow him to use his address so that he can run for office. Does anyone really believe that Dave Marsden is sleeping in someone's basement rather than his own home? Of course not.

Posted by: SueB1 | November 23, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If you're currently employed and you apply for another position, do you resign BEFORE you're offered the job? Not if you're smart. Why should he? Or any other politician? This is a non-news item.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This "rent-a-room" strategy has been employed before, most recently by Del. Bob Marshall when he ran for the Republican nomination for Congress. (He rented an apartment.) As long as the rules allow it, politicians will continue to do it that way.

Posted by: anonymous2006x | November 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Marsden should not have to resign for this election. The residence loophole should be plugged for the next one. If the Republicans are so uptight about this possibility they should rally around one candidate and face Mr. Marsden mano a mano.

I am curious as to how many of these four candidate are Virginian born. I am not a fan of carpetbaggers.

Posted by: urspider68 | November 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The issue IS NOT that Del. Marsden should resign because he is seeking another seat. I get that, and that is not an issue. However, being that he knew this seat was coming available being that Cuccinelli was crushing Shannon, he decided to run anyway and less than two weeks after winning, he is now seeking another seat, which if elected we will have another Special which will cost taxpayers money.

I don't begrudge a Elected Official from keeping his/her seat. But, if I ran for State Senate, won, and then two weeks later run for a vacating seat, I think that shows that you are more interested in office holding than representing the voters.

Again, not about seeking another seat, its about how you ran for a seat knowing you might seek another office within one month of each other!

Posted by: NovaRep4467 | November 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

anonymous2006x, I think you are mixing up former Delegate Dick Black, who did just this thing in 2007 while seeking the GOP nomination in Va-1, and current delegate Bob Marshall who ran for the GOP nod for the US senate and as such did not have to carpetbag into another district.

Also, you failed to note that Dick Black did not get the nomination-such is the power of carpetbagging.

Posted by: BwanaWannabe | November 23, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Some of these comments are made through crocodile tears. Marsden is running to save the Senate for the Democrats. It's well known that McDonnell will purchase at least one Democratic senator by offering a position with state government which will lead to lucrative pension benefits. One seat changing will flip control of the Senate to the Republicans. Marsden is doing this to give moderates a fighting chance when the far right launches its crusades.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | November 23, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I’m wondering if Marsden will have his kids and wife over to his room for Thanksgiving! (I'm assuming his wife of 40 years didn't move to his new room with him.)

What a complete joke!

Posted by: JTR555 | November 23, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with people who say this isn't newsworthy. Del. Marsden ran for a seat he knew he would end up vacating. The fact he doesn't live in the District should be troubling to voters. Run for the Senate seat where your home is and not where you rent a room. Will Del. Marsden now make this his home or will he abandon the room if he loses?

Del. Marsden told the voters of the District he would work for them. They put their trust in him and now he is abandoning them to put his own aspirations ahead of theirs. I have no problem is he wants to run, but he should have been honest with voters. How can we trust him a second time? If he wins will he immediately leave that post if a "better" one opens up? If you run serve your term - you owe the voters that.

Posted by: VotersFirst | November 24, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I believe the issue about resigning isn't that he is doing something "wrong". It's that the special election for Senate will take place so close to the regular session that, if he wins, Marsden will leave his house district unrepresented.

If he resigned, they could have a special election before the session starts, so they would have representation.

Marsden instead says he will continue to serve his house district -- which I guess means he'll leave the SENATE district unrepresented if he wins. He can't do both jobs.

If the special election was in the summer, it wouldn't matter.

As to "renting a room", so long as he actually stays in the room, changes his voter registration, his drivers license, and stops claiming his house as his legal residence on his income tax forms, I see no problem with it.

If he deducts his home mortgage on his taxes though, he should be fined like any normal person would be.

Also, if he isn't paying rent on the room, the supporter will need to file an in-kind donation form with the SBE.

Posted by: charlesinva | November 24, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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