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Janis possibly, maybe being considered for AG's office

Rosalind Helderman

Will Del. Bill Janis become chief deputy attorney general after Sen. Ken Cuccinelli's Jan. 16 Inauguration?

It's been one of the most persistent personnel rumors in recent days in Richmond, and not just because the chief deputy traditionally plays an exceptionally important role in making sure the trains run on time and setting the agenda in the state attorney general's office.

Choosing Janis also would send a signal -- as if any more were needed -- about the kind of activist, feisty office Cuccinelli would be planning to operate.

According to interviews with both Cuccinelli and Janis in recent days, the answer is officially "maybe."

"I've heard that rumor too," Cuccinelli said recently. "We haven't interviewed anyone for the position yet. The field is open."

Janis said that he first heard the suggestion on the Friday before the Nov. 3 election -- he insisted it was started by others -- and that while he's spoken several times to his friend Cuccinelli since the election, the topic of chief deputy has not come up.

"I've heard from Democratic senators who have said they're going to miss me," Janis said. "I've had people from inside the Attorney General's office call me and say they're looking forward to working with me. I've given them all the same answer: 'It's Ken's decision. And Ken has not asked me.' "

Janis added: "Right now I think it's mostly just a rumor. I'm pretty sure he's not anywhere close to making that decision."

Janis has a reputation as something akin to the Ken Cuccinelli of the House of Delegates: whip-smart, articulate, deeply conservative, principled to the point of stubborn. A Navy vet and lawyer, Janis represents some of Richmond's suburbs, a district that would be considered safe for Republicans if he left the General Assembly.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  November 24, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , House of Delegates , Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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