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Majority Leader Griffith: Most likely, I'm in race against Boucher

Amy Gardner

Morgan Griffith, the Republican majority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates, is gearing up for a run for Congress against 28-year incumbent Rick Boucher in southwest Virginia's "Fightin' Ninth" District, his spokesman Jeff Ryer said today.

Griffith is making phone calls to gauge support, Ryer said. He hasn't started raising money yet.

Although Griffith is popular in his House district and powerful in the state legislature, by some accounts he is not the A-list candidate that Republicans were hoping to match up against Boucher in a year when the incumbent is more vulnerable than usual.

The big reason for that is that Griffith doesn't live in the 9th District; the back property line of his home in Salem is actually the boundary between the 9th and his own 6th District, home of Republican Bob Goodlatte. Although Griffith's legislative district features some overlap with the 9th, he doesn't enjoy the same name recognition or base of support as, say, Del. Terry Kilgore, a widely known figure in the southwest thanks in part to his twin brother Jerry's run for governor in 2005 and in part to his own chairmanship of the powerful Virginia Tobacco Commission.

Kilgore has already said he won't run for Congress.

Republicans in the 9th District will choose their candidate this year by nominating convention in late May, so stay tuned for more candidates.

By Amy Gardner  |  February 22, 2010; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Amy Gardner , Election 2010 , Rick Boucher  
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Amy, on what planet is Morgan Griffith not an A-list candidate? Planet Boucher? He has been a legislator since 1994 and Majority Leader since 2000. He is well known in a large portion of the Ninth District due to the footprint of the Roanoke media market. He is also well respected among Republican activists. The list of more qualified candidates in Southwest Virginia is very short indeed.

Also, you won't have to stay tuned very long to know who is in this race since the filing deadline for the convention is next Monday.

Posted by: ChrisObenshain | February 22, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Morgan Griffith is probably very well known in his neck of the woods but I guarantee that most folks in the 9th Congressional District can name the last several winners on American Idol and will have no idea who he is. It sad but true most are more in tune to celebrity lives than in those who make the rules in Richmond and Washington. Boucher is almost a demi-god in SWVA but it would be a great race.

Posted by: itsme9 | February 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

People are overlooking something very important in the 2010 race for the 9th district. There is an Independent candidate, Jeremiah Heaton, who has growing support across the district. He is a small business owner and appears to be a serious candidate.

In September he traveled to the Middle East and visited with the troops. He has billboards all over the 9th District. I have no idea who is funding him but he clearly has support from somewhere.

Morgan Griffith is a brave man trying to 'carpet bag' is way into the 9th district race. All the qualifications Del. Griffith brings to the table are the ones people are voting against right now; politically connected, life long politician, corporately owned.

What is even more hilarious is that Del. Griffith writes laws to protect the public from drunk drivers, then in his regular job as DUI lawyer puts them back on the street. Talk about duplicity...

Once again the GOP is going to drop the ball and Boucher or Heaton will win in 2010.

Posted by: ruthannkilgore | February 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

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