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Cantor recruits Republicans to run against Boucher

Anita Kumar

While Washington was snowed under this week, U.S. House Whip Eric Cantor came to the state Capitol to search for a fellow Republican to run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher in southwest Virginia's 9th congressional district.

We hear he visited with H. Morgan Griffith, majority leader of the House of Delegates, Del. Terry Kilgore of Scott and Sen. William Wampler of Bristol.

Griffith confirmed today that Cantor did ask him if he would run when they met Tuesday, but that he said he is still considering whether to do so.

Kilgore and Wampler, who have already said they are not likely interested in a congressional run, both said they spoke with Cantor, but would not say they talked about the race.

"We are great friends,'' Wampler said. "We had a good conversation."

Boucher told us a couple weeks ago that he would be seeking re-election this year.

By Anita Kumar  |  February 11, 2010; 1:58 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Anita Kumar , Election 2010 , Eric Cantor , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Rick Boucher , State Senate  
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Wampler might have a shot, and it's interesting to remember that Boucher defeated his incumbent congressman father ("the Bald Eagle of the Cumberland") to win the 9th district seat. Wampler won't run, however, as he's a budget conferee and ranking Republican on Senate Finance and has much more power in Richmond than he'd ever have in DC.

Kilgore has the Willie Mae problem which will probably prevent him from running and also has aspirations to be Speaker of the House. Again, he's got more influence in Richmond than he could ever hope to accrue in DC.

Griffith would get beat like a rented mule though his enormous ego may prevent him from ascertaining that. Anybody who thinks the Fightin' Ninth is going to elect a congressman who doesn't even live in the district woefully misunderstands the dynamics of southwestern Virginia.

Posted by: jeffersonian1 | February 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

All polls show that this will be a strong Republican year.

One thing all those listed above have in common is that they have nothing to lose by trying. They can return to their work in Richmond if they lose the congressional election.

And no one truly believes that Richmond is a better political scene than Washington.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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