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Four candidates and counting for Hurt's Senate seat

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

The field of candidates vying to replace state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) has suddenly become crowded.

Four Republicans have now announced that they will compete in a firehouse primary for the GOP's nomination for a special election to fill the seat Hurt's election to Congress has created.

And we hear a Democrat may also join the field -- despite Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw's comments Monday indicating the state party does not plan to get involved in the race. There's likely to be more to come on that score later in the week.

For now, Pittsylvania Republican Committee Chairwoman Brenda Bowman announced Tuesday that she will seek the party's nomination. Bowman, 64, has been an active volunteer for Republican candidates, including Hurt. A retired school bookkeeper, she now works part-time as a legislative aide to Del. Charles D. Poindexter (R-Franklin).

In an interview, Bowman said her years working in Richmond during the legislative session -- she also worked for Hurt when he was a delegate and for Del. Melanie Rapp -- gives her a unique understanding of the legislative process and how to solve constituent issues. And, since she's retired, she said she would do the job full time.

"I've had that hands-on experience," she said. "I've worked in delegates' offices. I've worked with constituents. I know how to get things done and how to solve problems through government agencies."

The Lynchburg News and Advance reports that Franklin County nonprofit president Melvin Adams Sr. has also indicated he will announce his candidacy for the seat Friday.

The two join Bill Stanley, a Franklin County lawyer and the Republican committee chairman in the 5th Congressional District, and Danville City Council member Fred Shanks, who owns a civil engineering, planning and surveying firm, who have announced their candidacies.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will set the date for a special election to fill the seat some time after the State Board of Elections certifies the election results Nov. 22.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 9, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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