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Posted at 3:17 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Republicans line up to run for Gear's House seat

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman

Several Republicans have jumped into the race to replace former Del. Thomas D. Gear, who announced last week that he would step down for health reasons.

Chris Stuart, a businessman who owns a security company and serves on the Hampton City Council, and Chad Green, an attorney and second vice-chairman of the York County Republican party, both announced that they were running Monday.

But Gear (R-Hampton) endorsed Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton, who he confirmed is seeking the Republican nomination.

Gear said that Schmidt is a lifelong Hampton resident whom he has known for years, in part through her father, who used to serve on the Hampton City Council.

"She's a rock-solid conservative," Gear said. "She's pro-life. She's big on the Second Amendment. And she doesn't believe in raising taxes."

Stuart has helped create 500 jobs through the company that he owns with his wife, Top Guard Security. The firm provides security guards for manufacturing and government sites, said Kyle Adams, his political director. Adams said Stuart wants to help Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) continue creating jobs.

Green said his experience in the community has prepared him to run for the House. "The best way to understand what someone will do in office is to examine what that person has already done,'' he said. "I believe the House of Delegates is more about public service than political service."

The district, which encompasses parts of Hampton and Poquoson and York County, is predominately Republican. No word on whether the Democrats will field a candidate.

McDonnell will call a special election, but he is required by law to hold the election no sooner than 45 days from the time of Gear's resignation to allow time for absentee ballots to reach troops stationed overseas.

We hear that it could be either Feb. 15 or 22, which doesn't give the new delegate much time to serve during the regular session. The 46-day legislative session ends Feb. 26.

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 3, 2011; 3:17 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman  
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