Two longtime senators say they are 'probably not' running again
Four new lawmakers joined the General Assembly on Wednesday as the legislature convened for its annual session at precisely noon -- three new delegates and a new senator. But one of the more interesting questions hanging over the 46-day gathering will be whether this time period sees the announcement of any legislative retirements.
In fact, two longtime senators told us today that they are "probably not" running again. Senate Finance Chairman Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William), whose served in the Senate since 1976, noted that he'd given his colleagues that indication last year.
Sen. Patricia S. Ticer (D-Alexandria) said she too has made clear she's "probably not" running again in November but has made no formal announcement of her intentions. A retirement by Ticer, 76, would not be unexpected -- several Democrats are preparing to run for her seat in case she steps down.
But Colgan's Senate colleagues have been urging him to run for another four-year term, fearful of losing his long institutional memory and his right-leaning seat. Colgan, 84, who has been battling cancer, is in much better health this year than when he first indicated he would probably not run, and his colleagues have been hoping he will change his mind and seek another term.
Nevertheless, his grandson, the Rev. Charles Colgan, came from Colorado to deliver the Senate's opening prayer today. Just before taking to the podium, Rev. Colgan, who last gave the prayer three years ago, said he'd traveled the long distance because he "wanted to be here for his last year."
Asked about his grandson's comment, Colgan, seated next to the reverend, noted that he has, indeed, offered colleagues the "probably not" indication last year. But he added that he has yet made any final decisions. At that point, Rev. Colgan jumped in to amend his own comment to say he wanted to be here "in case" this is his grandfather's last year.
Rosalind S. Helderman
| January 12, 2011; 2:47 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Prince William, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate
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