Virginia Del. Joe T. May (R-Loudoun) confirmed Monday that he will join the race to fill the potential vacancy of state Sen. Mark D. Herring’s 33rd district seat.
The State Board of Elections last week declared Democrat Herring the winner of the Virginia attorney general race. With just 165 votes separating Herring from his Republican opponent, state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, the race is the closest statewide election in Virginia’s history.
A recount, requested Nov. 27 by Obenshain, is expected to be completed this month.
May, who has represented the 33rd House district for more than 20 years, lost his seat in the June Republican primary to conservative Dave LaRock in a startling upset. Following May’s unanticipated defeat, there was widespread speculation about whether he would run for office again as an Independent candidate.
May campaign spokesman Jon Conradi said the veteran politician planned to formally announce his candidacy at a news conference in Sterling Monday afternoon.
In a prepared statement Monday, May touted his experience over 10 terms in office and his politically moderate background.
“Some candidates’ first objective is to serve partisan interests. Our nation has had enough of the partisan gridlock in Washington and certainly doesn’t need any in Richmond,” May said. “I am the one conservative in the race who can work within his party as well as cut through the gridlock to deliver real results for the Commonwealth.”
Though May does not currently live in the 33rd Senate District, Conradi said Monday that May plans to have a residence in the district before the end of the week.
Conradi also noted that May and his wife founded their Sterling-based technology company, EIT, in the 33rd Senate District 37 years ago.
Two other Republican candidates, Herndon resident Ron Meyer and 10th Congressional District Republican Committee Chairman John Whitbeck, have also announced plans to run for the seat.
The GOP committee for Senate District 33 is set to meet this week to decide a method of nomination and to set a timeline for choosing the party’s nominee, officials said.
The victor will face Democrat Jennifer Wexton, a Leesburg attorney who won a Nov. 23 firehouse primary to select the Democratic nominee.