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Va. Legislator Ends Bid for 3rd Term

Schrock retired from the Navy in 1988 and later became an investment broker, resigning in 1995 to run successfully for the Virginia Senate.

In Congress, Schrock has served on the House Armed Services Committee. In 2001, he was elected president of the Republican House freshman class.

The allegations will not allow "my campaign to focus on the real issues," said Rep. Edward L. Schrock, left. With him are former governor James Gilmore and Steve Case. (Tom Allen -- The Washington Post)

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In 2000, the Virginian-Pilot said of Schrock that he favored ending the Clinton administration's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. He supported asking enlistees whether they have had homosexual experiences in an effort to try to keep gays from serving.

"You're in the showers with them, you're in the bunk room with them, you're in staterooms with them," Schrock told the Virginian-Pilot. "You just hope no harm would come by folks who are of that persuasion. It's a discipline thing."

Sen. George Allen (Va.), speaking from the Republican convention in New York, said through a spokesman: "I have enjoyed working with Ed Schrock for many years as governor and as senator. I respect his service to Virginia as well as the personal decision he made today."

Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for governor next year, said in a statement, "I think we should all thank Rep. Schrock for his tireless and devoted efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth."

The congressman's decision has prompted what the state's top elections official called "a scramble" to nominate a new candidate. Democrats have nominated David B. Ashe, an Iraq war veteran, as their candidate.

Politicians considered the seat a safe one for the Republican incumbent.

Jean Jensen, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, said Republicans have until 5 p.m. Friday to replace Schrock.

Several state Republican lawmakers said they are considering seeking Schrock's seat.

The leading candidates are state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (Virginia Beach) and Del. Thelma Drake (Norfolk), according to several Republican sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the events surrounding Schrock's sudden decision. Del. John J. Welch III (Virginia Beach) also said he is considering a bid.

A clash between Stolle and Drake could exacerbate a philosophical split that erupted earlier this year over taxes. Stolle supported higher taxes; Drake fervently opposed them.

Republican Party Chairman Kate Obenshain Griffin, who presides over a state organization that has been rocked by one scandal after another in the past several years, said she hoped that her party would come together quickly to move on.

"It is now important for Virginia Republicans to unite behind our nominee and work hard to ensure the 2nd District continues to be represented by a Republican," she said.

Staff writer Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.

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