A story on the Virginia Senate race in Monday's editions of The Washington Post incorrectly attributed to former Gov. Linwood Holton an assessment of the race made Thursday by Oliver B. Strawn, a Blacksburg engineer and member of the Republican State Central Committee, that John Warner "is the most logical" choice for the Republican Senate nomination.
Former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton told a Richmond newspaper last night that he has withdrawn from consideration for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination which was left vacant by Richard Obenshain's death last Wednesday.
"I'm not going to be a candidate," Holton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I have asked the state central committee through the chairman not to consider me for the nomination."
Holton's withdrawal leaves former Navy Secretary John Warner as the front runner Warner ran second to Obenshain at the party's nomination convention in Richmond in June.
The Virginia State Republican Central Committee is expected to meet in Richmond next Saturday to choose a replacement for Obenshain.
Holton, now a Washington insurance lobbyist, dropped out of the race at the June convention after the delegates has cast three ballots, in which Holton placed no higher than third.
On the sixth and final ballot, Obenshain won the nomination, with Warner placing second. Because of his second-place finish, Warner is considered the most likely choice of party leaders.
Holton conceded on Friday that "Warner is the most logical [choice]. He came very close and he was there at the end."
Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax) said yesterday, "I had to look at the decision from his [Holton's] standpoint. He has family considerations. He's just started his new job in the insurance industry and he has that to think of first. To get into the race at this stage is a disadvantage."
Callahan added, however, that "Warner has a campaign organization and could make a good run at it."
Callahan, who had headed the Holton Senate campaign until the convention, said he had discussed the decision with Holton Friday night before Obenshain's funeral, and again Saturday night.
"I think Holton would have been the strongest candidate [after Obenshain's death], and I think he would have won. Warner can be a good candidate. I assume [former Gov. Mills] Godwin is not a candidate unless he is drafted, and that is unlikely."