Herbert Bateman, 54, a state senator from Newport News, succeeds Sen.-elect Paul S. Trible as congressman from Virginia's 1st District.

Like Trible, Bateman is a Republican. But Bateman, a member of the state's conservative establishment, was a late GOP convert. He started public life as a Byrd-style Democrat, and in the early 1970s, was one of several Virginia politicians who switched camps to avoid the liberalism of the state Democratic Party.

Bateman had an early break in his campaign for Congress this year when his Democratic opponent, Del. George Grayson of Williamsburg, dropped out of the race in June, citing the emotional stress of the campaign.

The honor of picking up where Grayson left off went to local party chairman John McGlennon, 33, a political science professor at the College of William and Mary, who was quickly outdistanced by Bateman in fund-raising and organization.

Bateman has not always been so lucky. In 1976, he was favored for the Republican nomination for Congress. But going into the party's nominating convention, Bateman and his establishment allies soon found that they had been beaten by Trible, a young, aggressive politician who has made a career of moving ahead of his political elders.

Two years ago, Bateman was the choice of the state's Old Guard to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket with GOP gubernatorial nominee Marshall Coleman. Once again, Bateman was shunted aside in a bitter three-way nominating battle.

In the state senate, Bateman, an attorney, was known for his extensive oratory and his sometimes convoluted syntax. "Having said that and that being said, I would like to say . . . ," he once remarked on the Senate floor.

This year, he ran a low-key campaign that stressed the need for jobs for the district, particularly for its shipbuilding yards, and relied on heavy television advertising in the final weeks of the race.