In the course of reporting a story on how Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) presided over Virginia’s evenly divided Senate, I had this sad duty:

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) casts the tie-breaking vote on Senate rules at the start of the 2012 Virginia General Assembly session. (Steve Helber/AP)

Don Beyer, Virginia’s Democratic lieutenant governor from 1990 to 1998, cast 12 tie-breakers in 1997.

This General Assembly session, Bolling cast 28.

Here’s how Beyer, now ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, responded to the news.

“Well, rats. I knew it would happen someday,” he said via e-mail from Washington, where he attended a State Department conference last week.   “Congratulations to Lt Gov Bolling!”