Virginia state Sen. Dick Black, Loudoun Republican, has reportedly opted out of a run for the seat of retiring Rep. Frank Wolf — a possible boost for state Del. Barbara Comstock, Fairfax Republican, who has announced she will run.
John Whitbeck, chairman of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, tweeted the news Wednesday evening.
“Sen. Dick Black not running for Congress to defend 13th Dist. Senate Seat. #TeamPlayer #VA10,” Mr. Whitbeck said on Twitter.
In a statement provided to the Bull Elephant, a local conservative blog, Mr. Black said he “seriously considered” a run, but decided to stay in the state Senate, which looks like it will be divided 20-20 between Democrats and Republicans pending a recount in a special election for the southeastern 6th District seat.
The special elections were held in order to fill the seats of Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam and Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring. Democrat Jennifer Wexton defeated Mr. Whitbeck and independent Joe MayTuesday in the race to fill Mr. Herring’s seat.
“Too much is at risk for Virginia, and I must not trigger another costly Senate race by stepping down from my seat at this time,” Mr. Black said in the statement.
The staunchly conservative Mr. Black was seen as a potentially tough match-up for Ms. Comstock, particularly if Republicans chose to select their nominee via convention, a process that typically draws the most ardent and rock-ribbed conservative supporters. Republicans were scheduled to pick their nomination method Thursday.
Ms. Comstock, however, has proven herself to be a prolific fundraiser and already has the backing of a number of high-profile GOP figures, including 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Calling themselves the “Wolf Pack,” a number of former staffers for Mr. Wolf also threw their support behind Ms. Comstock Wednesday.
On the Democratic side, Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust of Dranesville has generally been seen as the leading contender for the nomination.
The 10th congressional district includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties and stretches beyond Loudoun County past the outer D.C. suburbs.