- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 13, 2005

Virginia Delegate Joe T. May has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and instead will run again for his House seat.

Mr. May, Leesburg Republican, is being targeted by anti-tax groups because he voted for a $1.38 billion tax increase last year. He was considered a long shot for the nomination and has an anti-tax challenger for his House seat.

Mr. May was joined for the announcement last week by House Speaker William J. Howell and House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith, who each said the delegate’s experience still was needed in Richmond.

“Frankly, the lieutenant governor’s office is an underutilized office, and in the House of Delegates I’ve risen to a position of some authority,” Mr. May said. “I will direct 100 percent of my effort towards my re-election effort.”

Mr. Griffith, Salem Republican, disagreed with Mr. May’s tax vote last year, but said the delegate has his endorsement nonetheless.

“For the small handful of those who want to focus on just one or two votes, I want the voters to remember the hundreds of times Joe May voted against raising taxes and for cutting spending,” he said. “In fact, Joe May is one of the most consistent and reliable tax-and-spending cutters in the entire General Assembly.”

Mr. Howell, Stafford County Republican, also opposed the tax increase last year, but he praised Mr. May’s 11 years of service.

Chris Oprison is challenging Mr. May for his seat in the June 14 primary.

• Spokesman leaving

Paul J. Reagan, communications director for Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, has accepted a new job and will leave the governor’s office May 1.

Mr. Reagan will become senior vice president for governmental communications and issue advocacy at McGuireWoods Consulting.

Mr. Reagan has worked for Mr. Warner, a Democrat, since his term began in 2002. He previously was chief of staff for U.S. Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat.

He also worked in the communications offices of U.S. Reps. L.F. Payne, Rick Boucher and Owen Pickett, all Virginia Democrats.

Mr. Payne is now the president and chief executive officer of McGuireWoods.

By law, Virginia governors cannot seek consecutive terms, so everyone in Mr. Warner’s administration will be out of a job in January.

Mr. Reagan will have offices in both the District and Richmond, working at the federal and state levels for the public affairs company.

Mr. Reagan’s replacement has not yet been named.

• 3 named to board

A former Virginia legislator who played a leading role in handing out state money to public colleges has been appointed to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors.

Gov. Mark Warner announced the appointments last week of four board members, including Alan Diamonstein of Newport News, who served 34 years in the House of Delegates. A Democrat, he was chairman of the House Appropriations higher education subcommittee when his party was in the majority.

He bowed out of politics after losing a three-way race for his party’s nomination for lieutenant governor in 2001.

Mr. Warner also appointed Macdonald “Mac” Caputo of Greenwich, Conn., advisory director of a New York-based investment bank, and Norfolk lawyer Vincent Mastracco Jr.

Thomas Farrell II of Richmond, president of Dominion Resources, was reappointed to the board.

Mr. Diamonstein, Mr. Caputo and Mr. Farrell received their undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. Mr. Mastracco earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Richmond.

• Plans uncertain

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams acknowledged last week that he would be disappointed if he decided not to run for re-election in 2006.

“In a lot of ways I would be,” he said Wednesday, when asked the question by a reporter at his weekly press conference. The mayor, who would be seeking a third term, did not elaborate.

Mr. Williams has declined to announce his future plans, though several D.C. Council members have formed exploratory committees and started raising money for the upcoming race. The mayor acknowledged he would face a difficult campaign if he decided to run, describing it as “intense combat.”

Mr. Williams offered some insight into his thinking Wednesday.

“One of the things that would really motivate me would be the opportunity to go out and talk to the real people of the city and defend my record, blemishes and all,” he said. “Because even with the blemishes, it’s a great record.”

Mr. Williams is widely credited with bringing baseball back to the city after an absence of more than 30 years. He also is cited for improving city services and finances and bringing big retailers to the District.

But in some of the city’s poorer neighborhoods, Mr. Williams is seen as ignoring their residents to focus on more upscale areas.

Some of those residents also oppose building a stadium for the Washington Nationals, saying it would take money away from the city’s beleaguered public schools.

Mr. Williams’ last re-election bid was marred by a petition scandal that got him booted off the Democratic primary ballot. He won the nomination with a write-in campaign.

• No truckers

The town of Myersville, Md., is telling a national truck-stop chain to look elsewhere.

An ordinance adopted last week puts the town off-limits to businesses that have the capability of fueling more than two trucks at a time or having room for more than five parked trucks.

The measure became a priority when the town learned the Love’s chain was interested in buying property along Main Street, near the Interstate 70 interchange.

The business would have provided jobs and tax revenue to the area, but critics said it also would have brought crime, traffic and pollution.

Love’s has 161 truck stops nationwide.

• Raises cause a stir

Frederick, Md., Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, a Democrat, is taking heat from some city aldermen for proposing a 33 percent raise in their salaries.

The proposal to boost their pay next year by about $4,500 to $18,000 a year follows the mayor’s proposal last week to lay off 12 city workers to balance the fiscal 2006 budget.

The layoffs, combined with elimination of several vacant positions, would reduce expenses by about $957,000.

Aldermen Joe Baldi and Dave Lenhart, both Republicans, said they would oppose the pay raise.

“Why would we give aldermen a raise next year, and then take someone’s job away?” Mr. Baldi asked. “I don’t understand that.”

The aldermen also said the proposed salary increase seemed to be aimed at persuading one of Miss Dougherty’s allies, Democratic Alderwoman Donna Ramsburg, to run for re-election.

After the last salary increase was defeated, Miss Ramsburg said she wouldn’t be able to run for office again unless she could find a way to make more money.

Mr. Baldi called the proposed increase “Donna’s raise.”

Christina Bellantoni contributed to this column, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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