- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2007

Another candidate has bowed out of the Virginia state Senate race for the Democratic nomination to oppose Tricia Stall, leaving just one name on the ballot and the possibility that the party’s firehouse primary Saturday will be canceled.

Ross Mugler’s withdrawal last week leaves John Miller, a former television news anchor who works at Christopher Newport University, as the only announced Democratic contender. The primary will be canceled if no other candidate emerges by Thursday.

“We need to be reading from the same sheet of music heading into November,” said Mr. Mugler, the Hampton revenue commissioner. “This election is far too important.”

Steve Corneliussen dropped out of the race a week earlier to pave the way for a more experienced politician. Mr. Miller’s experience ended with a loss to Delegate G. Glenn Oder, Newport News Republican, in 2001.

Miss Stall defeated state Sen. Marty E. Williams of Newport News in last month’s Republican primary.

All 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for election in November.

This is the final Senate election before the legislature redraws the state’s political boundaries in 2011.

{bullet} ’She’s a fighter’

Rep. Jo Ann Davis is working from her Gloucester County, Va., home while she takes chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, her chief of staff said.

Mrs. Davis voted in the House four of 16 days when votes were cast last month, Chris Connelly said.

Since January, the 1st District Republican has been present and voted on 22 percent of more than 600 roll-call votes, including votes on stem-cell research, the fiscal 2008 budget resolution, federal prescription-drug policy and increasing the minimum wage, he said.

“She has her good weeks, and she has her tough weeks,” Mr. Connelly told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The chemo has made it difficult for her to get to Washington.”

Mrs. Davis announced in March that she was battling breast cancer again. She first was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2005 and underwent chemotherapy treatments and a mastectomy.

Her colleagues “rally around and make sure nothing falls through the cracks,” said Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican and dean of the state’s House delegation.

Mrs. Davis, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, monitors hearings from home and does work-related reading while her congressional aides take care of the day-to-day operation of her office, including constituent services, Mr. Connelly said.

Mrs. Davis, who turned 57 on Friday, was elected in 2000 and has “every intention of running” for re-election next year, he said.

“She’s a fighter, and she continues to fight on,” he said.

{bullet} No big splash

When it came time to step before a crowd wearing nothing but swim trunks, Adrian M. Fenty chickened out.

The D.C. mayor broke predecessor Anthony A. Williams’ tradition of opening the District’s summer pool season with a cannonball dive, opting instead to let a professional dive team do the honors.

Mr. Fenty wore a dress shirt and a whistle as members of the D.C. Wave swim team and scuba divers jumped into the Langdon Park pool.

Mr. Fenty has promised to make more programs available for children and teenagers to keep them busy during the summer months.

Might it include cannonball lessons for the mayor?

{bullet} Running again

Democrat Andrew Duck announced last week that he is preparing for another run at Maryland’s 6th District congressional seat held by eight-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett.

In an e-mail sent to reporters and supporters last week — 17 months before Election Day — Mr. Duck said he is seeking campaign contributions “to defeat Roscoe Bartlett and turn our country around.”

Mr. Bartlett was re-elected in November with 59 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Mr. Duck and 3 percent for Green Party candidate Robert Kozak.

Mr. Duck is an Iraq War veteran and former Army intelligence officer from Brunswick, Md. He accused Mr. Bartlett of blindly following the Bush administration and the Republican leadership on issues including the war, health care and energy policy.

This column is based in part on wire service reports.

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