After paperwork lapse, senior House Republican asks state board to put him on the ballot

By: - June 25, 2019 1:21 pm
The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

The Virginia House of Delegates. Delegates voted Monday to pass legislation that will provide protections for residents evicted from assisted living facilities in Virginia. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury – Aug. 30, 2018)

One of the state’s most senior Republican delegates isn’t officially a party nominee for his re-election bid — yet.

At Tuesday night’s Board of Elections meeting, attorneys for Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, asked that he be declared the Republican nominee for the 1st House of Delegates District even though his nomination paperwork from a local party convention never made it to the state Department of Elections.

It was thought Kilgore’s paperwork was faxed to the state, then it was assumed to be mailed. Either way, it didn’t make it to Richmond, lawyer Jeff Mitchell told the Board of Elections.

Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott.

That means, Kilgore, who has been in the House for 25 years and is currently unopposed, isn’t officially the GOP nominee.

He could run a write-in campaign, which would make an already hectic campaign season for voters even more confusing, Mitchell said. The 1st District has several local races coming up in November, including heated sheriff’s competitions.

Mitchell and Terry’s twin brother, Jerry Kilgore, brought the board several affidavits from party officials who confirmed they had picked Terry Kilgore as the nominee. Jerry Kilgore, a former Virginia attorney general, told the board they had the authority to name his brother as the nominee even though the primary deadline was June 11.

Jerry Kilgore told the board it has allowed for extensions of candidates’ declaration and economic interest paperwork in the past.

He said not naming his brother as the nominee sets a dangerous precedent in situations where it’s clear a party has nominated someone.

“It would allow any rogue party chair to simply refuse to file the nomination certification of a particular candidate,” Jerry Kilgore said.

The board went into closed session Monday night to discuss nomination processes in the 1st and 97th House districts.

Bob Brink, chair of the Board of Elections, said they would seek guidance from the Office of the Attorney General on Kilgore’s situation by the end of the week.

The board didn’t discuss Hanover County’s 97th District, where Del. Chris Peace, R-Hanover, was challenged by Hanover Supervisor Scott Wyatt. There were two separate nominating events with two different winners and a GOP State Central Committee declared Wyatt the winner last weekend.

Peace told the Richmond Times-Dispatch over the weekend he was “keeping all actions on the table.”

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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.