Top Republican officials urge state Senate candidate to drop out of race
October 14, 2011
Richmond, VA: Jeff Evans is an independent candidate running for the District 20 seat in the upcoming Virginia state Senate election. Evans is a career Republican and had initially entered the race as such, but switched his affiliation when Senator Bill Stanley, the incumbent Republican in District 19, moved into District 20 after the redistricting process drew new legislative districts. With the Republican Party backing Stanley in his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Roscoe Reynolds, Evans shifted to an independent status.
Some political observers "believe Evans will pull support away from Stanley," effectively helping Reynolds' re-election effort, and it appears that two of the state's top Republican officials agree. According to Evans, both Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have urged him to withdraw from the race. Evans has also said Stanley urged him to drop out back in May 2011, offering to help recoup his campaign costs and possibly find a job for Evans' son, who is working for his father's campaign.
Neither Bolling's chief of staff nor Cuccinelli's political director chose to comment on the issue. Evans remains undeterred: "I have a right to run. It comes down to principle. I will not be runoff ."