Chichester Retires from Senate

Ben posts the Senator’s retirement announcement here.
Say what you will of the man, and Lord knows, I’ve said plenty, but Chichester’s decision marks the end of an era in Virginia politics.

My understanding from discussions with people who know the Senator is that he had a strong set of values and an even better sense of how to achieve them. While not everyone agreed with his vision for the Commonwealth, he had one (unlike so many others in political life…whose vision seems to extend no further than the next election).

Some of my friends on the right will (and no doubt are) cheering the fact that he is leaving the scene. They ought to — because he had proven himself nearly invincible at the polls, and their chances of ever defeating him were somewhere between slim and none. That said, the race to replace him will be very interesting to watch. And even more, the Senate without him will be a far different place than it is today.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


9 responses to “Chichester Retires from Senate”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    interesting timing… before Kaine’s surgery…. and tossing it back over the transom…

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Chichester got his Party nomination through an open primary. It’s the only way he could survive. Same for Tommy Norment.

    If His Lordship Sir John Chichester is the end of an era, then it’s a good thing to end that era and get on with a new one.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    An open primary. What a concept! Actually letting people choose their own representation! I can see why JAB smirks at such an idea. It’s not how a southern gentleman does politics, is it.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    “Chichester got his Party nomination through an open primary. It’s the only way he could survive.”
    Those are the rules we play by here in Virginia. You can complain about it in theory all day. Even the most liberal of Republicans will lose in an open primary if they continue to go over the top.
    Bottom line is that open primaries in Virginia make the most sense without party registration. Complain and whine all you want but Chichester went out on his own terms. He was not chased out. He has more than enough money in his account to easily win again.

    While I hold a different low tax philosophy than Chichester, I admire the man for sticking to his personal core principles even if I disagreed and I am cerainly glad to see him go.

  5. NoVA Scout Avatar
    NoVA Scout

    Chichester is among the last of the fiscally responsible, budgetarily astute Republicans in the General Assembly. His conviction that you have to pay for what you want, even if you are the government, was very inconvenient for the new crop of anti-tax spendthrifts. We can only hope that there are always a few folks like Chichester parked in strategic places of the budget process. We can also hope that the era of being blinded and besotted by glibly applied political labels is soon coming to an end (although I see no particular evidence that that is the case).

  6. The “open primary” is how the Byrd Machine lasted so long. The “organization” leaders used to pass the word to encourage their “friends” in the Republican party to vote.

    Of course, the Republicans got smart and used it to corrupt the primary process and to see that Henry Howell won the gubernatorial nomination in 1977.

  7. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    Opening or closing the primary will not cure what is wrong with the current two party Duopoly.


  8. He did miss on that 99.9 % chance of becoming lieutenant governor 20+ years ago, if that is the correct way to express the flip side of 1,000 to 1.

  9. Joe Graziano for the 28th! Avatar
    Joe Graziano for the 28th!

    Graziano is the only viable candidate in this race. He set up an exploratory committee to take out Chichester a few years back and the Senator was worried. Since Chichester announced his retirement, Graziano is getting calls to re-enter. He has complied and will be on the ticket. For those who don’t know him, he is a pragmatic conservative who is an Iraq veteran, former congressional staffer and a small businessman in Stafford.

Leave a Reply