Will Kilgore be left off November First District legislative ballot?

Mike Still • Updated Jun 26, 2019 at 8:00 PM

GATE CITY — Virginia First District Del. Terry Kilgore is readying for a 14th run in November, but he has to wait to see if he will be on the ballot or be a write-in candidate.

Kilgore on Wednesday confirmed that the state Board of Elections will make a ruling Friday on whether it will grant a waiver to the 13-term House of Delegates member over a missing piece of election paperwork — a certification from the First District Republican Party of the results of its April 25 mass meeting to nominate him as its candidate.

“I did what I was supposed to do,” Kilgore said of the candidacy papers he was required to file under state election law.

State election officials notified Kilgore that the mass meeting certification from the party was not received, he said.

“There’s a code section that’s supposed to allow for a waiver in cases like this, but the (Virginia) attorney general’s office is reading the section differently,” Kilgore said.

First District Republican Party Chairman Rob Hines said Wednesday he was sure he mailed the certification on April 26 — the day after the mass meeting nominating Kilgore.

Hines, a Lee County attorney, said he gave the form to his secretary to mail and that he checked with her to make sure it was mailed.

“I believe it was mailed,” Hines said. “I’m not blaming anybody.”

Hines said the Virginia Code section governing such matters — 24.2-511 — provides for putting a candidate’s name on the ballot if the certification is not received by the state.

According to paragraph B of the section, “The party chairman of the district or political subdivision in which any other office is to be filled shall certify the name of any candidate for that office who has been nominated by his party by a method other than a primary to the State Board and to the general registrars of the cities and counties in which the name of the candidate will appear on the ballot not later than five days after the last day for nominations to be made.”

The section continues, “Should the party chairman fail to make such certification, the State Board shall declare that the candidate is the nominee of the particular party and direct that his name be treated as if certified by the party chairman.”

Despite the section’s text, Hines said the attorney general’s office has advised the board of elections to hold a hearing on the missing certification.

“We’re hoping (the attorney general) will reconsider,” Hines said. “I’ve been here as chairman for 20, 22 years. I feel like we sent the form.”

“If it doesn’t work out, I guess I’d be running a write-in campaign,” Kilgore said. “It would be a lot of work for the registrars in the district.”

Kilgore has no opposition on the November ballot. He said that seniority of the legislative delegation’s members is important in representing the region and getting its business done in the General Assembly.

“I understand it’s very close in the House and the Senate,” Hines said of the General Assembly’s current party makeup.

Mark Herring, the attorney general, is a Democrat.

Herring press secretary Charlotte Gomer, when asked Wednesday about any guidance the office provided to the Board of Elections on the matter, said the office does not discuss legal advice.

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