I got this story first from Brian. Delegate Jackie Stump, a 15-year veteran of the House of Delegates, representing Buchanan County, and parts of Russell and Tazewell Counties,is resigning his seat for health reasons. He is suffering from colon cancer.
I saw Jackie Stump on December 3rd at Governor-Elect Kaine's Bristol Transportation Forum, and, now that I think about it, he did appear older and slower-moving than the last time I saw him (which had been about 10 months). He's a large man (much like myself, but I'm more stretched-out than him), and he seemed to be having a hard time, possibly because of it. I got to listen to his full interview which was recorded and aired on WCYB that night, and he gave great answers, was quick and on the ball, and was jovial as always.
I had previously touted Delegate Stump as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate, and I hate to hear that he's leaving the House.
I'm not well-versed in all the local officeholders in the area, but I do know of at least one - Ralph Maples, who serves on the Russell County Board of Supervisors, and who is a distant cousin of mine - who would make a great member of the House. Since I just heard about this a while ago, obviously I haven't heard if he's even thinking about it, but I'll be making a phone call tomorrow to see about it. (UPDATE: 12/13/05: Ralph Maples isn't in the 3rd District. Scratch him off the list.)
The caucus will be Thursday at Richlands High School in Richlands, Virginia.
Another candidate I've heard about is a local guy named James Keen from Buchanan County. I know absolutely nothing about him.
According to Brian, it would be best to have a candidate from Buchanan County, since it is the bulk of the district.
The filing deadline is 5:00 pm, December 16th, 2005.