A GOP candidate who once opposed making spousal rape a crime has dropped out of the race for retiring Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-VA) seat.
Virginia state Sen. Richard “Dick” Black told a local conservative blog on Wednesday that he decided to remain in the state Senate in order to preserve an even split between Republicans and Democrats in that chamber.
“Our nation and Virginia are at a critical juncture,” Black told the Bull Elephant. “I seriously considered running for the 10th Congressional seat, however, after meeting with Republican Caucus leaders in Richmond, it is imperative that I remain in the Senate where I am needed to maintain our 20/20 split.”
Two Virginia Republicans with knowledge of the decision confirmed Black’s plans to The Hill.
Black’s comments on several issues, from saying it’s hard to convict a husband of rape when a man and his wife are “sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, there’s no injury and so forth” to calling abortion a “Holocaust,” have stirred controversy since he announced his congressional run.
His exit from the race clears a path to the GOP nomination for state Del. Barbara Comstock (R), the ex-chairwoman of Scooter Libby’s defense fund.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.