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GOPer Who Opposed Criminalizing Spousal Rape Drops Out Of House Race

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AP Photo / STEVE HELBER

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.