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Houck: No plan to leave
Houck: Story overstated


Date published: 11/10/2009

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

State Sen. Edd Houck says reports of his interest in a job with the incoming McDonnell administration have been overstated.

Houck, D-Spotsylvania, was quoted in The Washington Post this weekend saying that he was "willing to talk" to governor-elect Bob McDonnell about appointments in McDonnell's new administration.

The very idea scares Democrats who fear losing their last stronghold at the state level--the state Senate. Democrats hold just a one-seat majority there; a defection by one Democratic senator to the administration would threaten the party's control of the Senate.

But Houck says all he meant in The Post was that he was willing to keep lines of communication open.

He said he has never talked to McDonnell or any of McDonnell's staff about an administration job.

"I've had no contact with them, they've had no contact with me, there have been no overtures, I'm not looking for it," Houck said.

Houck was considered for administration jobs under Gov. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Mark Warner.

He said he's concentrating on tending his district, including holding a fundraiser in Richmond last night. The next state Senate election isn't for two years, but Houck is in a conservative district and expects to be a target.

"I know my district is very competitive," he said. "I suspect they'll be coming after me."

He said he's also preparing for the 2010 session that starts in January. Houck is a senior member of the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee, which will have to deal with a budget that is expected to contain more cuts.

Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com