Delegate Barlow to seek another term

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Delegate Bill Barlow (D-Smithfield) will seek another term in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“The national economic environment has created the most challenging state budget situation in decades,” Barlow said in a press release on Monday. “Yet I remain committed to the fiscal values that make Virginia great: investing in core governmental responsibilities such as public education, public safety and a health care safety net.”

Barlow has been a delegate since 1992 and ran unopposed in the 2007 election. In 2005, he beat Republican opponent Troy Lapetina for the District 64 post, which covers parts of Isle of Wight, James City and Southampton counties and Franklin, as well as Surry County and Williamsburg.

April 10 is the filing deadline for candidates to qualify for party primaries, which will be held June 9. The general election will be Nov. 3.

Barlow serves on the Courts of Justice, General Laws, and Militia, Police and Public Safety committees.

In the 2009 short General Assembly session, Barlow sponsored legislation to provide financial relief to Smithfield Police Lt. Kurt Beach to help cover medical expenses, including a liver transplant, that stem from his being infected by hepatitis C while on duty. That law passed and is awaiting a signature by Gov. Tim Kaine.

Barlow also sponsored HB 2249, which authorizes any county to impose a local cigarette tax. That bill died in committee.

Barlow’s HB 2244 called for the designation of the U.S. Route 58 Business bridge over the Blackwater River in Isle of Wight County as the “Holland-Councill Memorial Bridge.” The bill was incorporated into HB 1713, a similar bill introduced by Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt). That bill passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature, as well.

Tyler did not return phone calls and e-mails Monday and Tuesday about her intentions to run for re-election in District 75, which covers parts of Franklin and Southampton, Isle of Wight, Brunswick and Lunenburg counties, as well as all of Greensville County, Sussex County and the City of Emporia.

She was elected in 2005 to fill the seat previously occupied by Paul Councill Jr., Franklin Mayor Jim Councill’s father, who had been a delegate for 32 years. Tyler beat Republican opponent Carson Saunders Jr. of Emporia in the 2005 general election and ran unopposed in 2007.

Jim Councill made an unsuccessful attempt in the 2005 Democratic primary to fill his father’s former seat, as did local businessman Jerry Flowers. Tyler prevailed in the three-person primary to advance to the general election.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Councill said, “I have no idea” when asked if he would seek the District 75 seat again this year.

“It never crossed my mind,” he said.

Flowers, too, said he had not considered a run.

“I haven’t given it much thought,” he said. “But it’s my sincere hope that someone will run. I don’t think she’s an effective legislator.”

Barlow practices law in Smithfield, where he lives with his wife, Taylor Rowell Barlow, a retired public school teacher and Surry County native.

Their daughter, Amy Britt, lives in Smithfield and works as a nurse at Southampton Memorial Hospital and as a nursing instructor. She also is president of the Children’s Center Board of Directors.

Their son, Todd Barlow, practices law in Raleigh, N.C.