Head of IOW Republican party announces bid for Barlow’s seat

Published 5:21 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

CARROLLTON—The chairman of the Isle of Wight County Republican Party will run for the seat held by state Delegate William “Bill” Barlow, D-Smithfield.

Rick Morris, a Carrollton resident who in October retired from a 22-year career with the Navy and opened a law firm in Virginia Beach that focuses on military and federal law, announced Wednesday his intention to run for the four-year term in the 64th District.

The 64th House District includes three precincts in Franklin — 101, 201 and 601 — as well as Bartlett, Carrolton, Courthouse, Orbit, Pons, Raynor, Rushmere, Smithfield, Walters, Windsor and Zuni precincts in Isle of Wight County. The district also includes the Southampton County precincts of Berlin, Hunterdale and Ivor.

Barlow has not officially announced his intention to run, but told The Tidewater News during an interview on redistricting that he plans to seek another term. Barlow, a Smithfield attorney, has served for 20 years.

Morris said his primary reason for running is he doesn’t believe Barlow is supporting lower taxes.

“Bill Barlow has voted for the highest tax increase in Virginia history and continuously votes for job-killing tax increases and wasteful spending,” Morris said in his announcement. ” It’s time for a change. My commitment to serve the citizens of the 64th District and our commonwealth is unwavering. ”

Gov. Bob McDonnell has put forth a great plan, which Barlow does not support, Morris added.

“Government doesn’t create jobs; businesses do,” he said.

Morris said he doesn’t support tolls on the James River Bridge. A private development group has proposed to improve the James River Bridge for $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion. It would be funded by tolls of $4 to $6.

He does favor the development of a new Route 460 from Petersburg to Suffolk, which would require tolls of up to $11 roundtrip.

“I think it’s important to help foster commerce,” Morris said. “We need commerce here in Isle of Wight and to help the people in Sussex and Prince George.”

The 42-year-old is the father of Courtney, 20, in California and twins, Truman and Trenton, 13.