Last-minute judge wannabe appears from nowhere
A legislative source declined to identify the secret candidate, Gibson reports, other than to say the wannabe judge is a lawyer who practices in Richmond and lives in Goochland County.
But the candidate is Rich Savage, who used to be with the Attorney General's office and served on the State Crime Commission, according to State Senator Creigh Deeds.
As for Savage's late-in-the-game entrance as a contender, "It happens all the time," Deeds says. "It happens frequently when the parties don't agree."
The seven local lawyers who announced their interest in the seat vacated by Peatross January 31 appeared before a Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association public forum December 14. The bar recommended Charlottesville General District Court Judge Bob Downer and former prosecutor Cheryl Higgins as extremely qualified for the bench. The Madison/Greene bar named Downer as its pick.
Delegate Rob Bell formed a citizens' advisory committee which also hosted a public forum, but Bell declines to say which candidate the committee recommended.
According to Deeds, four candidates have been invited to talk to the Courts of Justice committee in Richmond Tuesday afternoon: Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell in addition to Higgins and Savage.
Deeds refuses to name a favorite. "I support the Bar-endorsed candidates," he says. "The Republican caucus will choose this judge."
And if the legislators haven't agreed upon a judge by February 24, Governor Tim Kaine makes the call.