Henrico County's political allegiances are muddled enough that independent candidate Bill Janis is calling himself a Republican in campaign literature mailed out this week to voters.
Janis is giving up his long-held Republican Party label to run as an independent for commonwealth's attorney after the actual Republican candidate, Matthew P. Geary, lost the support of the county party leadership and a number of high-profile statewide figures, including the attorney general and the lieutenant governor.
Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, abandoning his General Assembly seat to make a run as an independent for a prosecutor's job in his home county, is getting an infusion of contributions from longtime Republicans and his own, now-ended re-election campaign for the House of Delegates.
In another unusual shift Friday in a usually sedentary race for Henrico commonwealth's attorney, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced his support for Janis in the wake of campaign finance reports showing that the congressional leader from Henrico has put $10,000 toward Janis' candidacy.
Del. Bill Janis, the Republican whip in the House of Delegates, officially announced at a news conference Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in November.
Instead, Janis will run as an independent for Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney, taking on the embattled Republican candidate Matthew Geary, who party leaders abandoned after he admitted to an extramarital affair.
“The person who sits in the chair of the commonwealth’s attorney must be serious,’’ Janis said. “He must be trustworthy. There can be absolutely no question about his integrity. Or his character. Or his sound judgment.”
Veteran Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, formally announced Wednesday that he will run as an independent to become Henrico County's chief prosecutor, emphasizing the need for a candidate of "character, integrity and judgment," and ending his GOP leadership role in the General Assembly.
More than 100 supporters, most of them Republican stalwarts, were on hand with Janis outside the county courthouse for the start of an 83-day campaign that pits him against embattled Republican nominee Matthew P. Geary and requires that the powerful five-term lawmaker drop his GOP membership.
Matthew P. Geary's troubled campaign for commonwealth's attorney in Henrico County is bringing in new staff.
Geary's campaign manager resigned Monday, issuing a brief statement that she had not anticipated a contested race and needs to devote attention to other clients.
Shortly before midnight Sunday, Amanda Chase issued a news release announcing her decision. Geary, 40, said Monday that he has hired a new campaign manager, campaign consultant and media consultant for a campaign that was expected to be without opposition but is now poised to take on a fellow Henrico County Republican, state Del. Bill Janis.
Henrico County's Arab Spring could shape up as an early fall for Matt Geary. The November election was supposed to be a formality for the Republican nominee for Henrico commonwealth's attorney. But that was before Geary, a career prosecutor and criminal-defense lawyer who was running unopposed, ran into himself. He acknowledged to GOP grandees an adulterous affair that had been leaked via email nearly a year ago. Geary now has opposition from an unlikely quarter: his own party. A Republican legislator, Bill Janis, is running as an independent rather than seeking re-election to the House. Janis is a part-time delegate and an occasional lawyer for whom politics is a full-time passion. He pursues it with frantic, Kramer-like energy. Janis doesn't enter a room; he bursts into it, head bobbing, lips flapping, arms flailing.
Matthew P. Geary's troubled campaign for commonwealth's attorney in Henrico County is now a ship without a rudder.
Geary's campaign manager resigned today, issuing a brief statement that she had not anticipted a contested race and needs to devote attention to other clients.
Amanda Chase issued a news release shortly before midnight Sunday announcing her decision.
Geary, 40, who quickly lost party support last week after revelations about an extramarital affair, had expected a run for the office without opposition.