Tag Archives: Bob Marshall

- “Objection, Mr. Chairman!” – The Opening Session of the 1998 House of Delegates


The 1998 House of Delegates, Library of Virginia Special Collections, Prints & Photographs.

With the Virginia House of Delegates almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats when it convenes on Wednesday, 10 January 2018, Out of the Box decided to spotlight Library of Virginia records related to that last time the chamber was tied in 1998. A recent Washington Post article described the 14 January 1998 opening session of the House of Delegates as an “ugly spectacle.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch called it a “parliamentary WrestleMania.” You can now see for yourself. The Library has added video of a portion of this session to our YouTube Channel. The video is part of the recordings of the Virginia House of Delegates sessions, 1982-2011 (accession 50627) housed at the Library.

After the 1997 general election, the Democrats held a 51-48 majority in the House of Delegates with one independent. Republican Governor-elect James Gilmore (1998-2002) appointed two state senators, Joseph B. Benedetti (R) and Charles L. Waddell (D) and one Democratic delegate, David G. Brickley to positions in his administration. The appointments set off a chain-reaction of House and Senate special elections which culminated in the Republicans gaining one additional house seat. With independent delegate Lacey E. Putney agreeing to caucus with Republicans, the chamber would be tied when the session began. However, the State Board of Elections refused to accelerate certification of the Republican delegates elected in three 13 January … read more »