Watkins Abbitt to retire Jan 2012

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    Watkins Abbitt, followed in his father’s footsteps and has been elected to the Virginia General Assembly 13 times in the 59th district.  He first ran as a Democrat, but during redistricting in 2000, he chose to leave the Democratic party to avoid being challenged by Republicans.  Abbitt announced his retirement Tuesday.

    This article in WaPo details Abbitt’s career in Virginia politics.

    Wonder who will be vying for this position?  Is there a chance for a Dem to take this seat?  In the 2010 Congressional elections, Perriello won in the Porters, Country Green and Red Hill Precincts of Albemarle County by 862 votes, as well as in Buckingham County by 264 votes.  In the redrawn 59th, only part of Nelson County remains, but Perriello won by 383 votes in those remaining precincts and his loss in the Lovingston precinct was by only 12 votes.  Perriello lost by 1800 votes to Hurt in Appomattox County, and 3,300 votes in the Campbell County precincts which are now in the 59th.  Is there the possibility that a Campbell County Democrat could change the dynamics in the 59th, moving Campbell County voters to his or her side and make this a race in the 59th?