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Quayle to retire from Senate

Sen. Fred Quayle, a lawyer in Suffolk and the senior Republican on the Courts of Justice Committee, will not seek reelection to a sixth term.

The redistricting plan approved last month put Quayle and another Republican, Sen. Harry Blevins of Chesapeake, in the same district. Blevins announced yesterday that he will seek reelection and Quayle told the Tidewater News he would not challenge Blevins. Both senators are 75.

Quayle said he was disappointed but added “twenty years is long enough.” He noted that he was first elected to the Senate after the redistricting that followed the 1990 census put him in a district he thought he could win.

He said the redistricting plan is unfortunate for Suffolk, because the city will be divided among four districts with a probability that no one representing it will actually live there.

The redistricting also is likely to reduce the number of lawyers in the Senate. Blevins is a retired educator.

Quayle is the second high-ranking Senate Republican in a week to announce that he will not seek re-election. Sen. William C. Wampler Jr. of Bristol, the senior Republican in the Senate and the likely chairman of the powerful Finance Committee if the Republicans were to take control of the Senate in the November elections, cited travel and time away from his family in saying he would not run.

Del. Charles W. Carrico Sr., R-Galax, has announced that he will seek Wampler’s seat in what appears to be a solidly Republican district.