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Chafin elected to Court of Appeals

Tazewell County Circuit Judge Teresa M. Chafin was elected to the Court of Appeals of Virginia in an early morning General Assembly session that left confusion and controversy about other judicial appointments.

It appeared that the Assembly elected Fredericksburg lawyer Wesley G. Marshall to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, but the action could not be immediately confirmed.

In a widely reported vote, the House of Delegates denied a judgeship for an openly gay prosecutor after a 1 a.m. debate.

Tracy Thorne-Begland, Richmond deputy commonwealth’s attorney, had been nominated for a general district court seat. His election was challenged by a conservative advocacy group and by Del. Bob Marshall, R-Prince William County.

The House vote on Thorne-Begland’s bid for the bench was 33 to 31, with 10 abstentions, reports The Washington Post. He would need 51 votes in the 100-member House to win election.

The 31 nay votes all came from Republicans, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Thorne-Begland, a Richmond prosecutor for 12 years, had been approved for the judgeship by both the House and Senate courts committees.

The House debate over his nomination lasted for over an hour, reported Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke. “The fireworks didn’t really start until after midnight,” he said.

Two former delegates were elected to judgeships. Clifford “Clay” Athey, R-Warren County, was approved for a circuit court seat, and Clarence “Bud” Phillips, D-Dickenson County, was elected to a general district judgeship. Both retired last year from the House.

Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brad Finch was elected to a juvenile and domestic relations judgeship, replacing Marc Long who moves to the circuit court bench.

We will continue updating this post throughout the day as information becomes available.

By Peter Vieth with additional reporting by Deborah Elkins


Arlington attorney Louise M. DiMatteo was elected to the circuit court bench in Arlington, according to Del. David Albo, R-Springfield. Four funded judgeships were left unfilled, he said, apparently because of disagreement between the House and Senate. Online legislative information shows conflicts in judicial nominees in both Hopewell and Halifax County.

Marshall confirms he was elected to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. He said he looks forward to helping that panel reduce a “fairly significant case backlog.” Marshall has represented injured workers and other accident victims since 1991.

From the minutes of the House and Senate, now posted online, here are the judges elected early Tuesday morning:

Circuit Court

  • Ninth Judicial Circuit: Michael E. McGinty
  • Twelfth Judicial Circuit: Steven C. McCallum
  • Thirteenth Judicial Circuit: Gregory L. Rupe
  • Fourteenth Judicial Circuit: Richard S. Wallerstein, Jr.
  • Sixteenth Judicial Circuit: Susan L. Whitlock
  • Seventeenth Judicial Circuit: Daniel S. Fiore, II
  • Seventeenth Judicial Circuit: Louise M. DiMatteo
  • Twenty-second Judicial Circuit: Stacey Moreau
  • Twenty-sixth Judicial Circuit: Clifford L. Athey, Jr.
  • Twenty-seventh Judicial Circuit: Marcus H. Long, Jr.
  • Twenty-eighth Judicial Circuit: Sage B. Johnson

General District Court

  • First Judicial District: Michael R. Katchmark
  • Second Judicial District: Daniel R. Lahne
  • Sixth Judicial District: Bruce A. Clark, Jr.
  • Eleventh Judicial District: Mayo K. Gravatt
  • Twentieth Judicial District: Deborah C. Welsh
  • Twenty-fourth Judicial District: Sam D. Eggleston
  • Twenty-eighth Judicial District: V. Blake McKinney
  • Thirtieth Judicial District: Clarence E. Phillips
  • Thirty-first Judicial District: Tracy C. Hudson
  • Thirty-first Judicial District: William E. Jarvis
  • Twenty-fifth Judicial District: William Chapman Goodwin

Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court

  • Second Judicial District: Tanya Bullock
  • Ninth Judicial District: Wade A. Bowie
  • Ninth Judicial District: Cressondra B. Conyers
  • Twelfth Judicial District: J. David Rigler
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Rondelle D. Herman
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Randall G. Johnson, Jr.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District: Richard E. Moore
  • Twenty-second Judicial District: Brian H. Turpin
  • Twenty-seventh Judicial District: Bradley W. Finch
  • Twenty-seventh Judicial District: Monica Dawn Cox
  • Twenty-eighth Judicial District: Deanis L. Simmons
  • Twenty-fourth Judicial District: H. Cary Payne


  1. So now that we know that Del. Marshall considers a person’s sexual orientation to be a litmus test for election as a judge, how is he going to determine which candidates will not let their sexual orientation, gay or straight, influence their decision-making as a judge?

    You can’t say that only gays can exhibit a sexual bias without conceding that straights can exhibit a sexual bias.

  2. Who says bigotry is dead? Not in Virginia.

  3. Every person who voted against Thorne-Begland based on sexual preference only should be ashamed of themselves. They won’t be, of course, but for those of us still with Republican leanings votes such as this shred the ties that bind. Independent has an appealing ring to it!!

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