(Richmond, March 1, 2010) The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus today voted unanimously to elect Senator Ryan T. McDougle (R – Hanover) to serve as the Caucus’ Republican Leader Pro Tempore. The position, previously held by former Senator Kenneth W. Stolle, was left vacant when Stolle resigned his seat to become Sheriff of Virginia Beach.
“Though he has only been in the Senate four years, Ryan has shown himself to be one of our most energetic and engaged members,” commented Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R – James City), who placed McDougle’s name in nomination for the position. “We have a tremendous number o f opportunities ahead of us in the coming months with elections and redistricting fast approaching. It is important that we have a full leadership slate as we approach these challenges. And it is beneficial for the Caucus to engage someone with Ryan’s enthusiasm in this role.”
The position of Leader Pro Tempore is established in the by-laws of the Senate Republican Caucus to work on projects assigned by the Republican Leader. The Leader Pro Tempore serves in the place of the Republican Leader in the absence of the Leader. In this role, McDougle joins the Caucus’ leadership team that currently includes Norment as Republican Leader, Senator Stephen D. Newman (R – Lynchburg) as Caucus Chair, Senators Mark D. Obenshain (R – Harrisonburg) and Frank W. Wagner (R – Virginia Beach) as Whips, and Senator Walter A. Stosch (R – Henrico) as Leader Emeritus.
“Ryan has a unique capacity to serve in this position,” said Senator Newman, who seconded McDougle’s nomination. “He has strong political instincts, executes effective grassroots operations in his district, and has a proven ability to work collaboratively with the business community. By placing Ryan in a position of leadership, we anticipate him being able to use the talents that have helped him individually for the benefit of the Caucus as a whole. In so doing, we have immediately strengthened our Caucus.”
McDougle was first elected to the Senate in a special election in January, 2006 to fill the unexpired term left by the election of former Senator Bill Bolling as Lieutenant Governor. In that election, McDougle garnered over 80% of the vote. He was re-elected without opposition in 2007. Prior to his election to the Senate, McDougle represented the 97th District in the House of Delegates for two terms. He currently represents all of Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King and Queen, King William, and Middlesex Counties; and part of Spotsylvania County. He serves on the Committees for Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources; Courts of Justice; Rehabilitation and Social Services; and Transportation. In 2008, McDougle was appointed a Deputy Whip within the Republican Caucus.
“I humbly accept the responsibility that has been placed on me today,” McDougle said in accepting the position. “I have watched the Republican Caucus evolve over the past two years under the current leadership team. In that time, we have articulated a positive vision for Virginia, become more cohesive as a group, and begun unprecedented efforts to prepare to be competitive in future elections. The Caucus is moving in the right direction and I am honored to be asked to serve as part of the leadership team that will continue to move the Caucus forward as a team.”