GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell became the first major Republican to call on Del. Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News) to step down, amid allegations Hamilton improperly benefitted from a state-funded teaching center that he helped create.
“From what I have seen of published news accounts containing emails and admissions, it appears that Delegate Hamilton has violated the public trust,” McDonnell said in a statement.
Late Monday, Hamilton said he will not bow to the growing political pressure, saying that his constituents want him to press forward.
“Their comments, which most of these individuals have readily acknowledged are primarily based on news accounts, do not coincide with the response I am receiving as I campaign door-to-door in the 93rd District,” Hamilton wrote in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “[I]t appears that only Governor Kaine and Senator Cuccinelli possess sufficient confidence in those voters to permit them the privilege of expressing their opinion at the ballot box,” the statement continued.
Complete statements are after the jump.
Statement of Bob McDonnell on Del. Phil Hamilton:
“Elected officials must keep the highest ethical standards in order to maintain the public trust. From what I have seen of published news accounts containing emails and admissions, it appears that Delegate Hamilton has violated the public trust. Based on this public information it would be in the best interests of his constituents for him to step down, but if he believes that the due process of a full inquiry by the House Ethics Advisory Panel will clear his name, he should have a full opportunity to present his case. Any such inquiry should be commenced immediately and conducted expeditiously.”
Statement of Delegate Phillip A. Hamilton
Regarding comments made today by candidates McDonnell, Deeds, Bolling, Wagner, and Shannon
Newport News, VA, August 24, 2009: Delegate Phillip A. Hamilton (R-Newport News) tonight
issued the following statement regarding statements issued today by former Attorney General Robert
F. McDonnell, Senator R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), Lt. Governor William T. Bolling (R), former
Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner, and Delegate Stephen C. Shannon (D-Fairfax):
“While I am disappointed by the statements issued by Ms. Wagner and Messrs. McDonnell,
Deeds, Bolling, and Shannon, their collective opinions have not lessened my resolve to continue
serving the people of the 93rd District. Their comments, which most of these individuals have readily
acknowledged are primarily based on news accounts, do not coincide with the response I am
receiving as I campaign door-to-door in the 93rd District. I might note that unlike the aforementioned
individuals, I am campaigning door-to-door in the 93rd District, hearing directly from the constituents I
serve and represent.
“These gentlemen have cited the best interests of the people of the 93rd District as their
reason for calling on me to resign. Yet, it appears that only Governor Kaine and Senator Cuccinelli
possess sufficient confidence in those voters to permit them the privilege of expressing their opinion at
the ballot box. I share that view, have confidence in the fairness and judgment of the people I serve,
and will continue to campaign for their support.
“This situation is not the first time I have found myself in disagreement with some of my
party’s leadership. Undoubtedly, it will not be the last. But, the people of Newport News and James
City deserve a representative whose first concern is their interest, and not one who follows the
dictates of partisanship or convenience. With 21 years of service to them, I believe I am best suited to
continue to serve. I will, therefore, continue to campaign for their votes and await their verdict on