Top GOP Leaders Recruiting Kilgore to Challenge Boucher

RICHMOND, Va. — State Del. Terry Kilgore (R) acknowledged Wednesday that top Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., are encouraging him to challenge Rep. Rick Boucher (D) in the Southwestern Virginia 9th district next year.If he were to run, Kilgore would immediately be considered a top recruit in the conservative district, where Republicans have been frustrated by their inability to field a top-tier candidate to challenge the popular 14-term Congressman.House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has talked to Kilgore “a couple of times— about a Congressional bid and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) has called to talk to Kilgore about the possibility, although Kilgore said he and Sessions have been playing phone tag and have yet to have a conversation on the subject.Kilgore said he has not seen a poll on his chances in the race.First elected to the House of Delegates in 1993, Kilgore is the twin brother of former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R), who lost the 2005 gubernatorial race to now-Gov. Tim Kaine (D).But for the moment Kilgore said he’s happy with his job in the House of Delegates and he is focused on Virginia’s state elections in November rather than any Congressional plans. Kilgore is running unopposed for re-election in November. “Am I closing any doors? No. But I’ve got to wait until next year to do anything because we’ve got a lot going on [at the state level]. … We have the big [gubernatorial] race going and we’ve got to maintain control of the [state] House so I’m concentrating on that right now.—Kilgore said he has a good relationship with Boucher and “we work quite well together.— But Kilgore also said there are issues, especially Boucher’s support of the cap-and-trade bill, where he has serious differences with the Congressman.“For my district, the cap-and-trade bill is a non-starter because we represent a lot of coal interests,— Kilgore said. “I know he spoke about trying to make it better but we really don’t want a bill period until India and China step up to the plate.—

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