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State Sen. Nick Rerras announces re-election bid
April 19, 2007

By Stacia Childers

EXMORE -- Jerry Turner had done some research and had his questions ready. The retired accountant from Wachapreague attended state Sen. Nick Rerras' campaign kickoff on Saturday in the hopes of striking up a conversation in the style of Rerras' recent town meetings.

But Rerras' agenda this time around centered on a speech and official endorsements from local legislators, as well as an informal meet-and-greet during the complimentary lunch buffet.

The event at the Trawler Restaurant here was the first of two held on the Shore this weekend. The second was at Maria's Restaurant on Chincoteague later that evening.

Rerras, a Republican, focused on the positive as he prepared to defend his 6th district Senate seat against Democratic challenger and Onancock native Dr. Ralph Northam in November.

Endorsements for Rerras came from former Northampton County Supervisor Betsy Mapp, current Supervisor Larry Trala, and Exmore Mayor Guy Lawson.

Although she gave a ringing endorsement on Saturday, Mapp admitted to experiencing a bit of skepticism when Rerras first took office eight years ago.

"What could this little Greek guy from Norfolk do for the Eastern Shore?" she remembered thinking. "But he has taken the time to find out what makes us tick."

"He's a true Eastern Shoreman," Lawson told the gathering of about 20 people, adding that he sees Rerras more often than some local politicians.

Rerras' presence on the Shore -- "I'm on the tax rolls here," he said, pointing out that he and his wife, Gayle, own a home in Cape Charles and the family visits regularly -- is notable to many locals who often feel slighted and ignored by state representatives.

On Rerras' list were his support of the conservation tax credit, helping to secure $500 million in funds for Chesapeake Bay and river cleanup, resisting attempts to take away the prohibition of parole and ensuring that the words "In God We Trust" would be displayed in a prominent place in every public school.

He said that one of his top priorities is to protect the funding and independence of the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel.

"We cannot lose that toll money that we have saved (for parallel tunnels)," Rerras said.

He also promised to continue his fight to ensure that "local power companies" provide cost of service, and not market-based, rates for electricity.

It wasn't until his closing remarks that Rerras briefly alluded to his opponent and talked about the upcoming Senate race.

"This may well be a tough campaign and we ask for your help," he said. "God bless you."

Nick Rerras for VA State Senate
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