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Speaker taps Virginia GOP moderate to head roads panel

Tom Rust

The Associated Press


RICHMOND, Va. — Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax County, a soft-spoken, moderate Republican from the state's most traffic-choked region, is the new chairman of the House of Delegates Transportation Committee.

Speaker Bill Howell announced the appointment Monday morning.

Rust replaces the committee's outgoing chairman, Joe May of Loudoun.

May lost his re-election bid in June's Republican primary. He was ousted by conservatives in part for backing this year's transportation reform law, which they opposed as a tax increase. Rust also supported the legislation, which became the first reform of Virginia's failing highway-financing law in 27 years.

Rust became first in line to succeed May after the committee's former No. 2 member, Republican Del. John Cosgrove, won an August special election to serve the remaining two years of retired Sen. Harry Blevins' term.

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