Line of succession

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

During and after session, I have been asked by many “After the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general all got into trouble for what they said and did, why didn’t anything happen to them? Considering that their own party leaders from around the country were calling for them to resign, you should have forced them out of office.” This has been a common refrain. Others have asked, “Why, since the Republicans control the House and Senate, didn’t you just get rid of all three and make the speaker of the house the governor.”

While it is correct that the speaker of the house is the next in line, that could not happen unless a major disaster occurred that took out all three of our statewide elected officials, the governor, the lieutenant governor and the attorney general. Doing and saying stupid things do not qualify as major disasters. They may be embarrassing to Virginians but that, of course, is a different issue.

If action was to be taken for any of the three for any reason, they would be separate actions. If the governor was forced out, the lieutenant governor would automatically step into the office. If the lieutenant governor moved up or was removed from office, there is a process to replace him. Likewise, if the attorney general leaves office, that position would be dealt with by the General Assembly. We would elect his replacement. Therefore, others would move forward to fill vacancies rather than the Speaker.

When the national leaders of the Democrat party realized that they had jumped on the bandwagon before the sexual charges had become public about the lieutenant governor, they dropped out of public view on the call for him to resign. They fully understood that they could not say or do anything that would elevate him to the governorship with rape charges hovering over him.


Additionally, the General Assembly has no authority to override the results of an election unless a crime has been committed. While I, and many, are sickened by Governor Northam’s position on late term and after-birth murder of a newborn, it is not a crime. If, as a doctor, he was to do what he proposed, it would be a crime. His college actions and the lies he appeared to have told about them, were not illegal. Likewise, the idiotic hypocrisy of the attorney general was dumb, not illegal. Finally, the charges against Lt. Governor Fairfax are criminal and serious. The process is currently moving forward dealing with those charges. The House of Delegates must determine if charges are warranted or not. Because both charges occurred outside the state, no Virginia law enforcement officer has authority to investigate in another state. The House is currently trying to put together a bipartisan panel to hear the complaints against him. Should charges be brought, the Senate would then act as the jury to decide if he should be removed from office.


On Sunday, our family joined together to honor the family mothers. We put flowers in the church to honor Jessie’s mother as well as mine. Our children helped prepare lunch for Jessie and Jessica. We all owe our mothers so much for what they have done for us to make our lives better and more rewarding.



Oops, I missed Teacher Appreciation Week last week. I’m not sure how I let this slip by me, but I did. When you are the son of a teacher, the husband of a teacher, the father of a teacher, the brother of two teachers, and the nephew of a bunch of teachers, you would think I would never forget, but I did.

Each of us and our children and grandchildren have been molded in some way by teachers who have prepared us for the experiences that we have encountered in our lives. Part of that molding dealt with academics but another part was how to address the challenges we face every day, how to get along with others, and how to be better citizens.

Take a few minutes to reach out and thank them.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is