State Senator Richard Black (R-VA) has ended his short-lived campaign for retiring Rep. Frank Wolf’s congressional seat. Instead, he will remain in the Virginia Senate, where Black has become notorious for remarks on sexual assault, abortion, contraception, and LGBT issues.
At one point in Black’s political career he considered legislation on marital rape, and wondered whether it counts as violence. “I don’t know how on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything,” Black said in 2002, highlighted recently by Mother Jones. He’s compared contraception to “baby pesticide,” said abortion was like slavery, and argued that same-sex couples are dangerous to the public.
Black said his decision to withdraw came down to meeting with Republican leaders and realizing “it is imperative that I remain in the Senate where I am needed to maintain our 20/20 split.” Black’s exit leaves Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Comstock has a long record of opposing abortion even when a mother’s life is at risk.