Long-time 40th District State Representative Biff Lee stunned colleagues on the House floor in Dover today announcing after 20+ years he would not seek re-election. Lee told colleagues that he had been thinking of retiring for sometime and was told when he was ready he would know; today he said that feeling had come and it was time to go.
When Republicans held the majority in the House, Biff served as Majority Whip; two years ago Republicans suffered a major loss of members, Lee lost his leadership post and the Republicans moved from upstairs to the basement offices.
Speculation has been going on for a few years who would succeed Biff. County Councilman Vance Phillips had been mentioned for Lee’s seat of St. Senator Bob Venables, D-Laurel, whichever retired first. However Phillips recent aircraft accident which has left him wheel-chair bound has silenced those rumors for now.
However tonight we have learned Pastor Tim Dukes, son of former Democrat County Councilman Dale Dukes will seek Lee’s post as a Republican and has received Lee’s endorsement. We have been told an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.
Pastor Dukes has chaired the fledging group of citizens which formed the LEAD group that opposed the firing of former Laurel School Superintendent Dr. John McCoy and successfully endorsed Patrick Vanderslice’s win over the boards incumbent.
Ray Adkins, a local realtor has filed for the seat as a Democrat.