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Virginia Senator Paul Trible Will Not Seek Re-Election

September 20, 1987

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Sen. Paul S. Trible Jr. said Saturday he will not seek a second term in the Senate next year, saying that ″much of the important work of the nation doesn’t seem to get done″ in the Senate.

Trible made the announcement, which also cited his desire to spend more time with his family, in a commercial distributed to 21 Virginia television stations Saturday afternoon, said spokesman John Miller.

The 40-year-old Republican, elected in 1982 after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, said that in a recent two-month period, he was home for dinner just three times.

″I want to see more of my family,″ he said. ″Our children have known no other life than the Congress.″

″Mary Katherine was born just 10 days after I took office (in the House.) If I serve another term in the Senate, she will be 18. She will have passed through my life and I will have missed seeing her grow up,″ said Trible, who beat Democratic Lt. Gov. Richard J. Davis in 1982 for the seat of retiring Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. ″I can’t let that happen.″

Trible and his wife, Rosemary, also have a son, Paul III, 6.

Trible, who represented Virginia’s 1st District in Congress for three terms before being elected to the Senate, said he is frustrated as a legislator.

″For all the Senate’s greatness, much of the important work of the nation doesn’t seem to get done,″ he said. ″The committee hearings, debates, filibusters and roll call votes go on and on and on.

″Personally, I want to be better able to shape my day, set the agenda, do more for my family and for Virginia.

″I’ll complete this term in office with energy and enthusiasm and then move on,″ Trible said. He said he continues ″to believe deeply in the promise of America″ and plans to ″seek other opportunities to make a difference in the life of our state and nation.″

He set a news conference for Monday to answer questions on his announcement; Miller said Trible would not comment further before then.

Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole said Trible’s decision is ″a real loss for the Senate and for the people of Virginia.″

″Paul is one of the Republican Party’s most thoughtful and respected young members. And he’s made an outstanding contribution to the Senate during his five years here,″ Dole said.

Virginia GOP spokesman Steve Haner said most party leaders learned of Trible’s decision only a few hours before the commercials aired.

″Paul Trible has been a great senator who has always put Virginia first,″ said state Republican party Executive Director Joe Elton. ″He never lost an election and never forgot he was in office to serve the people. He has also been a big help in building a stronger two-party system in Virginia.″

Lawrence H. Framme III, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said, ″Obviously this was a deeply personal decision by Senator Trible. The withdrawal of an incumbent senator increases the opportunity for the Virginia Democratic Party to represent the commonwealth in the U.S. Senate.″

Democratic Gov. Gerald L. Baliles said Trible’s decision may leave people puzzled about both his announcement and his plans for the future.

Many state Democrats, including Baliles, have urged former Gov. Charles S. Robb to seek Trible’s seat. Robb said last week that he will not make up his mind on a Senate bid until after the November elections. He was reported to be traveling and could not be reached for comment on Trible’s announcement.

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