Tom Gear

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Tom Gear
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 91st district
In office
Preceded by Phil Larrabee
Succeeded by Gordon C. Helsel, Jr.
Personal details
Born ( 1949 -05-02) May 2, 1949 (age 67)
Hampton, Virginia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Janice Graham Sigler
Children Ryan, Shannon
Residence Hampton, Virginia
Occupation Real estate
Committees Education; Finance; General Laws; Transportation
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1968–1974
Unit Virginia Army National Guard

Thomas D. "Tom" Gear (born May 2, 1949) is an American politician of the Republican Party. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 until 2010. He represented the 91st district on the Virginia Peninsula, made up of the city of Poquoson plus parts of York County and the city of Hampton.[1] He resigned his seat on December 31, 2010 citing health problems.[2]

Gear is a graduate of Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Virginia. His father (also named Thomas Gear) was Mayor of Hampton, Virginia from 1980 to 1982. Gear was a commercial printer; the owner of Gear Up Printing. He was on Hampton City Council from 1998 to 2001.



Gear was re-elected in the November 6, 2005 General Election with 11,057 (59.43%) votes, versus 7,419 (39.88%) votes for Independent candidate Randy A. Gilliland, with 128 voters casting write in votes. Voter turnout was 47.69%.[3]


Gear was re-elected in the November 6, 2007 General Election with 9,156 (93.15%) votes, with 673 voters casting write in votes. Voter turnout was 24.06%.[4]


Gear was up for re-election in a three way race with Independent Gordon C. Helsel, Jr. the then-current Mayor of the City of Poquoson, Virginia.[5] and Democrat Samuel L. Sam Eure, Jr. (a Social Studies Teacher in the York County School Division) of York County, Virginia,[6] As of August 31, 2009 the State Board of Elections website reported that Gear had raised $25,976.00, Helsel had raised $65,261.00, and Eure had raised $5,076.00. Helsel has run on the Republican ticket in the past, but did not secure the Republican nomination for this election.[7]

Republican Gear captured 9,576 votes (48 percent). Independent Helsel finished in second with 6,463 votes (about 33 percent). Democrat Eure finished third in the race with 3,757 votes (19 percent).[8][9]


Teddy Thompson controversy[edit]

Tom Gear sponsored and fought for legislation giving Teddy P. Thompson $270,000 for spending seven years in prison for a robbery he did not commit. Since the legislation passed, Thompson has committed three misdemeanors, including two assault charges and a breach of peace count, and on August 17, 2009 Thompson faced revocation of a suspended sentence on an older robbery charge, for which he received a suspended sentence.[10]

Hampton judicial appointment controversy[edit]

In the 2007 session, Virginia General Assembly members representing Hampton reached a tentative deal to fill nominations for several Hampton judgeships that have been vacant for six years. Gear's insistence that his sister, Kathy Gear Owens, an attorney and substitute judge, be appointment to Hampton's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court was one of several issues raised by Gear to hold up the appointment of the judges. Because the tentative deal included the appointment of his sister, Gear's fellow Senate Republicans walked off the floor in protest when the selections came up for a vote. Several democrats also voted against the resolution. During the 2009 General Assembly Session Gear Owens finally removed her name from consideration.[11]


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