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Ex-Cox Exec Loses State Senate Bid

Gary McCollum, who formerly ran Cox's Virginia systems, has lost his bid for a Virginia (Seventh District)  State Senate seat.

He was defeated by Frank Wagner with 54.21% of the vote with 48 of 49 precincts reporting, to McCollum's 45.55% according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

It was a tough campaign, with McCollum accused by Republicans of misreporting his military service (he said it was an error and apologized) and catching heat for being on leave from Cox while drawing a salary, which his opponents said should have been declared by Cox as a campaign contribution.

A Cox spokesperson had told B&C/Multichannel News back in September that the company was in compliance with all campaign laws, then the Virginian-Pilot reported only days later that Cox said McCollum was no longer employed by the company.

Asked to confirm that McCollum had parted ways with Cox back in September, and whether he would be returning following his loss, Emma Inman, director of public affairs for Cox Communications said, without elaboration:

"J.D. Myers, II is the interim SVP and Region Manager of Cox Communications Virginia. Gary McCollum no longer works for Cox."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.