RICHMOND (WWBT) - The State Capitol in Richmond is dealing with a huge loss. Longtime Clerk of The House of Delegates, Bruce Jamerson died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.
Jamerson served as the House Clerk for 20 years. He worked in the Clerk's office for 37.
His body was found by a State Police bloodhound at Watkins' Landing along the James River in Powhatan County.
Bruce Jamerson was not a house hold name, but he rubbed elbows with the most powerful people in the Commonwealth. Tonight, governors, delegates and senators are trying to figure out what went wrong.
He was never one to seek the spotlight, but he was always there, even if you never saw him.
The man responsible for reading the vote totals after delegates cast their ballots, Jamerson was in charge of keeping the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere moving, and everyone, republicans and democrats believe he did it well.
"He cared about this institution, he cared about this commonwealth," said Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) on the floor of the House of Delegates.
Jamerson did his work almost always, with a smile. He never seem fazed and his lengthy experience and encyclopedic knowledge of the legislative process made him an invaluable resource.
"Jefferson himself could not have loved this place more than Bruce Jamerson," said Del. Ward Armstrong, the House Minority Leader.
That love is one of the many reasons that his death, especially from a suicide, is leaving so many people who knew him puzzled. The fact that a man who always seem to have it together, was in pain, forced many to pause and look at their own lives.
"It is a good opportunity to reflect on what is important in this world to renew our fellowships and our friendships," said Armstrong.
The chamber- and the business of Virginia's government moved forward, but with a black veil hanging over the place Jamerson once stood. A symbol of this painful chapter in the rich history of such a respected institution.
And lawmakers chose not to postpone today's special session to deal with legislative re-districting despite Jamerson's death.
The House passed a new bi-partisan version of a plan that was vetoed by Governor McDonnell last week.