Yesterday, the residents of Staunton, Virginia held their annual 4th of July parade in Gypsy Hill Park.
As is typically the case, politicians, candidates, and political parties representing Staunton and Augusta County marched to show their support. And, like last year, Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) was separate from the rest of the Republicans. In addition, Angela Lynn, the Democratic challenger in the 25th House of Delegates, was similarly apart from her party. The other Republican elected officials pounding the pavement included: Delegate Dickie Bell (R-Staunton), Delegate Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge), Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke), Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta), and Supervisor Marshall Pattie (R-Augusta). Ellen Arthur, who seeks to replace Delegate Cline, walked with the Democrats. The Libertarians were there for Will Hammer who is running against Delegate Bell. In addition, the one Republican and three Independent candidates for Augusta County Sheriff also each had a float in the parade. And, lest we forget, the Augusta County Alliance had an entry opposing the proposed Dominion Power pipeline.
Today, on the steps of the Augusta County Court House in Staunton, Ellen Arthur officially announced her campaign for the 24th district House of Delegates seat. Seeking the Democratic nomination, she is challenging Republican Delegate Ben Cline who has represented the district since 2002. The 24th district includes Bath County, Buena Vista, Lexington, Rockbridge County, as well as portions of Augusta and Amherst Counties.
About two dozen people came out for the event which lasted a little less than half an hour. Introduced by Augusta Democratic Chairman and former State Senator Frank Nolen (D-24), Ms. Arthur explained a little about her family life and her reasons for running, including her three campaign issues: improving medical care, expanding educational opportunities, and curbing the influence of money in politics. Along these same lines, she spoke out against the Dominion pipeline, saying that it transported a “obsolete source of energy” and mentioned that Delegate Cline has received over $12,000 in campaign contributions from Dominion.
During the brief question and answer period that followed, Angela Lynn, a fellow candidate who is running for House of Delegates in the nearby 25th district, spoke in favor of Ms. Arthur, as did Staunton City Council member Erik Curren, and Staunton School Board member and local Young Democrat leader Laura Kleiner. Lastly, she was joined on the steps by Angela Lynn for a joint photo.