Is Landes feeling some heat from Marrow challenge?
Steve Landes is “starting to get a little PO’d” at what he thinks is Democratic Party opponent Greg Marrow’s effort to “distort” his legislative record. And the seven-term incumbent showed it Thursday night at the end of a heated debate between the 25th District candidates sponsored by the News Virginian and NBC29 at Kate Collins Middle School in Waynesboro.
“You’re distorting what I’ve done over the last 13 years. And I’ve worked hard. It takes time to do these things, but I’ve been in the trenches, and I’ve accomplished a lot, I think,” said Landes, who is facing a major-party challenge for the first time since his first run for the seat in the 25th, which represents Waynesboro, Crozet and portions of Augusta and Rockingham counties, in 1995.
Marrow is mounting a stiffer-than-expected challenge to Landes on the strength of a run of criticisms of Landes’ light legislative record. The Republican has decided to make his name in Richmond working to eliminate outdated laws from the State Code, which Marrow has said is like “fiddling while Rome burned” especially considering the losses in the manufacturing sector in the 25th in Landes’ tenure in Richmond.
“Do we want the same-old, same-old? Einstein once said that the defintion of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result. That’s what we’re getting,” Marrow said. “Del. Landes is now talking about health care for the first time in a long time. He’s talking about job creation in the green sector and alternative fuels for the first time in a long time. I’m very, very happy to see that. But where has he been on those topics the last decade?”
The candidates had agreed beforehand to take one question from their opponent. Marrow asked Landes to detail what he has accomplished in his time in the House of Delegates, prompting a visibly rattled Landes to first promise Marrow that he would give him a copy of his legislative record, then, when it was Marrow’s turn to answer a question from Landes, Landes interrupted Marrow to hand him a red folder with a Landes campaign sticker on it.
“We need to not just worry about excessive legislation,” Marrow said as he took the folder from Landes. “What we need to worry about is legislation that’s going to help the Valley, including jobs and people who can’t afford …”
“And that’s in there. If you’ll look into it and actually look at my record, you’ll see it,” Landes talked over Marrow, pointing.
“I’m trying to answer your question. I have looked at the record,” Marrow said.
The exchange would seem to indicate that Landes is feeling some heat in his re-election bid.
“I’m a little disappointed with the angst of Del. Landes. Up until just now, we’d never had that. He’s been extremely civil to me, very respectful, and I’ve tried to do the same,” Marrow said moments after the exchange with Landes in his closing statement in the debate.
“This comes down to a direction. This comes down to, Where do we want to go in the future?” Marrow said.
- Story by Chris Graham