Landes to face opposition in the 25th
A Democrat will be challenging for the 25th House District seat for the first time since the mid-1990s.
McGaheysville optometrist and military veteran Greg Marrow announced this week that he will challenge for the Democratic Party nomination in the 25th. The party has set a primary for June 9 to determine its nominee.
Fort Defiance resident Jim Noel has also expressed interest to local party committees about running in the primary as well.
The incumbent in the race is Steve Landes, a Republican who has not faced a Democratic Party opponent since his first run for the seat in 1995.
Landes was preceded in the seat by Pete Giesen, another Republican who held the 25th post for 30 years.
The 25th District includes the City of Waynesboro, the Wilson, Fishersville, Lyndhurst, Dooms, Crimora, New Hope, Verona, Fort Defiance and Weyers Cave precincts in Augusta County, the Grottoes, Port Republic, Cross Keys, Elkton, South Fork, Stony Run and McGaheysville precints in Rockingham County and the Crozet, Brownsville and Yellow Mountain precincts in Albemarle County.
The district cast more than 35,000 votes in the 2008 presidential race, with John McCain taking 61.8 percent of the votes cast. But Mark Warner took 53.7 percent of the votes in the ’08 Senate race in the 25th, with strong majorities in Waynesboro and the three Albemarle County precincts that also combined to give Barack Obama 48.8 percent of the presidential vote in their localities.
James Madison University political-science professor Bob Roberts told The Daily News-Record for a story published on Saturday that Waynesboro could be the key to Democrats’ chances in the district in November.
“If things get really bad in Waynesboro between now and November, the district could be in play,” said Roberts, citing the city’s rising unemployment rate, which hit 7.9 percent in December and is expected to worsen with news at major manufacturers Invista and Mohawk adding to the jobless roles.
New residents in the 25th, including those from the generally more liberal Charlottesville area who have moved to Waynesboro, could find Marrow’s message on green jobs appealing, Roberts said.
– Story by Chris Graham