Earlier this week, Delegate Scott Garrett, representing the 23rd House Legislative District, announced that he was going to forgo seeking re-election. Â This is in large part because of his bizarre vote to support Medicaid expansion in Virginia (aka Obama Care). Â Garrett was rather popular in Richmond, even with his vote to support Medicaid expansion. Longtime State Senator Stephen Newman of Bedford had these words to say about Scott Garrett:
â€œI am saddened to hear Delegate Garrett has decided to retire this year. Â Scott is one of the brightest, and most honorable men with whom I have ever served in Richmond and he will be greatly missed. Â At a time when seniority is critical in Richmond, we are losing a tremendous conservative voice for our region and our shared values. Â However, I understand the tremendous sacrifices serving in the legislature places on members and their families.Â
â€œDelegate Scott Garrett has been a remarkable legislator for Central Virginia in the House of Delegates since his election in 2009. Â The positive impact Scott has made on this region cannot be briefly summarized. Â Scott was a fellow budget negotiator with vital and invaluable expertise on healthcare and many other topics.
â€œScott has been a wonderful partner and I will miss his advice, wisdom, and calm spirit in the legislature. I am confident he will continue to be an active leader in our community for many years to come. I am delighted Scott will be able to spend much more time with his beloved Whitney, Tyler and Haley Gray. Kim and I love Scott Garrett and we look forward to many years of continued friendship with him and his beautiful family.â€
Garrett bowed out only a few days before the filing deadline, and now there is a mad rush to find candidates to replace him. Â Almost immediately upon the press release from Garrettâ€™s office, longtime Lynchburg Republican Wendell Walker expressed an interest, and now has publicly put his hat into the ring. Â As has Lynchburg Council Member Edgar Perrow. It is believed that Ron Berman, a supporter of the Liberty movement, is also running for the position. The race is shaping up to be longtime Republican Walker and Perrow (who usually runs for re-election to City Council as an independent) fighting for the support of the Old Guard vs Berman, who would get most of his support from the Liberty movement. Â
The deadline to get on the ballot is Thursday, March 28 at 5 PM. Â The 23rd Legislative District includes parts of Bedford County, Amherst County, and parts of Lynchburg City. Â In 2018, Ben Cline won Amherst with 66.3%, Bedford with 74.3% of the vote, and won Lynchburg by 388 votes. Â In 2017, Scott Garrett won re-election with 65.7% of the vote. The 23rd is a seat we should hold, but given the tightness of the Republican majority, each seat is going to be fought over. Â