By Lynn R. Mitchell
As I reflected on the past weeks working Senator Emmett Hanger’s 24th District primary, there was much to remember — memories, thoughts, observations (see Emmett Hanger wins huge in 24th Senate District). It was a short, intense campaign due to a lawsuit that was filed by the 24th District legislative committee, and it was not settled until April (see 24th Senate District: Court upholds laws of Commonwealth, Hanger gets primary). Once the court ruled, everything fell into place as Senator Hanger’s team set about working for his re-election in the June 9 Republican primary.
The result was a resounding victory with Senator Hanger taking 60 percent, Dan Moxley 27.5 percent, and Marshall Pattie 12 percent. Staunton City voters provided a whopping 71 percent of the vote for Hanger.
Now some are wondering who was behind the definitive winning strategy. They are some of the best Virginia has to offer.
Political consultant Boyd Marcus was dedicated and an inspiration to work with during the past weeks — a professional who was friendly, funny, and knowledgeable beyond belief while strategizing, developing the campaign plan, and overseeing the other consultants. The native Virginian and long-time political player, whose services were offered as an in-kind donation by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, has consulted and worked with Governor George Allen, Governor Jim Gilmore, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, and many House and Senate races throughout the years. This time he put his golden touch on the 24th Senate District and Emmett Hanger. It was a familiar partnership for the two political veterans. In 1995, Boyd advised Emmett Hanger when Hanger first won the 24th Senate District nomination, eventually defeating Democratic incumbent Frank Noland in the general election. Interestingly, Emmett was the first elected Republican in Augusta County since Reconstruction, leading the way in a county that is now solidly red.