Tag Archives: Virginia General Assembly

Saxman Remembers Colleague Lacey Putney, Virginia Gentleman of the House

The loss on Saturday of former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney brought back memories of this column that I wrote about him when he retired in 2013, a tribute from my former Delegate Chris Saxman who shared his respect for the man:

Delegate Lacey Putney has served in the Virginia House of Delegates longer than former Delegate  Chris Saxman has been alive. Yet the respect for the elder statesman is there in Chris’ column as all take in the unexpected yet not surprising news of Putney’s retirement from the House.

In “Lacey Putney — Virginia Gentleman,” the young gentleman shared some good memories about his time serving for almost a decade with the older gentleman from Bedford. Chris wrote:

Lacey is a model of the unbranded, gentlemanly conservatism that makes Virginia so exceptional. The essence of that conservatism, true conservatism, is grounded in two key elements – pragmatism and self-restraint. What works, works. What doesn’t, shouldn’t.

Lacey Putney was and is a model of Virginia gentlemanly conservatism because Lacey was and is, first and foremost, a gentleman.

As with anyone who has served for 52 years, time catches up and the reluctant decision is made to retire and spend those golden years with family and friends. Putney’s morals from an earlier generation were evident after his wife passed away and he remarried about seven years later, as recounted by Chris:

“I feel like a teenager!” Lacey exclaimed with a gleam in his eye and a smile as broad as the James River. Then he softly explained, “Of course, when Carmela came to visit me in Bedfuhd, she had to stay across the street. We didn’t want people getting the wrong idea.”

Chris added, “Of course not.”

Read Chris’ entire respectful tribute to a man who spent most of his life in the public service of Virginia’s citizens.

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Del. Dave Albo Will Not Seek Re-election to HOD-42

Brian Schoeneman (left) and Delegate Dave Albo.

Republican Delegate Dave Albo (HOD-42) announced to his colleagues Wednesday that, after 24 years serving the citizens of his district, he will not seek re-election to the Virginia General Assembly.

That was not the news expected out of the Veto Session taking place in Richmond. His announcement was also posted on his website along with  a highlight of his accomplishments. It’s a list that is worth a look.

As news of Albo’s retirement spread, political reporter Graham Moomaw with the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted the blue-leaning district created the potential for a Democratic pickup, and added:

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Tuesday — Vote Mark Peake for State Senate

mark-peake-8Mark Peake, Republican candidate for the Special Election on Tuesday for the 22nd State Senate District, is out today in the snow, wind, and cold working with Peter Finocchio, going door-to-door to meet voters and ask for their support.

This race will decide the balance of power in the senate. If Mark wins, Republicans will have control. If he loses, it will be tied up 20-20 and the Democratic lieutenant governor will break the tie. It all comes down to turnout. General Assembly convenes the next day, Wednesday, January 11.

Find out where to vote here: http://www.elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/where-to-vote.html




“Mark Peake would be an excellent addition to the State Senate, carrying on the conservative principals that are needed for Virginia. We need Mark Peake in the State Senate.” -Marty Williams, Immediate Past State President of the FOP of Virginia and 3rd district Congressional candidate


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Howell announces House of Delegates 2016 standing committee assignments

Richmond capitolBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On the opening day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) released the names of delegates assigned to the standing committees. According to a press release from the Speaker, “Pursuant to House Rule 15, all committee members are appointed by the Speaker, who also designates the chairman and vice chairman of each committee. A full list of all assignments to the House standing committees can be found here.”

Cole (Chairman), Ingram, Jones, Albo, O’Bannon, Miller (Vice Chairman), Landes, Hugo, Ransone, O’Quinn, Minchew, Rush, Fowler, Adams, Miyares, Sickles, Rasoul, Lindsey, Murphy, Torian, Price, Boysko.

Albo (Chairman), Kilgore, Bell (of Albemarle) (Vice Chairman), Cline, Gilbert, Miller, Loupassi, Habeeb, Minchew, Morris, Leftwich, Adams, Campbell, Collins, Miyares, Watts, Toscano, Herring, McClellan, Hope, Mason, Krizek.

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Landes town halls set for this week

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Delegate Steve Landes (R-25th House) will hold three townhall meetings before the 2016 General Assembly session begins in Richmond next week. Landes, who represents parts of Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties, is in his tenth term in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Town Hall Schedule

Delegates Landes & Tony Wilt Joint Town Hall
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6:30p.m.
Bridgewater Town Council Chambers
201 Green Street, Bridgewater

Delegates Landes & Cline Joint Town Hall
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 6:30p.m.
Blue Ridge Community College
Plecker Center, Room P 126A
One College Lane, Weyers Cave

Delegate Landes Town Hall
Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 11:00a.m.
Lodge at Old Trail, Main Dining Room
330 Claremont Lane, Crozet

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News Leader editorial: ‘Grateful for Emmett Hanger’

Emmett Hanger

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

At noon on a day in May earlier this year, I sat in a make-shift political office in Staunton waiting for Augusta County’s State Senator Emmett Hanger to meet and work on our schedule as we approached the upcoming June primary. By the time I saw him, he had already attended a breakfast with local business folks followed by another meeting, while returning phone calls in between.

A typical day was filled with conversations with fellow legislators, traveling his 24th senate district that extended from Staunton north in the Shenandoah Valley and over the mountain to Cupeper and Madison, and grassroots activities, and a hospital recognition and stopping to say hey to folks in a local eatery. While making his way to a table in a local restaurant, he would be greeted with, “Hey, Emmett,” and handshakes and smiles and recognition as the hometown boy who went to Richmond and did well.

That is the Emmett Hanger most voters in his district know and respect, someone who stands up for them in Richmond — Republicans and Democrats, he represents them all the same — and folks from all walks in life. He has family all over the place and no matter where he goes, there is someone to smile and call out the familiar “Hey Emmett,” greeting.

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Emmett Hanger elected co-chair of Senate Finance Committee

Emmett Hanger 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County’s State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) will be co-chairman of the powerful state senate finance committee when Virginia’s General Assembly convenes in January, sharing duties with Senator Tommy Norment (see Virginia Senate Republicans end power struggle with compromise):

Members agreed to make Norment co-chairman of that committee with Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta), although they will not formally vote on committee assignments until the General Assembly convenes in January.

Read more in the Roanoke times (see Thomas Norment to remain senate majority leader, share key chairmanship with Emmett Hanger).

Congratulations to Senator Hanger.

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RTD: Emmett Hanger would make excellent finance committee chair

Emmett Hanger 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

I wrote on Monday about State Senator Emmett Hanger moving into the chairman’s seat on the powerful finance committee after the retirement of Walter Stosch (see Emmett Hanger could be in line to chair state senate finance committee).

Today the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote an editorial suggesting the same (see GOP can move forward with finance pick):

Augusta’s Emmett Hanger stands second in seniority to Norment. A loyal Republican, he is not a fire-eater — and would make an excellent chair.

This year potentially divisive differences existed between the money committees in the two houses. Comity prevailed. A budget crisis was avoided. The adults overcame. Hanger is qualified by disposition and philosophy to guide with a steady hand and to provide stability. He deserves the job.

Winning the June 2015 Republican primary against two tea party opponents and garnering 60 percent of the vote was the first step for Senator Hanger toward chairmanship. It would be a good fit due to his experience serving as a member of the committee and chairing the Health and Human Resources subcommittee. We’ll be watching what comes out of the finance caucus later this month.

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Keeping watch

Bill Bolling 8 w Sen Donald McEachinPhoto by Steve Helber/AP.

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling shared this Washington Post link and noted, “I love this picture from the Washington Post. It was taken on the floor of the Senate. John Hager and I are keeping a close eye on Senator Donald McEachin.”

It is a good picture of the two Republican lieutenant governors overlooking the proceedings.

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Pete Giesen’s former legislative aide June Noell passes away in Waynesboro

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Sometimes my Richmond world, where I grew up and where parents and extended family lives, collides with my Shenandoah Valley world, where my family has called home the past 19 years. A death this weekend brought the two together.

My RVA sister’s good friend and neighbor Beth lost her mother Friday. Beth’s son Austin, SWAC Niece’s close childhood friend, lost his grandmother. I knew their mother/grandmother lived in Waynesboro. The obituary told the rest of the story. She had been political, and she had worked as Delegate Pete Giesen’s legislative aide for years in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s before I moved to the area. She was a part of Virginia’s political history.

Our condolences to Beth, Austin, and the entire family of June Noell.

Beth Pearce's mom

June Noell

June R. DeBoer Noell, 89
Waynesboro, Virginia

June R. DeBoer Noell, 89, of Waynesboro, passed away on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Summit Square in Waynesboro. She was born in Lexington, VA on May 4, 1926, daughter of the late Emmett and Maude Reynolds.

June was a woman of deep faith, who loved Waynesboro First Baptist Church, of which she was a long time member. She worked as a legislative aide to Delegate A.R. “Pete” Giesen, Jr. from the mid 1970’s until the early 1990’s. June loved politics and government, and was a supporter of the Republican Party. A sign hung in her kitchen that said, “We do not rent rooms to Democrats.”

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Behind Emmett Hanger’s winning strategy

Emmett Hanger 22

Emmett Hanger for Senate election night watch party at the Clocktower Restaurant in downtown Staunton.

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.

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Emmett Hanger wins huge in 24th Senate District


Senator Emmett Hanger after winning Tuesday’s Primary.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Thank you, Senator Emmett Hanger, for a positive campaign that never attacked your opponents but instead informed voters what you were all about. It was an honor to work with you.


Candidate Votes Percent
Daniel J. “Dan” Moxley
3,489 27.50%
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
7,647 60.27%
Marshall W. Pattie
1,551 12.23%
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AFP endorses Emmett Hanger in 24th Senate Republican primary

Emmett Hanger 1Editorial endorsement from the Augusta Free Press

Emmett Hanger bristles when it is suggested that he isn’t a conservative, for good reason. The 20-year veteran of the State Senate of Virginia has the endorsements of the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, among others.

None of those groups are going to be accused anytime soon of being part of any vast left-wing conspiracy.

But our endorsement for Hanger in Tuesday’s Republican primary in the 24th Senate District, which encompasses our base in Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro, isn’t based on how conservative Emmett Hanger is or isn’t.

We’re urging a vote for Hanger because it’s not ideology, but getting the job done, that motivates Hanger in his representation of our area in Richmond.

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Emmett Hanger Election Night watch party will be held at Clocktower in Staunton

By Lynn R. Mitchell



Virginia’s 24th Senate District

Election Night Watch Party

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

6:00pm until ? (results will probably be known by 8pm)

Clocktower Restaurant

27 W. Beverley Street
Staunton, VA 24401

All are invited ~ Bring your friends ~ Pass the word

* Please go to the polls and vote for Senator Emmett Hanger, then join your friends as we gather to watch election returns and wait for the results for the 24th State Senate District.

* Complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks

* TVs will be tuned to local news to watch results

* Full-service restaurant offering meals and appetizers ~ Cash Bar

* Free parking on-street and in the Johnson Street garage 1/2 block from restaurant

* http://www.clocktowerhistoricstaunton.com/

* For more info contact Lynn Mitchell, Campaign Manager (Hanger HQs 540.280-4450)
See you Tuesday!
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15 reasons to vote for Emmett Hanger

Emmett Hanger 16

Sharon and Emmett Hanger on the campaign trail.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Why vote for Senator Emmett Hanger on June 9? Here are 15 reasons:

1) Conservative common-sense life-long Republican: Born and raised in Augusta County, graduated from James Madison University and served as the former Commander of the Harrisonburg National Guard; obtained the rank of Captain in the US Army as an Infantry Officer; represents every constituent.

2) Pro-life: Believes in the sanctity of life.

3) National Rifle Association endorsement with “A” rating 2015 … defends the Second Amendment … stands up for gun owners; co-chair of Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus which leads fight in General Assembly for rights of gun owners, hunters, fishing enthusiasts.
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