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Steve Martin is in

Senator Steve Martin, who faces a primary challenge from Amanda Chase, has made it clear in an email to supporters that he’s not just running, but doing so with the conservative banner held high:

Consistently, I have held the line against new tax increases – while also championing tax relief for working Virginians. I was privileged to be co-patron for both the Car Tax Cut and the Death Tax Elimination. Additionally, I spearheaded the successful effort in 2005-2006 to eliminate wasteful government programs, agencies, boards, and commissions. I was also proud to stand in staunch opposition to the 2013 Transportation Tax Hike. And I renew my pledge to you, now, to continue fighting wasteful government spending and working to provide tax relief for hard working Virginia families.

My faith has guided every decision I have made and every vote I have cast as State Senator. I renew my pledge to you, now, to continue fighting for our values. I am unwavering in my support of life and traditional marriage; my voting record in this area has earned me a 100% rating from The Family Foundation and a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union.

I was honored to serve as the Author and Chief Patron of Virginia’s Healthcare Freedom Act, which enabled Ken Cuccinelli to file suit against the federal government. I will continue to lead the fight against Obamacare here in our Commonwealth, and will staunchly oppose all efforts to expand Medicaid.

Martin is one of the original members of the conservative cadre that gave the John Chichesters of this world fits back in the day. But that was then. In recent years, Martin has waged a campaign for lieutenant governor that never found traction and has been overshadowed by the rise of other conservatives in the upper chamber. And hence the challenge. Martin acknowledges it:

Nomination contests are excellent opportunities for citizens to compare the voting records of their representatives with their rhetoric, and ensure legislators stay accountable to the people they serve.

This is exactly the right attitude to take. No incumbent is, or ever should be, above a challenge. And in Martin’s case, a challenge from his right, even with his record, could prove problematic [1].

This will be a very interesting contest to watch.