24th LDC Picks Primary for Senator Hanger’s Re-Election Contest

The 24th Senate Legislative District Committee met December 27th to vote for the Republican nomination method for the 2019 election. The district includes all of Augusta, Greene, and Madison counties as well as all of Staunton and Waynesboro cities, and part of Culpeper and Rockingham counties.

In this highly anticipated meeting the committee voted for a state run primary to select the Republican nominee. The decision was decided by a weighted voted based on Republican turnout in each locality.

Augusta and Rockingham banded together taking the majority of the vote and selected a state run primary despite Waynesboro Republican Committee Chairman Ken Adams’ push to have a convention. Waynesboro, Staunton, Greene, Madison, and Culpepper all voted for a convention.

Longtime Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Mt. Solon), co-chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, is the incumbent. Senator Hanger was the first Republican elected in Augusta County since Reconstruction when he won the job of Commissioner of the Revenue in 1979.

A graduate of James Madison University, he served in the National Guard and previously worked in the General Assembly as Delegate before running for Senator. He and his wife Sharon have deep Augusta County roots and have been involved with Republican politics for decades. Recently he has received much backlash for his vote to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

Senator Hanger refers to himself as a Mountain Valley Republican and prides himself on finding consensus amongst key players in Richmond while advocating for rural Virginia. Many politicos around Virginia may not know that he is known locally for his musical talent and homemade apple butter.

Last election cycle Senator Hanger emerged victorious against two challengers, Dan Moxley and Supervisor Marshall Pattie, both from Augusta. Previously in 2007, Senator Hanger beat Scott Sayre in a Republican primary when the district included Rockbridge County.

No challenger has officially entered their name into the fray but word is that Greene County GOP Chairman Ed Yensho, former 6th District Congressional candidate Mike Desjadon, and Augusta County Supervisor Marshall Pattie are eyeing a challenge to the longtime senator from Mt. Solon.

The primary will be held in June.