Steve Landes Not Running for Re-Election to House, Running for Augusta Clerk of Court

“You have two ears and one mouth,” Delegate Steve Landes (R, HD-25) said of some of the advice given to him by friend and Clerk of Court Chaz Haywood from Rockingham County-Harrisonburg. “That’s so we can listen more and speak less.” He was referring to what he would do if he won the clerk position.

With his news that he would not run for re-election, Landes was the second Republican legislator to announce Tuesday he would not be returning to Richmond. Senator Bill Carrico (R-Grayson) announced he would not return to the state senate.

Haywood was in attendance for the 3:30 announcement at the Augusta County Government Center Tuesday afternoon as well as about 35 others that included family, friends, media, elected county officials, candidates and curious onlookers.

The “Landes for Clerk of Court” signs were out front when pulling up to the government center. There was no question what this press conference was for, and ended the speculation of Landes’ plans that had permeated the immediate area and beyond to Richmond for the past week.

Two faces were in the room who may play into the next chapter of this story. Augusta Supervisor Marshall Pattie and Harrisonburg businessman Chris Runion have both been mentioned as possible Republican candidates for the 25th delegate seat being vacated by Landes.

When asked why run now, Landes said he was not ready to retire, thought about running for this office a few years back when longtime clerk John Davis retired, but that current clerk Carol Brydge was the next in line. This time he said his understanding was no one was interested in stepping up to head clerk, and that it all happened quickly.

He noted it was the only other office he had ever seriously considered running for so with Brydge’s retirement it was the right time.

When asked if it was a pension move, Landes asked a question in return: Does someone make a decision just because they are concerned about their retirement? He answered himself, “I don’t think so.”

Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has more.

Augusta Supervisor Carolyn Bragg announced last week that she was running for the Clerk seat. No other candidates have thrown their hats in the ring.

Clerk of Court Carol Brydge announced February 25 that she would retire, effective April 1, 2019.

It was a brief news conference lasting about 20 minutes, but an announcement that will reverberate across the Commonwealth. The balance of the GOP control in the General Assembly could be affected by today’s announcements by Landes and Carrico.