HARRISONBURG (WHSV)-- Marshall Pattie has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for the 24th state senate district seat. Emmett Hanger currently holds the seat.
Pattie is a member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and a professor at James Madison University.
He said he is running to bring conservative representation to Richmond. He wants to focus on improving the economy and fighting wasteful spending. He also said he would like to help provide internet access for people in rural areas.
Pattie said he came from a family of southern Democrats, and helped lead local Democrats until he changed his mind. That started when his wife had a miscarriage. "Ten weeks into the pregnancy, we heard the heartbeat. We saw the baby on the sonogram," he said. "At 12 weeks, there was no heartbeat, and that really changed my heart . For me that was the beginning of the end of being a Democrat."
The race isn't until next year, but Pattie said he was announcing now because of the large geographic area of the district, which includes several different counties from Augusta to Culpepper.
"It's a three hour drive from one side to the other side. It's seven localities. It's just going to take a lot of time to get to know everyone," he said.
Sen. Hanger has told other media outlets he expects to run again.