The 25th District includes portions of Rockingham and Augusta counties, the City of Waynesboro, and three western Albemarle precincts. Landes hasn't faced a serious challenge since he was first elected in 1995. With unemployment rising (Waynesboro has reached nearly 8%), more Charlottesville area residents moving to eastern Augusta County and Waynesboro, and frustration with the ultra-partisan GOP leadership in House of Delegates, Marrow will find an opening in even in the most conservative parts of the sprawling district. He says a cornerstone of this campaign will be encouraging economic development and helping manufacturers to use green/alternative energy to grow their businesses and create jobs.
Landes, who one observer at his pre-session town hall meetings described as looking "tired and uninspired," broke ranks and angered conservative Republicans with his support for the smoking ban in restaurants. Then, marching to the party line and trying to cover his own seat, he voted in support of the gerrymander.
But, before becoming the Democratic candidate, Dr. Marrow may face a challenge for the nomination. According to the grist mill, James Noel of Mount Sidney is circulating petitions - so far, he's made no official announcement that's been reported by the media.