State Sen. Bill Stanley said two candidates have been ‘nipping’ and ‘pecking’ at each other since the redistricting that will pit them against each other in a contest to secure the GOP nomination in the newly formed 47th House District.
Dels. Marie March, R-Floyd, and Wren Williams, R-Stuart, “have been nipping at each other, pecking at each other back and forth and it seems to be escalating,” Stanley, R-Moneta, said in his podcast, “Leaning Right and Turning Left with Sadler and the Senator.”
Williams and March are currently engaged in a legal battle, (see related story), which Stanley encouraged them to resolve outside of court. He did not elaborate or cite examples of the alleged back and forth between the two.
However, in an Aug. 18 letter to March, the Patrick County Republican Committee requested that March “immediately cease and desist claiming to represent Patrick County in all formats; including but not limited to verbally, in writing and on-line.”
Lynne Bogle, chairman of the Patrick County GOP committee, said the committee decided the letter was needed after reports surfaced suggesting that March’s current district includes Patrick County.
March currently represents District 7, which covers all of Floyd County and portions of Montgomery and Pulaski counties, but the letter cited examples that included a Mar. 11 mailing from March to local residents “that included the words ‘I have been honored to fight for you this session in the Virginia House of Delegates to stop Government overreach, protect our freedoms, and bring common-sense to a place that doesn’t seem to reflect much of that anymore.’”
The letter also referenced a second example, from March’s website www.MarieMarch.com, which stated, “As your representative fighting for Patrick, Floyd, Carroll, Montgomery, Henry, and Galax, Marie March knows the New River Valley is the most beautiful place on Earth to work and raise a family.”
The letter noted the committee members also received complaints from residents “who have heard you claim to represent Patrick in verbal statements.
“Please, immediately, cease and desist for verbal statement and use of printed materials that misidentify your constituency. Additionally, please update your website within 7 days of receipt of this letter,” the letter stated.
“If you are successful in your primary bid the committee will support you in the subsequent election, however until that happens you are not our elected representative,” the letter added.
The correspondence was signed by Bogle.
The letter, Bogle said, was approved by members of the committee without Williams’ knowledge. He learned about it only as a courtesy before it was mailed.
In an interview last week, March said she currently represents Virginia’s 7th district, which includes Floyd County, Pulaski County, and part of Montgomery County.
On Monday, her website listed Patrick and Henry counties.
The recent redistricting will not take effect on the first day of the session in January 2024.
The winner of the 2023 election will represent Floyd, Carroll and Patrick counties, the City of Galax, and a portion of Henry County.