By Kim Barto Meeks
All of the Republican incumbents representing Martinsville and Henry County in the state legislature kept their seats in the Nov. 5 election, as a “blue wave” of Democrats took control of the General Assembly.
Democratic lawmakers now hold majorities in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate. Under Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, this marks the first time the party has held unified power in Virginia in more than 20 years.
Southside’s state representatives won their districts by wide margins. State Sen. William M. Stanley, Jr. (R-20) won 70 percent of the overall vote over newcomer Sherman D. Witcher, Sr., who ran as an independent. The 20th district includes Henry County, Martinsville, Patrick County, and Galax, as well as parts of Carroll, Franklin, Halifax, and Pittsylvania counties, and parts of the city of Danville.
Nearly 76 percent of voters in Henry County supported Stanley. In the city of Martinsville, the Republican incumbents still received the majority of votes, but by a much slimmer margin. Stanley received 50.34 percent of the city’s support, winning by less than 30 votes.
The only other state race on the ballot in Martinsville was the 16th district of the House of Delegates between incumbent Les R. Adams (R) and Libertarian challenger Dustin W. Evans. In Martinsville, Adams won 51 percent of the vote versus 48 percent for Evans. In contrast, Adams received 76.5 percent of the vote in the parts of Henry County he represents.
In the 14th district, representing parts of Henry and Pittsylvania counties, Del. Danny W. Marshall (R) was re-elected with 61 percent of the overall vote versus Democratic candidate Eric W. Stamps.
Del. Charles D. Poindexter (R-09), who represents parts of Henry and Patrick counties, ran unopposed. He was re-elected with more than 96 percent of the vote. The remaining ballots were cast for write-in candidates.