The General Assembly race pitting Ward Armstrong against Charles Poindexter promises to be among the most expensive and the most closely watched elections in Virginia this Fall. It includes two incumbent delegates with different personalities, political philosophies and approaches to government.
Charles Poindexter is a no-nonsense Republican who says he prefers to work behind the scenes. Armstrong is an outspoken Democrat who's often leading the charge as House Minority Leader. And one of them won't be returning to the General Assembly in January.
The cornerstone of Armstrong's campaign is his focus on electric rate increases. It's an issue, Armstrong says, that speaks to the kind of legislator he has become. "There's no more powerful political force in this state than the utility companies," Armstrong told News7. "Certainly if I'll take them on, I'll take on anybody and there lies the contrast between my opponent and I."
Charles Poindexter's family figures into his first commercial, an ad that features the shop he built with his father. Like the candidate, it's a low-key pitch to the conservative voters of the 9th House District. And it's an approach Poindexter says has served the district well. "I think that what's one's impact, what one gets done and sometimes what one stops is the measure of an effective legislator," Poindexter said in an interview, "not necessarily the speeches and flowery rhetoric."
Armstrong and Poindexter appeared seperately Wednesday at a political forum organized by the state and regional Chambers of Commerce. It was just one stop in a busy campaign that will only get busier and more pointed over the next six weeks.