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He is the fifth Republican to announce he is seeking the seat being vacated by the Lacey Putney.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A fifth candidate is seeking to succeed the state legislature’s longest-serving delegate, with Botetourt County supervisor Terry Austin declaring he will seek the Republican nomination to represent the 19th House district.
The district’s current delegate, Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, said last week that he would not seek re-election.
Austin said one of his top priorities is making sure the planned expansion of U.S. 220 between Eagle Rock and Iron Gate remains on track.
“When the Mead Westvaco expansion comes online, we’re going to see another 100 trucks a day on that road,” he said. “It’s narrow. Some places, you can’t pull over to change a flat. … It’s a very dangerous situation.”
Austin said he also wants to push for better compensation for sheriff’s deputies.
“When the starting salary of a deputy sheriff entitles that officer and his family to public assistance, something is terribly wrong with our system,” he said.
After 16 years on the board of supervisors and four on the planning commission, Austin said he’s concerned about the mandates the legislature imposes on local governments, without providing funds to pay for new services or paperwork demands.
He said he will run on his track record on the board of supervisors, citing as accomplishments the establishment of the county’s school capital reserve fund, its recent bond rating upgrade and bringing the Altec Industries Inc. plant to the county.
Austin has operated an electrical contracting business for more than three decades. He lives in Buchanan.
Also running for the seat are GOP activist Jim Crosby of Daleville, former chairman of the 19th District Republican Committee; Moneta businessman Jim McKelvey, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in the 2010 5th Congressional District race; Jerry Johnson, the party’s candidate to run against Putney in 2011; and Zach Martin, a 25-year-old Liberty University graduate.
All are seeking the GOP nomination, to be determined in a firehouse primary on May 7.
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