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Brandon Waltrip, a local attorney, has tossed his hat into the ring for the House of Delegates seat representing large parts of James City and York counties.
Incumbent Republican Brenda Pogge has held the seat since winning it in 2007, and until Waltrip’s announcement, she was running unopposed.
Pogge has run unopposed every two years since her first election.
Waltrip, an independent and James City County native, is one of the founding partners of Collins | Waltrip PC, a general practice law firm located in the Williamsburg Office Park off Jamestown Road.
“I’m excited to bring a new face to the House of Delegates and believe I have the experience and ideas to move Virginia forward in the right direction,” he said in a news release announcing his candidacy.
Waltrip touted his experience with the law and operating a small business in the release.
“When you deal with the law for a living, you see how laws with good intentions don’t work out to help normal folks and most often work to their disadvantage,” he said. “We need common sense in how our laws are drafted and carried out.”
He said he wants to reform the state’s income tax system, which he believes benefits the state’s wealthiest residents at the expense of the middle class. He is also interested in mental health reform and creating a comprehensive online curriculum for high school students throughout the state.
Waltrip said he wants to reform the state’s education system and he would accept federal funds to expand Medicaid as prescribed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.
The race represents Waltrip’s first foray into electoral politics. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and the Mississippi College of Law. He serves on the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers board. His law firm’s website lists his areas of expertise as DUI and criminal defense, child custody, civil litigation and contested and uncontested divorces.
Waltrip lives in Toano with his wife, April, and son, Silas. They attend James River Baptist Church.
He has set up a website for his campaign, along with a Facebook page and Twitter handle.
The 96th District includes all of James City County except for the area running from Jamestown Island east to the far tip of Grove. It includes all of Upper York County along with Yorktown, Seaford, Dare and part of Edgehill.
The election is set for Nov. 3.