HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. (WSET) — A Republican in the running for Virginia's 50th District has been announced.
John Marsden, 43, an attorney, small business owner, and former Prince Edward County GOP Chairman, announced his candidacy for the Virginia House of Delegates seat on Wednesday, subject to the Republican Primary on June 20.
The 50th District is a newly created district consisting of Charlotte, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg counties, the majority of Prince Edward County, and a large part of Halifax County.
With a February 24 announcement by 60th District Delegate James Edmunds that he will not seek re-election, Marsden said no one who has ever represented the majority of 50th District voters will be on the ballot in 2023.
“With this new district, it is time for fresh representation. I am running to represent the 50th district because we deserve more than career politicians who spend decades in office while our area continues to lose out; by losing jobs, population, and having our citizens and businesses struggle without basic modern infrastructure,” Marsden said.
Marsden said first and foremost he wants to be a strong advocate for Southside Virginia, as he believes the region experiences decreased representation in the legislature after the 2021 redistricting.
“With population loss and the accompanying loss of a seat in the House of Delegates, Southside needs a stronger advocate. Our voices are fewer in number, they must be stronger. As a lawyer, I advocate for people’s interests for a living. Every day I am their voice, often in the most difficult times of their lives, and I want to put that advocacy skill to work, for our area and its families, in Richmond," Marsden said.
Marsden also pledges to be a leader on issues that matter to voters of Southside Virginia.
“On the conservative values that matter to us, it is imperative we nominate someone who isn’t content to follow other legislators, but who will personally take the lead in the fight to create jobs, support family values, protect the unborn, and defend our Constitution, including the Second Amendment and civil liberties. We need a leader not a follower," Marsden said. “I look forward to the campaign and want to thank the many citizens of the district who urged me to run for the House of Delegates and have supported my campaign thus far."
Making his final decision to run on March 18, on the first day to qualify (March 20), Marsden turned in more than the required number of petition signatures to appear on the June 20 ballot.
“I am truly humbled and honored by the support that I have received. It has allowed me to qualify for the ballot after only a few days.” Support has also extended to an outpouring of financial support for his candidacy, Marsden said. “I am very pleased to announce that I can begin my campaign having, after less than a week, raised more than twice the amount other candidates raised all last year. The generous support of dedicated individuals shows that Southside Virginia has a desire to have a change for the better, and be represented by strong, vocal leadership in Richmond going forward."
The Republican primary for the district is on June 20.