Chris Obenshain, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Montgomery County, is in the running to be the Republican candidate in the newly created 41st Virginia House of Delegates District.
In his announcement, Obenshain said he is running for the House of Delegates because things, as he says, have been getting progressively harder for working families over the past several years.
“Most of the blame for that falls on poor decision making and bad policies that came into effect when Democrats controlled Virginia’s government in 2020 and 2021,” he said in a speech in Radford on Monday. “I believe we have a small window of opportunity to change course and correct those mistakes.”
This is his first time running for public office. His knowledge about public office comes as a family affair.
His cousin, Mark Obenshain, is a state senator from Harrisonburg who ran for state attorney general in 2013. His father ran for the State Senate in 2003.
District 41 is a new district that encompasses parts of Montgomery County (including Blacksburg, Shawsville and Riner) and Roanoke County (including parts of Catawba, Glenvar, Windsor Hills and Cave Spring). The election for this new district will take place this November.
The 41st includes the past 12th, 8th and 7th District.
Obenshain grew up in Roanoke County, graduating from Cave Spring High School, then graduating from Bridgewater College and UVA School of Law before returning to Southwest Virginia to start a legal career, including serving as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Radford. He was later hired by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to work in Richmond before eventually coming back home to Montgomery County to settle down and raise a family.
He also currently serves as a Major in the U.S. Army JAG Corps.
Obenshain said he is the best candidate to win the seat because of a combination of his deep roots and consistent conservative values.
“I’m a life-long Virginian and my family has been in Montgomery County for nearly 100 years,” he said. “I have also spent 25 years fighting for the conservative values that most folks in this community share. The values of faith, freedom, and service are central to who I am and are representative of what most of the people in the 41st District believe in.”
He also has cited three things that give him the experience to take on this role.
“As a working parent of two kids, I have experienced on a practical level the pressures that working families are dealing with,” he said. “As a prosecutor, I have 15 years of experience defending and advocating for Virginia’s laws and I have first-hand experience knowing what works and what doesn’t when it comes to writing new legislation.”
“As a 20-year veteran of the Army Reserve, I have had the experience of leading others, advising Commanders on the law, and fulfilling my oath to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he told supporters during a stop in Radford on Monday night.
“My three main priorities are 1) to stand up for parents and ensure that they continue to have the right to decide what is best for the health, welfare, and education of their children, 2) to make sure that Virginia remains a state that supports law enforcement, respects the rights of victims of crime, and keeps our communities safe by keeping violent criminals behind bars, and 3) to encourage Virginia to be a place that embraces freedom and growth by expanding and defending our individual rights,” Obenshain said.
Lowell Bowman is also running for the Republican nomination which will be decided in a Republican Mass Meeting on Thursday, May 4 at the CrossPointe Conference Center in Christiansburg.
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