The answer is everywhere. Delegate Ward Armstrong has started a war with Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) and has been using his crusade as a front to spread his name around Virginia.
AEP has requested that the State Corporation Commission increase the rates on electric utilities. Armstrong introduced House Bill 639 in an attempt to keep utility rates in check. Yet, Ward himself said that HB 639 could not guarantee a rate decrease.
When his admittedly weak bill was not reported out of Commerce and Labor, Armstrong gave a strongly worded soliloquy on the floor. Frustrated, he used words and phrases such as “bribery” and “backroom deal” and even motioned for the Commerce and Labor Committee to be discharged.
Armstrong has been using AEP as a pretext to run for office statewide. Recently, he attended Town Hall meetings in Christiansburg, Abingdon, Bluefield, Cana and Wytheville, all towns far outside of his district.
With all this traveling around Virginia, Armstrong has forgotten about his role in the House of Delegates. Armstrong has checked out of his own caucus, shrugging his duty as Minority Leader. He has put more energy into traveling around the state than leading his own party.
Is it possible that the Minority Leader is ditching his caucus for something bigger? Signs point to YES.