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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Armstrong up for federal judge post

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Martinsville lawyer and former state lawmaker Ward Armstrong is one of two people being recommended to fill a federal judgeship in Roanoke.

That judgeship now is held by Judge Samuel Wilson, who will retire effective Aug. 1. President Barack Obama will choose Wilson’s successor, who then will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. There is no specific timeline.

In a letter to Obama on Monday, Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, recommended that either Armstrong or Elizabeth Dillon, a Salem attorney, fill the judgeship. They told the president that the Virginia State Bar screened both candidates and rated them highly qualified.

“I am humbled to be recommended ... for appointment by the president to this important judicial position,” Armstrong wrote in a statement emailed to the Martinsville Bulletin. “I look forward to working with The White House as this process continues.”

A Democrat who lives in Collinsville, Armstrong, 57, spent 20 years in the House of Delegates, having first been elected in 1991. He lost a re-election bid in 2011 to Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill.

Armstrong served as House minority leader from 2007 until his last term expired in 2012.

He could not be reached for further comment Monday. However, he said in a March interview, shortly after he expressed interest in the judgeship, that he thought his long stint as a delegate would help his chances of being appointed.

Armstrong also said he thought that not having been a judge would not hurt his chances of being appointed to the federal bench.

Dillon is an attorney in private practice who represents local governments, constitutional officers and school boards in court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


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