Republican challenges incumbent Hanger

Three-term Republican State Senator Emmett Hanger is facing a challenger from his own party, Buena Vista businessman Scott Sayre.

Sayre plans to announce his candidacy February 19 for the 24th District, which stretches from Rockingham to Rockbridge counties, covers all of Augusta, Greene and Highland, and includes a snippet of Albemarle.

District Republican Party chairs claim that Hanger "has lost touch with his constituents," according to the News Virginian. Albemarle Republican chair Keith Drake notes that Hanger is not involved in the county's Republican events.

And Hanger's support of a Senate tax bill raising tobacco, gas, sales and high-end income taxes cost him support among the party faithful as well, reports the News Leader.

Sayre is a Waynesboro native, graduate of VMI and Boy Scout leader. He founded Sayre Enterprises, which boasts it's one of the largest employers of adults with disabilities in the Shenandoah Valley.