Ward Armstrong

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Ward Armstrong
Ward Armstrong podium.jpg
Minority Leader of the
Virginia House of Delegates
In office
February 24, 2007 – November 19, 2011
Preceded byFrank Hall
Succeeded byDavid Toscano
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 10th district
In office
January 9, 2002 – January 11, 2012
Preceded byBarnie Day
Succeeded byRandy Minchew
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 11th district
In office
January 8, 1992 – January 9, 2002
Preceded byA. L. Philpott
Succeeded byChip Woodrum
Personal details
Ward Lynn Armstrong

(1956-06-02) June 2, 1956 (age 62)
Bassett, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pamela Akers
ChildrenCourtney, Whitney
ResidenceCollinsville, Virginia
Alma materDuke University (B.A.)
University of Richmond (J.D.)

Ward Lynn Armstrong (born June 2, 1956 in Bassett, Virginia) is an American trial lawyer and Democratic politician. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates, with a stint as minority leader, from 1992 until he was defeated for reelection in 2011.

Early life[edit]

Armstrong was raised in Bassett, Virginia, graduating from John D. Bassett High School in 1974. He then attended Duke University, where he earned a business degree in 1977. In 1980, Armstrong received a JD degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. During law school, he studied for a summer at the University of Cambridge in England. After law school, he worked as a law clerk to Justice W. Carrington Thompson of the Supreme Court of Virginia for one year. He has practiced law in Martinsville, Virginia since 1981.

House of Delegates[edit]

He represented the 10th House District, and served on the Courts of Justice, Rules, and Finance committees. On February 24, 2007, Armstrong was elected Minority Leader of the Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates. As Minority Leader, he has organized the "51 Club" to assist candidates in an effort to establish a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates.

As of early 2008, Armstrong said he would oppose closing an exemption for one-on-one gun sales between individuals from instant background checks (the gun show loophole), even though he usually plays a key role in rallying Democratic support for Governor Tim Kaine's agenda, saying "My constituents pretty much expect me to oppose it," he said. "Carroll County is my district, and it¹s home to one of the largest gun shows on the East Coast." Armstrong, with two young daughters of his own, said he is filled with sympathy for the Virginia Tech Massacre victims but that it won't sway his opposition to closing the loophole. "As legislators, we have to be dispassionate when it comes to the law."[1]

The Virginia Fifth Congressional District Democratic Committee awarded Armstrong the A. L. Philpott Award for Leadership. He is past president of the Martinsville-Henry County Bar Association; a member of the Virginia Museum of Transportation's Board of Directors; and a member of the Norfolk and Western Historical Society.

Armstrong was defeated on November 8, 2011 while running for election in the 9th House District. Armstrong was placed in the 16th District during the required redistricting after the 2010 census. The 16th district seat was held by Republican incumbent Donald Merricks. Armstrong chose to relocate and challenge Republican incumbent Charles Poindexter in the 9th House district. He left his home and moved into his mother-in-law's house in the town of Bassett. Poindexter defeated Armstrong with 53% to 47% of the vote. During his 2011 campaign Armstrong raised and spent more than $1,000,000.

Armstrong considered running for Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General in the 2013 elections but decided not to.[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Mr. Armstrong and his wife, Pamela Akers, have two daughters: Courtney Lynn and Whitney Akers.[4]


  1. ^ Fiske, Warren (2008-01-06). "Despite Tech Shootings, Gun Show Rules Unlikely to be Altered". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  2. ^ Kumar, Anita (March 5, 2010). "House Minority Leader Armstrong looks to run statewide in 2013". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Sluss, Michael (December 3, 2012). "Former Del. Ward Armstrong won't run statewide in 2013". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  4. ^ "Ward L. Armstrong Bio / personal information (2008 session)". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-03-21.

External links[edit]