We’ve seen some strange twists and turns this legislative election cycle. Here’s another one.
Days before the election, Appalachian Power has sent a letter to shareholders attacking House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-Henry), who has spent the entire campaign attacking the company.
“There is little doubt that Del. Armstrong’s relentless attacks on our company are having an effect on our reputation,’’ company president Charles Patton writes. “We hope that you will take advantage of your right to vote in the upcoming election Tuesday.”
As everyone who has watched Armstrong the last year knows, he is on a crusade to try to stop Appalachian Power’s rate increases.
“It is clear to me that Appalachian Power is afraid that my efforts to rein in the rate increases and return fairness to our electric rates will be successful, “ Armstrong said. “Appalachian Power hopes to defeat me on Election Day because I’ve shined a strong spotlight on the problems with our electric rates and won’t back down the pressure on Appalachian Power despite their attempts to silence me.”
Republicans eliminated Armstrong’s largely rural Southside district when they redrew legislative maps in the spring. He moved to a nearby district and mounted an uphill challenge against Republican incumbent, Charles Poindexter, a four-year House veteran whose campaign was subsidized by the party.
The new Ninth House District includes parts of the economically distressed Southside — Patrick County, most of Franklin County and a sliver of western Henry County.
The race is one of the most expensive and closely watched contests in Tuesday’s elections — with more than $1 million spent so far.
Patton’s letter never mentions Poindexter, but does directs shareholders to a Web site the company created to refute Armstrong’s statements.
“We’re educating folks who are interested and told them what they heard in the last eight weeks is not true,” said ApCo spokesman Todd Burns.