Meet Our Elected Officials
Ben Cline represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and House Education and Labor Committee. He previously served as a Delegate representing the 24th District from 2002-2018. In the Virginia House of Delegates, Cline chaired the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety and the Conservative Caucus.
In 2013, Ben opened his private law practice after previously serving as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg from 2007 to 2013. In addition to his law practice, he served for several years as a part-time Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Appomattox County. From 1994 to 2002, Ben worked for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, beginning as a member of his legislative staff and ultimately serving as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff.
Ben grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and is a 1990 graduate of Lexington High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College and his law degree from the University of Richmond. Ben and his wife Elizabeth live in Rockbridge County with their twin daughters, where they attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and are members of the Kerrs Creek Ruritan Club.
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr
24th District Virginia State Senator Emmett Hanger has a strong voting record of limited government and fiscal conservatism. He values the protection of individual rights, coupled with a keen sense of individual responsibility. More importantly, Emmett believes common-sense solutions in government should win-out over party politics. As a life-long Republican and resident of Augusta County, Emmett first served as Commissioner of the Revenue and then in the House of Delegates. Now as Senator, Emmett has earned a multitude of leadership positions, including being named Senate Finance Co-Chair, a budget conferree and Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance subcommittee. He is very involved in all aspects of the legislature but has become an ardent supporter of all matters dealing with education, mental health, and the environment. He holds several positions on national organizations such as the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Conference of State Legislators.
Emmett is the former Commander of the Harrisonburg National Guard and obtained the rank of Captain in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. He and his wife Sharon have five grown children and enough grandchildren to start their own voting precinct when they are of age.
The 24th District stretches from parts of Culpeper County, all of Madison County, parts of Rockingham County, and all of Augusta and Greene Counties, including the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.
Mark J. Peake
Mark resides in Lynchburg with his wife of twenty-two years, Lila, and their five children. A graduate of Virginia Tech and Washington & Lee Law School, Mark has practiced law in Lynchburg for nearly thirty years. Though this is his first time serving in elected office, Mark has consistently been involved in his local community, serving with numerous organizations including: Commonwealth Transportation Board, Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lynchburg Bar Association, Board of Directors of Lynchburg Youth & Prevention Services, and Lynchburg Republican Committee.
Mark is currently serving his first term in the Virginia Senate, having been elected in the January 2017 Special Election.
Mark serves on the following Senate Committees:
Terry Austin is a lifelong resident of Botetourt County. Terry’s parents instilled in him, his brother and his two sisters the importance of hard work, traditional values, strong ethics and giving back to the community.
After graduating from James River High School and attending Virginia Western Community College, Terry started his business, Austin Electrical Construction, Inc. Over the past 39 years, the business has experienced success by narrowing its focus to specialize in Air Carrier Airports, Military design build projects, and General Aviation Airports. They have developed a network that spans the East Coast, and maintain navigation instruments for the Virginia Department of Aviation, as well as weather stations at nearly every airport in the Commonwealth.
While Terry’s company grew, he never forgot how important it was to remain involved in the community. After serving a four year term on the Botetourt County Planning Commission, Terry won a seat on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors in 1997 and was then re-elected three more times. During his time on the Board, Terry served as Chairman for five years. He also served on the County’s Budget Committee for 15 years, during which the County’s bond rating improved to “AA” making Botetourt the only county of its size to achieve that rating. The community recognized Terry’s efforts on the Board when readers of the Botetourt View voted him “Best Local Politician” in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Terry is also a member of the Rotary Club of Buchanan and serves on the Advisory Board of the Bank of Botetourt. Terry and his wife, Kathy, live in the Buchanan section of Botetourt and attend Valley View Baptist Church. Terry has three grown children, Catie Austin Brown, Natalie Austin and Benjamin Austin and a grown stepson, Josh Boblett. He also has seven grandchildren, Jack, Ella, Addie, Birdie, Ruby, Tate, and Silas.
Click HERE to visit his website
Richard “Dickie” Bell
Born:October 26, 1946, Staunton, Va.
Blue Ridge Community College,
James Madison University,
Old Dominion University
United States Navy Hospital Corp 1967-1973
Retired High School Special Education teacher and Coach
Married 36 years to wife Anne. Two grown children: Erin and Brian
Click HERE to visit his website
Rob Bell grew up in a Navy family. He attended the University of Virginia on scholarship, and graduated with honors from both the college and law school. Rob served as a state prosecutor in Orange County for five years, where he prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice.
Since his election as a Republican to the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on repeat-offense drunk driving and keep sex offenders off school property. He has also worked to close loopholes in Virginia’s mental health laws after the shooting at Virginia Tech. More recently, he wrote laws to expand Virginia’s protective orders and to require life in prison for those convicted of raping children. In 2015 he wrote the law to address sexual assaults on college campuses, and in 2016 expanded Virginia’s stalking laws to empower crime victims.
Rob has also fought to protect Constitutional rights of Virginia citizens. Rob was the co-author of the Constitutional Amendment to stamp out eminent domain abuse and to place property rights protections in the Virginia Constitution. When it reached the voters, this Amendment passed with over 74% of the vote.
Rob has been repeatedly recognized for his work. The American Conservative Union has twice given him the “Defender of Liberty Award” and the Virginia Property Rights Coalition has given him the “John C. Marshall Award.” He has won recognition from the Home Educators Association of Virginia, MADD, and the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists. The Action Alliance, which fights domestic violence and sexual assault, gave Rob the 2009 “Act, Honor, Hope” Award, and in 2011, recognized Rob with 29 other Virginians as a “30 Voices for 30 Years” Honoree.
An Eagle Scout, Rob was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts and with the public schools prior to his first election. Rob and his wife Jessica have two children, Robbie and Evie. The Bells live in Albemarle County.