A Prince William County artist is taking a second swing at the 52nd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Maria Martin, of Triangle, is running as a Republican for the seat held by longtime Democratic Del. Luke Torian.
Torian is seeking the Democratic nomination for a seventh term in the district, which covers an eastern portion of Prince William County, including Woodbridge, Dumfries, Dale City and parts of Triangle. He is being challenged by Dumfries Town Council member Cydny Neville.
Martin mounted an unsuccessful challenge in 2019, with Torian winning re-election after securing 73% of the vote.
Martin is a native of Bolivia and moved to Prince William County in 1994. She has a degree in human resources management from Park University.
Martin said she is against abortion and that Torian “still believes that it’s a right for women to have abortions toward the end of their cycle.”
Torian has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. In a 2019 press release from the organization, he said “Elected officials like myself have no business interfering in the personal, private healthcare decisions of the people we are elected to represent. I remain committed to opposing any efforts to restrict reproductive freedom or deny Virginians access to comprehensive healthcare.”
When asked if she supported abortion in any circumstances, Martin said “I really have a hard time on that.”
Martin advocated for more support for veterans, particularly in mental health services.
“They may look physically OK, but the mental damage may take years for them to restore,” she said of veterans returning from combat.
Martin also wants criminal justice reform to remove lifelong burdens of those who have prior convictions and have served their time.
“If a person fulfilled their sentence, if a person has shown a change, let’s give them an opportunity to be restored in society,” she said.
Martin urged local residents to continue wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. She said Virginia needs to start providing more help to small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Martin was the only Republican to file paperwork ahead of this month’s deadline and should appear on the November ballot. Torian and Neville will face off in a primary on June 8.