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Laquan Austion drops out of House District 2 race

STAFFORD — Republicans in Stafford and Prince William counties are looking for a new candidate for House District 2.

Laquan Austion dropped out.

“Laquan Austion is withdrawing his candidacy for the Second House District effective today. We appreciate his willingness to run for office and serve. We have already started the process of recruiting a strong candidate that will give voters a clear choice in November.”

Austion came under fire this week when the Richmond Times-Dispatch learned the candidate provided false information to voters on his LinkedIn page, and to Potomac Local about his education. Austion claimed to have a Masters Degree from The George Washington University that he didn’t possess.

The report also stated Austion purchased an Audi automobile but never made a payment, A court case in this matter, as well as another debt were dismissed because Austion was not able to be located, according to the Times-Dispatch story.

This week, Austion issued a statement to Potomac Local through his campaign manager calling the story about him an “attack,” and he blamed a liberal media. The Stafford County Republican Committee also backed Austion, stating voters should focus instead on the issues of economic growth and relief from traffic congestion.

“Running for elected office is very hard. We appreciate Laquan and Alicia’s willingness to step into the ring and try, but we also understand his decision to end his campaign. The 2nd House of Delegates District is still a top priority for us, and we intend to keep this seat in November,” said Prince William County Republican Chairman Dottie Miller.

We don’t yet know who the replacement candidate will be. Voters will head to the polls in just over two months on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to select a new delegate to serve in House District 2, which encompasses eastern Prince William and northern Stafford County.

Potomac Local first reported earlier this year Republican Mark Dudenhefer would not seek re-election for the seat. He later announced his campaign to reclaim his seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

House District 2 is a swing district first won by Dudenhefer in 2011 when the district was relocated to Northern Virginia from the southwest part of the state. Democrat Micheal Futurell won the seat two years later, with Dudenehfer reclaiming it in 2015.

Whoever the Republicans pick at this late juncture will face Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Woodbridge professor who works at Northern Virginia Community College.

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