Virginia's United States Senators have recommended Martinsville attorney Ward Armstrong and Salem attorney Elizabeth Dillon to be appointed as the new judge in the Western District of Virginia. The nomination will be for seat that will be vacated when Judge Samuel Wilson retires this summer. Armstrong is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Ward is a private attorney who defends local governments and school boards in federal and state cases. Both candidates were screened by the Virginia State Bar and rated highly qualified. The Virginia State Bar also identified other qualified and highly qualified candidates, including Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou, Roanoke federal court clerk Julia C. Dudley, UVa law professor Rachel A. Harmon and Magistrate Judge Pamela Sargent. Other bar groups, such as the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and Virginia Bar Association recommended some of the same individuals as well as Roanoke attorney John Fishwick.