Virginia primary election guide 2018
RICHMOND, Va – Virginia voters set the deck for November’s midterm Congressional elections on Tuesday, June 12, when primary nominating contests will be held across the Commonwealth.
With the balance of power in Congress at stake, November’s midterms are seen by some political analysts as a test of President Trump’s popularity, since traditionally the president’s party loses a number of seats.
Ten of Virginia’s 11 Congressional Districts are contested by the major party not currently in power, and three men are vying for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senator Tim Kaine for his seat.
This DCW50 Primary guide aims to provide voters with helpful information before heading to the polls and takes a look at the major primary contests in Virginia.
Virginia voters are allowed to vote in only one political primary when multiple primary elections are held on the same day, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Voters get to choose in which primary they vote.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot for Tuesday has passed, but in-person absentee voting is still open through Saturday, June 9. Voters who wish to cast in-person absentee ballots must go to their local registrar office during business hours.
Republican Senate Primary (Statewide)
Three Republicans will be on the ballot to challenge Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat, this November.
Corey Stewart, who narrowly lost the Republican gubernatorial primary to Ed Gillespie in 2017, is the at-large Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Stewart has spent the better part of the last year campaigning to “fire Tim Kaine” and has raised $841,112 for his campaign, according to the non-partisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP).
State Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) has served in the House of Delegates since 2016. Del. Freitas served as a Green Beret and gained attention earlier this year in a fiery speech on the House floor defending the second amendment following a school shooting Parkland, Fla. Democrats denounced the speech as racially charged. The Freitas campaign has raised $502,784, according to VPAP.
E.W. Jackson, a minister and conservative political commentator, shocked Virginia political observers in 2013 by securing the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor. Jackson lost that race to Virginia’s current Governor Ralph Northam. Jackson has raised $286,936, according to VPAP.
U.S. House 10th District – Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock faces a primary challenge from Shak Hill. Voters in the 10th will chose one of six Democrats: Alison Friedman, Del. Jennifer Wexton, Dan Helmer, Lindsey Davis Stover, Dr. Julia Biggins, and Paul Pelletier.
U.S. House District 7 Democratic Primary
The 7th U.S. House District stretches from Culpeper south to Blackstone staying just west of the city of Richmond. Portions of Chesterfield, Henrico, and Spotsylvania are included in the district.
In a district currently represented by Republican Dave Brat, Democrats feel they have a chance to flip the traditionally conservative district because many of the more populated voting precincts in Henrico and Chesterfield have trended blue in recent elections. Overall, Donald Trump carried the 7th District in 2016, and Ed Gillespie defeated Governor Northam in the district in the 2017 gubernatorial race, according to VPAP.
Two Democrats are the primary ballot in the 7th District on Tuesday. Both have raised nearly $1 million, setting the stage for what could be a tight contest.
Former C.I.A. operative Abigail Spanberger grew up in Short Pump and attended J.R. Tucker High School. Her campaign has been active on social media. Spanberger listed healthcare and gun violence prevention as the top two issues on her campaign website. The Spanberger campaign has raised $903,519, according to VPAP.
Dan Ward, who served as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo, is a former military adviser to President Obama. Ward’s campaign website includes titles like “strong progressive” and “no corporate PAC money.” Ward’s campaign has raised $900,709, according to VPAP.
Libertarian Joe Walton and an independent Helen Alli are also running in November, but will not be on the ballot during Tuesday’s primary.
U.S. House District 4 Republican Primary
The 4th District includes a large swath of land from Richmond south and east to Hampton Roads. Richmond, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and parts of Henrcio and Chesterfield are included in this district currently represented by Democrat Donald McEachin.
While most political analysts think the 4th District is pretty safe for McEachin, two Republicans qualified for Tuesday’s primary to challenge him in November.
Ryan McAdams is the Senior Leader of the Agape Mission Church in Williamsburg. McAdams’ campaign site said he supported cutting bureaucratic red tape to support small business and protecting religious freedoms. According to VPAP, McAdams has raised $47,981.
Shion Fenty is the daugher of first generation immigrants and ran a design business. Fenty supports getting government out of the way of small business owners and passing a comprehensive immigration bill, according to her website. Fenty has raised $9,782, according to VPAP.
U.S. House District 1 Democratic Primary
The 1st District stretches from the Fredericksburg area south to Hanover County and east to the Chesapeake Bay. Hanover, Ashland, and New Kent all sit within the 1st District. Congressman Rob Wittman currently represents the 1st District, and the Cook Political Report said it was likely a Republican win in November.
Three Democrats will be on the ballot in the 1st District on Tuesday.
John Suddarth is an Army veteran and businessman from Hanover County. Suddarth supports universal healthcare in free market, infrastructure investment, and immediate action on climate change. Suddarth has raised $78,579, according to VPAP.
Edwin Santana is a Marine Corp officer and a second-generation Puerto Rican who lives in Stafford County. Santana decided to run after the 2016 Presidential election and writes “Congress has made it painfully obvious that we need a new generation of leaders in Washington,” on his campaign website. Santana has raised $52,0111.
Vangie Williams is a government contractor working strategic planning and lives in King George. Williams writes she “knows the federal government and can hit the ground running when in Congress.” Willaims has raised $34,935, according to VPAP.
Virginia’s other Congressional primaries
U.S. House 6th District- Republican state delegate Ben Cline won a convention for to replace Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who is retiring. Four Democrats are on the ballot Tuesday: Peter Volosin, Jennifer Lewis, Sergio Coppola, and Charlotte Moore.