Virginia Democrats have been voting for months, but Tuesday is the final day of voting in the Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor. The races have highlighted a contrast between progressive and establishment wings of the party, with battles over identity, past scandals, and private versus corporate campaign funding. But Tuesday’s voting includes both Democratic and Republican primaries for House of Delegates districts across the state.
Former governor Terry McAuliffe (pictured, center) is widely considered the front runner for the gubernatorial nomination. Virginia analytics firm CNalysis forecasts Attorney General Mark Herring (pictured right) to win nomination for attorney general. CNalysis has Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) (pictured left) as the favorite for the lieutenant governor nomination, although establishment Democrats are backing Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William).
Having nominated Glenn Youngkin, Republicans see a chance to retake the governor’s office, and hope to regain ground in the House of Delegates where they are six seats behind.
“We only lost those six by less than 5,000 votes. So it’s very realistic [to retake the House,]” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “We have an opportunity to take back Virginia and we’re working hard to do that.”
House District 83 GOP Primary
Republicans are holding primaries in seven House districts: HD 9, HD 22, HD 24, HD 51, HD 68, HD 72, and HD 83. Kilgore is watching the 83rd and 9th district races.
In the 83rd district (Virginia Beach) in 2019 Republican incumbent Chris Stolle lost to now-Delegate Nancy Guy (D-Virginia Beach) by just 27 votes. Guy received 10,971 votes while Stolle received 10,944, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). As a result, the district is key for Republicans looking to retake lost ground in November.
Three Republicans are seeking the nomination: doctor Chris Stolle, lawyer Tim Anderson, and realtor Phil Kazmierczak. VPAP reports Stolle has raised $118,204, Anderson has raised $86,625, and Kazmierczak has raised $31,196.
“It should favor Chris Stolle in that one because he’s a known former representative in that area, has connections there,” Kilgore said. “Stolle served in the General Assembly for four or five terms. His family is well connected.”
One of Stolle’s brothers is Virginia Beach Sheriff and former state senator Ken Stolle. Collin Stolle is another brother — he’s the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney. And Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), also a doctor, is their sister.
Tim Anderson has built a following among GOP conservatives with in-depth Facebook videos explaining policy and multiple political lawsuits on conservative issues. Kilgore said the primary will test how many of those conservative followers are in the 83rd district.
“Of course in a primary it’s who shows up, so that’s the big issue tomorrow,” Kilgore said.
House District 9 GOP Primary
The other GOP primary Kilgore is watching is HD 9 in Patrick, Franklin, and Henry Counties. Delegate Charles Poindexter is fighting off a primary challenge from lawyer Wren Williams. Poindexter won the seat in 2009, but Williams has out-raised Poindexter. Williams raised $217,243, including a $130,000 self-loan, while Poindexter has raised $129,251, according to VPAP.
“Charlie’s been there for years, and his opponent Wren Williams has spent a lot of money. It’s going to be, from all accounts, it’s going to be a good race,” Kilgore said.
“How much does fundraising matter?” Kilgore said, “Well it matters, but you can never underestimate the power of incumbency too. Tomorrow it’s going to get down to whoever has the best ground game.”
HD 9 is solidly conservative, and Kilgore thinks whoever wins the nomination will win the general election.
“Both of those individuals are very conservative. You can’t get more conservative than Charles,” Kilgore said.
– – –