Parties will select candidates Tuesday

Published 12:48 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight and Surry county voters can select which Republican or Democratic candidate they want to represent their party for state offices in the November General Election by participating in the June 13 party primaries.

Locally, the most hotly contested race is that for the Republican and Democratic nominations for the 64th District seat in the House of Delegates.

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Republican voters can choose between Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors Chairman and farmer, Rex Alphin or Suffolk business owner, Emily Brewer.

For the Democrats, voters can choose between retired computer scientist and Carrollton resident John Wandling, Suffolk attorney Rebecca Colaw or Suffolk educator Jerry Cantrell. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Alphin wants to support business — new and existing — with quality education, career and technical training and more parental choice, as well as upgrading transportation routes and incentives. Plus he knows the area he would represent.

“By nature of having grown up in the region I seek to represent, I shall endeavor to bring to Richmond a voice for the area of which I am acquainted, the community in which I have found a place, and the people I have come to love. I bring to Richmond experience in governing, a business mindset, and an understanding of the marvelous rural viewpoint typical of the 64th District,” Alphin said.

Brewer points out that she’s a life-long resident of the district and plans to open an Isle of Wight office, if elected. She will work to keep taxes low, promote small business and job creation and provide high quality K-12 education.

“I will make sure we are providing career and technical education opportunities across the district by introducing legislation that is supportive of that mission. Having been adopted, I will offer a much-needed and unique perspective in the fight to protect the lives of all children, even after birth,” said Brewer.

Wandling’s top priorities are jobs to fight poverty, affordable education and clean energy.

“I am a proven, successful leader with a leadership style that puts people first.  People first leadership is the kind of leadership that consults with individuals and interest groups prior to making a decision, and stays informed as to the needs and wants of the people,” said Wandling.

Colaw points to her experience in the military and as a lawyer as why she should be the Democratic pick.

“I believe I’m the one to go Richmond because I intend to represent the district, to be seen, to be accessible and to listen to the people’s concerns. As a military officer and a lawyer, I have defended the freedoms of this country and intend to continue to do so as a delegate. I know I can win and change the House in Richmond because I will out-work the rest,” said Colaw.

A request for comment from Cantrell was unsuccessful.

In Isle of Wight County, the number of absentee ballot requests is nearly equal between Democrats and Republicans — contrary to state percentages, which shows considerably more Democrats requesting an early ballot, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Slightly more than 60 percent of Isle of Wight voters requested a Democrat ballot, compared to nearly 63 percent of voters asking for a Republican ballot as of Friday, according to the VPAP.

Statewide, 78.4 percent of voters asked for a Democrat ballot and 43.3 percent requested a Republican absentee ballot for the June 13 primary.

The 64th District includes most of Isle of Wight County, as well as parts of Surry, Sussex, Southampton and Prince George counties and parts of the cities of Franklin and Suffolk.

Del. Rick Morris, who has represented the 64th District since 2012, decided against running for re-election. He is currently facing felony and misdemeanor child cruelty and domestic abuse charges.

Del. Roslyn Tyler, D-75th, is unopposed for her seat, which she has held since 2006. The 75th District includes parts of Isle of Wight and Surry counties. 

On the state level, there are three Republican and three Democratic candidates running for lieutenant governor. The Republican candidates are Senators Jill Vogel of Winchester and Bryce Reeves of Fredericksburg and Del. Glenn Davis Jr. of Virginia Beach. Vogel is an ethics attorney, Reeves is a former police detective and runs an insurance agency. Davis is businessman and entrepreneur.

As a side note, a lawsuit filed by Reeves against Vogel is set for a court hearing just days before the June 13 primary, as reported by the Washington Post. Reeves has accused Vogel of spreading false rumors about an affair and filed a defamation suit against her, according to the Post

Democrats running for lieutenant governor are assistant U.S. attorney Justin Fairfax; Susan Platt, former chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden; and federal prosecutor Gene Rossi.

The primary race for governor is also crowded. Competing for the Democratic nomination is Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist going up against former congressman and attorney Tom Perriello.

On the Republican ballot is former Republican National and Virginia Committee chairman and businessman Ed Gillespie, Prince William Board of Supervisors chairman and attorney, Corey Stewart and senator and businessman Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach.

In Virginia, voters can opt for either a Republican or Democrat ballot, but not both.

The winner of each race will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.  {/mprestriction}