RICHMOND, Va. – Though the Virginia gubernatorial race takes place in an off-year when participation is traditionally low, voters who do make it out to the polls will find both sides of the ballots packed with candidates vying for governor and lieutenant governor, in addition to numerous General Assembly seats and municipal leadership positions.
Two men are campaigning for governor on the Democratic side; three on the Republican side.
There are a number of districts voting to fill General Assembly seats. Many of the districts don’t have an opposing party candidate. Also, in several districts either one candidate is uncontested or has been chosen already by a caucus, so that district won’t be in play during the primary, just the election.
In the primary, registered Virginia voters can choose which side they want to vote for, but voters have to chose that side in the beginning and stick with it. How voters vote in the primary doesn’t affect how they choose to vote in the November elections.
On the Republican side, Ed Gillespie is considered the frontrunner.
“It would be a big upset if any other candidate won,” said political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth.
Gillespie previously ran a very strong campaign against U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and almost unseated him in 2014.
Sen. Frank Wagner has experienced a hard time getting traction outside of Virginia Beach.
Prince William County Chairman Corey A. Stewart, the former state chair for Donald Trump’s campaign who was fired, has run an “odd” campaign, according to Holsworth. Stewart has been very vocal in his defense of Confederate monuments and symbols, and said he is very “proudly politically incorrect.”
Turnout will be a major factor in how these races swing. Sometimes turnout in an election year is five or six percent, very rarely any more than 10 or 12 percent.
“That’s why it is so hard to predict these races because we really don’t know who is going to turn out,” Holsworth said.
On the Democratic side, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has establishment support, with endorsements from state senators, the governor, and legislative Black Caucus.
“If they can turn out the voters, Perriello will have an uphill climb,” Holsworth said. “Tom Perriello is running as the Bernie Sanders progressive candidate.”
Tom Perriello entered the race late but has delivered a strong social media campaign. He has key endorsements from former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the staff of former President Barack Obama, in addition to the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“It might have some [effect],” Holsworth said of the out of state support. “Because there are a lot of progressives who are really anti-Trump, who love Bernie Sanders. He may be the most popular Democrat in America right now…”
Perriello’s appeal to college students could be mired by the issue that many of them registered on campus and school is out.
“We are going to have to see if Tom Perriello can come from behind, and whether that progressive momentum that we are seeing across the Democratic party nationally will manifest itself in Virginia on Tuesday,” Holsworth said.
2017 JUNE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, GOVERNOR
2017 JUNE DEMOCRATIC, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
- Justin Fairfax
- Gene Rossi
- Susan Platt
2017 JUNE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY, GOVERNOR
2017 JUNE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
- Bryce E. Reeves
- Glenn R. Davis, Jr
- Jill H. Vogel
RACES TO WATCH LOCALLY
Republican voters in District 28 will decide who’ll have a chance to succeed retiring House Speaker Bill Howell in Richmond.
There are five Republicans and two Democrats running for Peter Farrell’s seat in the 56th District.
The 72nd District, previously held by Jimmie Massie, has traditionally gone for the GOP, but Clinton won that district in the last Presidential election. The Democratic nominee Schuyler VanValkenburg has raised almost as much as the favored Republican Eddie Whitlock – indicating that down the road this could be one to watch.
2017 JUNE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY MEMBER HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County, Hopewell City, Petersburg City, Prince George County
- Lashrecse D. Aird
- Gerry J. Rawlinson
Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Richmond City
- Dawn M. Adams
- Mary Jo Sheeley
- Ben J. Pearson-Nelson
Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Richmond City
- Alexander W. Mejias
- Delores L. McQuin
Caroline County, King George County, Lancaster County, Northumberland County, Richmond County, Westmoreland County
- Vivian L. “Viv” Messner
- Francis Nicholas Edwards
2017 JUNE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY MEMBER HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Fredericksburg City, Stafford County
- Paul Milde, III
- Susan Stimpson
- Robert Michael Thomas Jr.
Caroline County, Spotsylvania County
- Robert D. “Bobby” Orrock
- Nick G. Ignacio
Goochland County, Henrico County, Louisa County, Spotsylvania County
- Matt C. Pinsker
- Graven W. Craig
- George S. Goodwin
- Surya P. Dhakar
- John J. McGuire III
- “Jay” F. Prendergast
- Edward S. Whitlock II
- Ernesto V. Sampson, J
2017 June Democratic Primary Petersburg Commissioner of Revenue
- Larry D. Brown, Sr.
- Kyle J. Dixon
- Brittany C. Flowers
- Atiba Muse
2017 June Democratic Primary Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Lee T. Parker II
- Cheryl J. Wilson
2017 June Democratic Primary Richmond Sheriff
- Antoinette Irving
- C.T. Woody, Jr.
2017 June Democratic Primary Petersburg Treasurer
- Bridget D. Jones
- Paul Z. Mullin Jr.
- Kenneth M Pritchett
2017 June Democratic Primary Richmond City Treasurer
- Nichole Ona R. Armstead
- Tavarris J. Sprink
2017 June Republican Primary Member Board of Supervisor
Henrico County Brookland District
- Benjamin Dessart
- Gilbert Wilkerson, Sr
- Robert H. “Bob” Witte, Jr
The last day to absentee vote in-person has passed. The polls open in Virginia at 6 a.m. on Primary Election Day, June 13 and stay open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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Virginia’s Voter Photo ID Rules
Under Virginia law, voters are required to bring a photo ID to the polls. If you DO NOT have a photo ID, you can still vote, but you need to take some extra steps for your vote to count.
Here are examples of different photo ID you can bring to the polls:
- Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card
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- Valid United States Passport
- Other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth)
- Valid college or university student photo identification card (must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
- Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business
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