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WASHINGTON — On a hot and steamy June day, Virginia primary voters headed to the polls to pick contenders for the state’s top two elected posts plus many House of Delegates seats.
Turnout was about 12 percent through late afternoon in Northern Virginia — that’s slightly higher than the 10 percent turnout typically seen in Virginia’s off-year governor’s contests. Democrats in the region drove the higher turnout and also had more reason to head to the polls than Republican voters with seven contested House of Delegates primaries in addition to competitive races for lieutenant governor and governor.
No major problems were reported at area polling locations.
Several local candidates were among those seeking the nomination for governor — a closely watched race that is viewed as the first referendum on President Donald Trump since he took office.
Corey Stewart, Prince William County Board of Supervisors chair, was among those seeking the nomination in the race to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Fairfax County’s Ed Gillespie also sought the Republican nomination and Alexandria’s Tom Perriello ran for the Democratic nomination.
Stewart, a conservative whose campaign was marked by his brash rhetoric and unabashed support for President Donald Trump, lost the support of fellow Prince William County elected officials because of his focus on preserving the state’s Confederate monuments and the use of the Confederate battle flag at events. He repeatedly attacked Gillespie, the front-runner in the GOP contest for not defending the images of the state’s past.
Perriello, a former congressman who represented the Charlottesville area, was running neck and neck with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam heading into Election Day. The two Democrats differed little on policies but both pledged to resist Trump’s policies if elected.
Early election results showed Northam, the projected statewide winner, ahead in Northern Virginia’s communities. Gillespie was ahead of Stewart in the GOP contest in the region’s suburbs. But Stewart has won his home county of Prince William County by a large margin.
Fauquier County Republican Jill Vogel was running neck and neck with Spotsylvania’s Bryce Reeves in the GOP primary for lieutenant governor.
Among House of Delegates candidates, Del. Jackson Miller has won his primary race. The incumbent ran uncontested after Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish pulled out of the race in the 50th District.
Republican Bob Thomas, a Stafford County supervisor, won a three-way primary race in the 28th District. He’ll face Democrat Joshua Cole in November for the chance to succeed retiring House Speaker Bill Howell.
Stay with WTOP for updates on this developing story.
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