Peter Farrell, a 28-year-old founder of an energy-services company, was chosen by a four-member Republican committee on Tuesday as the party nominee for the 56th District House of Delegates seat vacated by Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico.
As of last night, no Democrat had come forward to run for the seat.
Farrell beat out five other candidates for the nod: Henrico County economist David Brat; Louisa County attorney Graven W. Craig; Surya Dhakar, a Henrico dentist; Jack A. Manzari, a retired physician and Louisa cattleman; and Spotsylvania County Republican Committee Chairman Steve Thomas.
Voters in select Virginia localities will hit the polls today to pick party nominees and set the slate for November's general election.
Around the state, primaries will be held in seven House of Delegates districts and nine Senate districts, which are at the center of a battle for control of the chamber. Republicans want to wrest the Senate majority from Democrats to secure control of both legislative chambers and the Executive Mansion.
All 140 House and Senate seats are up for election Nov. 8.
Six Republicans are locked in for a nomination battle in the 56th House of Delegates District, a seat that opened unexpectedly when Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, decided to run as an independent for Henrico County commonwealth's attorney. Henrico residents Peter Farrell, founder of an alternative energy company, and Dr. Surya Dhakar, a dentist, filed by the 5 p.m. Friday deadline, joining Henrico economist David Brat; Spotsylvania County Republican Committee Chairman Steve Thomas Dr. Jack A. Manzari, a retired physician and Louisa cattleman; and Louisa attorney Graven W. Craig.
On Tuesday, the men will make their pitches before a four-person party committee that will then select a nominee for the general election. Each committee member represents one of the localities in the district — Henrico, Louisa, Goochland and Spotsylvania.
Tuesday is the deadline for parties to nominate candidates for this fall's General Assembly elections, and in several districts that means a primary election.
Statewide, 50 localities have primaries on Tuesday. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
The primaries are spread among seven House districts and nine Senate districts.
The nomination contests are precursors to a hard-fought fall campaign season, as Republicans seek to retake control of the state Senate. There, Democrats hold only a slim two-seat majority, and Republicans think they can win enough seats to tip the balance. Several races, especially in Northern Virginia and Southside, are expected to be tough ones.
David A. Brat, a Henrico County economist, has announced a bid for the GOP nomination to replace Del. Bill Janis, who is leaving the House of Delegates to run for Henrico commonwealth's attorney.
Brat, chair of the Department of Economics and Business at Randolph-Macon College and director of an ethics program there, serves on Gov. Bob McDonnell's economic advisory board and is a member of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority.
He spent years serving as a special legislative assistant to Sen. Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico.