Incumbent Israel O’Quinn overwhelmingly won the GOP nomination for his 5th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday, while a new face with a familiar name captured the 4th District nomination.
Turnout is expected to be light as voters head to the polls today to choose candidates in two Republican primary elections.
Two seats in the Virginia House of Delegates will be up for grabs with only one incumbent on the ballot. Del. Israel O’Quinn, 39, of Bristol, will seek his fifth term representing the 5th District but faces challenger Michael Osborne
Republican challenger Michael Osborne dislikes Del. Israel O’Quinn’s role in carrying legislation for the proposed Bristol Resort and Casino and wants to replace the four-term incumbent as the 5th District’s representative in Richmond.
Independent state delegate candidate Michael Osborne will continue his fight to change how state officials certify candidate petitions even though today’s election will proceed with his opponent’s name still on the ballot as the official GOP candidate.
On Monday – less than 18 hours before the polls opened today -- Bristol Virginia Circuit Court Judge Larry Kirksey refused to hear Osborne’s request for an injunction that could have changed how voters in the Virginia House of Delegates’ Fifth District choose their next delegate.
Two contested Southwest Virginia state House districts will stay in Republican hands for the next two years after Israel O’Quinn and Delegate Will Morefield, R-Tazewell, enjoyed substantial victories over their opponents in Tuesday’s election.
O’Quinn won 69.3 percent of the votes cast in the Virginia House of Delegates’ 5th District, according to unofficial election results from the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Changes to the General Assembly’s districts may cause confusion when Virginia voters head to the polls today, election officials said Monday.
Across the state, polls open at 6 a.m. and remain open for 13 hours so voters can cast ballots in a variety of state Senate and House races, some constitutional offices and other local races. It will be the first time elections have been held since state leaders revised Senate and House lines and some voters are baffled, according to local voter registrars.
Local candidates gathered with their respective parties for a final round of shaking hands and discussing issues in the 72-hour countdown to Election Day.
Democrat candidates and supporters met for a potluck meal at Abingdon High School on Saturday evening, and an hour later, Republicans congregated at John Battle High School for their annual Eliza Sprinkle dinner.
A candidate seeking the Virginia House of Delegates’ 5th District seat doesn’t think his current job as the director of government and community relations for a local grocery store chain presents him with a potential conflict of interest.
In fact, Republican Israel O’Quinn counts his current position with K-VA-T Food Stores, the Abingdon-based parent company of Food City grocery stores, and the experience he’s gained since taking it five years ago among his greatest strengths.
The race for this year’s 5th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates pits an established political operative against a former preacher turned small business owner in a contest to see who can represent a district that now stretches nearly 100 miles across the state’s southern border.
Southwest Virginia candidates for seats in the Virginia General Assembly made all the predictable remarks Tuesday: They support jobs, coal, transportation and education.
In a forum organized by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, there also ran a vein of Tea Party conservatism and the kind of general anti-establishment sentiment that’s become common in the politics of the past two years.