Last weekend, in the waning hours of the campaign, Gary West spent time knocking on doors along Wreck Shoal Drive in Newport News. Some homes on the street near City Center were lined with campaign signs, but one seemed out of place. In the front lawn of the home, a sign read "BaCote for Delegate."
West said he wrote the residents a note thanking them for supporting the party, mentioning that he would be the Democratic candidate for the district's seat.
While they oppose raising taxes, especially during an economic downturn, five out of six local Republican candidates for the General Assembly are saying no thanks to GOP political operative Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform's no-tax pledge.
Senate candidates Mickey Chohany and Thomas Harmon and House of Delegates candidates Mike Watson, David Yancey and Keith Hodges have all taken a pass on the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."
Gary West, Democratic candidate for the state's 94th House of Delegates District, issued a jobs plan Monday saying the plan should "jump start the economy and put Virginians back to work."
West's jobs plan asks lawmakers to direct the state and local governments to contract with Virginia companies for goods and services; provide tax credits for small businesses; provide grants and tax incentives for job creation in the bio-tech and renewable energy industries; invest in workforce development and to recruit manufacturing firms to locate in the commonwealth.
Peter Farrell has essentially been elected to the House of Delegates with four votes.
A four-member Republican committee in August chose Farrell from a slate of six candidates who sought the party's nomination to the 56th House District vacated by Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico.
Democrats did not nominate anyone for the seat, and no independent has filed. Barring a coordinated write-in campaign, Farrell is all but assured of victory.
The circumstances are unusual but not unheard of. A similar situation played out this year in Newport News after Del. G. Glenn Oder stepped down to become executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority.
Six local General Assembly candidates appeared at a candidate's forum Monday to answer questions from members of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
Candidates taking part included Republican M. Keith Hodges and Democrat Andrew Shoukas in the 98th House District; Democratic Sen. John Miller and Republican Mickey Chohany in the 1st Senate District; Republican Mike Watson in the 93rd House District and Republican David Yancey in the 94th House District.
Del. Robbin Abbot, Democrat incumbent in the 93rd House District and Gary West, Democratic candidate for the 94th House District, did not attend.
It's Labor Day in Virginia, the unofficial end of summer and the all-but-official beginning of political campaign season.
So if you're having a picnic with more than two people attending, don't be surprised if a candidate drops by to shake hands, kiss babies and plant lawn signs.
With just nine weeks till the Nov. 8 general election, candidates for Virginia's General Assembly will be kicking their campaigns into high gear.
Newport News attorney Gary West jumped into the 94th District race on Monday. West is seeking the soon to be open seat being vacated by Del. G. Glenn Oder, R-Newport News. Oder easily defeated West in 2009, getting 67 percent of the vote.
But political watchers in both parties said it could be a much closer race this time with Oder out. David Yancey, 39, a Newport News businessman and political newcomer, is the Republican nominee for the seat. Democrats were not planning to contest the seat until Oder announced his resignation to run the Fort Monroe Authority. Quentin Kidd, a political scientist at Christopher Newport University, said that without an incumbent in the race the contest will be close.
Days after the resignation of Newport News Del. Glenn Oder (R) was announced, a local Republican committee nominated David Yancey to replace him. Yancey, 39, was selected at a meeting of the 94th legislative district committee Thursday evening.
Two other candidates expressed some interest in the seat, but Yancey was the only person whose name was formally submitted for consideration.
Tricia Stall, who ran for state Senate in 2007 as a Republican, is said to be weighing an independent run for that House seat. Local Democrats, meanwhile, plan to gather Aug. 22 to nominate someone. One potential candidate is attorney Gary West, whom Oder defeated in 2009.
Del. Glenn Oder's decision to bolt the General Assembly after 10 years for an attractive state government post has set off a scramble by Democrats and Republicans to field candidates for Oder's seat before the Aug. 23 primary and deadline. Oder, a Republican who has represented Newport News' 94th District since 2002, will be the new executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority. The 54-year-old landscape architect called the appointment a dream job for someone in his field. Dave Rexrode, the Republican Party of Virginia's executive director, said his party hopes to settle on a nominee Thursday night with a decision by the 94th District GOP Committee. The committee is one person - Dr. Henry L. Rothfuss. "I am sure they will - he will - listen to all the input. We have several candidates who have expressed an interest," Rexrode said. There was no reply Wednesday to a telephone message left at Rothfuss's medical practice.