This year's Republican primary in the 3rd Senate District pits self-financed, political newcomer and self-described Tea Party candidate Mark Frechette against incumbent Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment, who has one of the largest campaign finance funds in the state.
Beyond experience, the two candidates are not marked by many differences on the issues and both say they want to shift control of the Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate to the right. In an email interview — he refused to speak to a reporter by phone or in person — Frechette said he was inspired to enter the political arena because he felt Virginia had swung to the left in 2008 ,when President Barack Obama won the state, and wanted to "start the pendulum swing back to the right." This is Frechette's first run for public office.
Two nominating contests for the Virginia General Assembly will be open to some South Hampton Roads voters when primary elections are held Tuesday. One is in the 90th House District, encompassing portions of Norfolk and Virginia Beach but no longer Chesapeake, whose precincts were removed during redistricting this spring. That race pits incumbent Del. Algie T. Howell Jr., D-Norfolk, against Norfolk Police Department retiree Rick James. It is the second consecutive election cycle in which Howell has faced a primary challenge; he defeated the son of Chesapeake Democratic Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. in 2009. The other race will determine the Republican nominee in the 3rd Senate District, which is mainly on the Peninsula but picked up a couple Suffolk precincts during reapportionment. Candidates in that contest are longtime Sen. Tommy Norment of James City County and tea party-aligned conservative Mark Frechette of Gloucester County.
As the Aug. 23 primaries approach and the general election campaigns for the General Assembley get set to kick into full swing following that, Gov. Bob McDonnell will attend a fundraiser for Sen. Tommy Norment on Sunday.
Senate minority leader Norment, R-Williamsburg, is facing off against Tea Party candidate Mark Frechette in the Aug. 23 GOP primary. The fundraiser will take place Sunday evening at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. This is not the only fundraiser for a state Senate candidate McDonnell will be attending this weekend. On Saturday he evening the governor will be at the Virginian in Bristol to support Del. Bill Carrico's, R-Fries, attempt to move from the House to the Senate to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. William Wampler.
Democrats dominated the top 10 in cash on hand among Senate candidates in campaign finance reports filed just ahead of the Aug. 23 primary elections.
But Republicans, with more candidates battling for nominations, had a slight edge in total money banked as of Aug. 10 according to candidate filings collected and posted by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project on Monday.
Of the $7.3 million total reported by 47 Republicans, 28 Democrats and three independents, Republicans accounted for about $3.7 million, or 51 percent of the total, and Democrats held nearly $3.6 million, or 49 percent. Independents totaled less than $1,000.
Just one voter can cast a ballot on Aug. 23 in the Bacon’s Castle Election District of Surry County. So when that vote is counted (if it is cast), everybody will know whose it is.
This is the result of redistricting. One tiny slice of the Bacon’s Castle District has been shifted to the 3rd Senatorial District.
In that slice lives only one registered voter. For that one registered voter, the Surry County registrar will have to open up a polling place for the Republican senatorial primary.
Surry County election officials say they will have to open a polling place to give one voter an opportunity to vote in the Aug. 23 Republican primary.
The recent redistricting placed a tiny corner of Bacon's Castle Election District in the 3rd Senatorial District, where incumbent Thomas K. Norment is opposed by March Frechette. Only one registered voter lives within the tract, which is the only sliver of Surry County in the district.
Surry County Registrar Lucille Epps told the Smithfield Times this will be the first time Surry has had to open a poll for one voter. She said it will cost about $2,000 to run the poll for that day, and a minimum of three poll workers will have to be there from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.