- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Republican incumbents maintained their stronghold in the Virginia legislature yesterday, turning back at least two of three challenges in the primaries.

Sen. John H. Chichester of Fredericksburg, the top-ranking Senate Republican, defeated challenger Mike Rothfeld, a political consultant from Stafford who had called Mr. Chichester “only slightly better than the Democrats.”

Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. of James City defeated real estate manager Paul Jost, in a race marked by personal criticisms from both sides. Two hours after the polls closed at 7 p.m., Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. of Winchester held a 10 percentage point lead over small-business owner Mark Tate.

There were 14 Virginia legislative primaries.

The race for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors between former Chairman John F. “Jack” Herrity and Mychele B. Brickner, a county School Board member, was also decided last night. Results were not available at press time.

The winner will face Democrat Gerald E. Connolly, Providence District supervisor, in November for the seat being vacated by Katherine K. Hanley, who is expected to run for Congress. Mr. Connolly was unopposed yesterday.

Springfield Supervisor Elaine McConnell was the only other Fairfax board member opposed in the primary. She faced Stan L. Reid and Linda L. Clary.

Every General Assembly seat — 40 in the Senate and 100 in the House of Delegates — is up for election in November.

Conservative challengers Mr. Rothfeld, Mr. Jost and Mr. Tate said they were more opposed to taxes and abortion than the incumbents they faced, whom they labeled too centrist.

The three incumbents accused the challengers of negative campaigning.

The race between Mr. Potts and Mr. Tate drew national attention from Republican fund-raising groups.

Mr. Potts received backing from centrist Republican Main Street Partnership, a national group that advocates limited government, and Mr. Tate was backed by the Club for Growth — a pro-life, antitax group with an active chapter in Northern Virginia.

Republicans David Hunt and Howard Lind, who also sparred during the campaign, faced off to decide who will run against Sen. Janet D. Howell, Fairfax County Democrat.

Unseating Mrs. Howell is a priority for Republican leaders because it would increase their control of the Senate, which currently stands at 23-17.

Republicans control the House by a 64-34-2 margin.

In the House, Delegate John A. “Jack” Rollison, Prince William County Republican, faced a stiff challenge from political newcomer Jeffrey Frederick. Mr. Rollison has served as the chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

Five Arlington County Democrats, including two Hispanics and two homosexual men, were on the ballot yesterday for the seat being vacated by Delegate L. Karen Darner.

The lone Democratic Senate primary featured former Newport News Circuit Court Judge Verbena Askew against Hampton Mayor Mamie E. Locke and Hampton resident James Graves for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. W. Henry Maxwell of Newport News.

Other Republican races in Virginia included Delegate Jeannemarie Devolites and Louis J. Zone Jr., both of Vienna, for an open Senate seat.

Republicans Douglas W. Rogers of Locust Grove, Edward T. Scott of Reva and Sam R. Found of Culpeper were seeking the nomination for the seat being vacated by Delegate George Ellis Broman Jr. of Culpeper.

Also, Republican Delegate Thomas D. Gear of Hampton was opposed by Forest S. Ward of Hampton. Thomas B. Dix Jr. of Accomack County, T. Hume Dixon III of Northampton County, Betsy Mapp of Northampton County and Tim Raynor of Accomack County were seeking nomination for the seat being vacated by Delegate Robert S. Bloxom, Accomack Republican.

House Democratic primaries included Brian Shepard and Onzlee Ware, both of Roanoke, seeking nomination for the seat of Delegate Clifton A. Woodrum, Roanoke Democrat.

Jeion Ward and Donnie Tuck, both of Hampton, were seeking nomination for the seat being vacated by Delegate Mary T. Christian, Hampton Democrat.

And Mamye E. BaCote, Gary W. Kelly and Robin Rattley, all of Newport News, were seeking nomination for the seat being vacated Delegate Flora Davis Crittenden, Newport News Democrat.

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