- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Virginia Republicans will go to the polls today to select their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, as Democrats will choose a running mate for their gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

In some districts, voters also will choose their party’s nominees for House of Delegates.

Today’s primary is the first in decades that both parties have held on the same day, and voters must pick a party ballot. Voters in Virginia do not register by party.

Turnout is expected to drop to a record low, in part because former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore is considered to be the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination for governor.

Mr. Kilgore faces Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch, who has raised less than $200,000 and has little name recognition beyond being known as the founder of the Jamaican bobsled team, which competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics.

The winner will face Mr. Kaine and Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., a Winchester Republican who is running as an independent, in the Nov. 8 general election.

Republicans also will choose between Sen. William T. Bolling and Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Sean T. Connaughton for lieutenant governor.

Mr. Bolling, Hanover Republican, is anti-tax and one of the most conservative legislators in the state. Mr. Connaughton is considered a centrist and has been endorsed by many local leaders and incumbents. The winner will face one of four Democrats seeking the nomination.

That contest is between Delegates J. Chapman Petersen of Fairfax and Viola O. Baskerville of Richmond, state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett of Tazewell County and former state senator and U.S. Rep. Leslie L. Byrne of Fairfax.

The lieutenant governor serves as president of the Senate and succeeds the governor in case of emergency or resignation. It is a part-time position.

Delegate Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia Beach and Richmond lawyer Steve Baril are running for attorney general. Each Republican has won endorsements from key state leaders and promises to be tough on crime and defend conservative values.

The winner of today’s primary will face Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, Bath County Democrat, in November.

All 100 seats in the House are also up for election in November.

Today, Republican voters in six districts will choose between anti-tax challengers and incumbent delegates who last year voted in favor of the largest tax increase in the state’s history.

Most of the challengers have little or no experience holding elected office and are much younger than the incumbents. The incumbents, who are backed by House leaders, have raised at least twice as much money as their challengers.

The targeted incumbents from Northern Virginia are Delegates Gary A. Reese of Fairfax County, Joe T. May of Loudoun County and Harry J. Parrish of Manassas.

Also facing challenges are Delegates Edward T. Scott of Culpeper Robert D. Orrock Sr. of Caroline County and L. Preston Bryant Jr. of Lynchburg.

The most hotly contested House race is in the liberal 45th District, where six Democrats are vying for the nomination. The winner of the primary is considered a lock for winning the seat held by Delegate Marian Van Landingham, who is retiring after 23 years in the House. The 45th District represents parts of Alexandria and Fairfax and Arlington counties.

In that race, voters will choose between small-business owner Laura Mandala, retired Air Force officer David Englin, Alexandria lawyer James Lay, Arlington County School Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey, former Delegate Richard Hobson and Elsie Mosqueda, a longtime legislative aide to Delegate Brian J. Moran.

Republican and Democratic voters in Fairfax City will choose nominees who will face off for Mr. Petersen’s seat in November.

James Kaplan, a local businessman, faces former Fairfax City Mayor John Mason on the Republican ballot.

David Bulova, a member of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, faces Fairfax County school board member Janet Oleszek on the Democratic ballot.

Republican voters in Fairfax County will choose a nominee for the seat left vacant by Delegate James H. Dillard II, a Republican who is retiring after serving 25 years. Voters will select between William Finerfrock and Michael J. Golden. The winner will face Democratic nominee David Marsden in November.

Republicans in Vienna, Va., will choose between James E. Hyland, Arthur G. Purves and Edward Robinson. The winner will challenge freshman incumbent Stephen C. Shannon, a Democrat.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

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