- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Virginia voters yesterday chose running mates for the two main candidates for governor, and Republicans crowned Jerry W. Kilgore as their gubernatorial nominee.

Meanwhile, an anti-tax candidate from Fairfax County defeated a Republican incumbent who voted for tax increases last year. Six of 19 Republican incumbents who voted for tax increases faced challenges from anti-tax challengers.

Chris Craddock, a 26-year-old youth minister, captured 66.2 percent of the vote over Delegate Gary Alan Reese, with 17 of 18 precincts reporting.

There were few other surprises in the results of the off-year primary election, which yielded statewide turnout of less than 4 percent of the state’s 4.4 million registered voters.

Mr. Kilgore, the former attorney general, beat Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch for the nomination, receiving 82.4 percent of the vote, with nearly all of the 2,372 precincts reporting last night.

Mr. Kilgore will face Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic nominee, and Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., a Winchester Republican who is running as an independent, in the gubernatorial race. The general election is Nov. 8.

Mr. Kilgore said last night that he will now focus his efforts entirely on the general election.

“Tonight, we have a united Republican Party that is moving forward with a strong, positive vision for the future of Virginia, and I look forward to campaigning with my new running mates,” he said.

Republican voters also chose state Sen. William T. Bolling of Hanover, as their nominee for lieutenant governor. Mr. Bolling easily outdistanced Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Sean T. Connaughton with 56.3 percent of the vote, with nearly all precincts reporting.

Mr. Bolling is one of the most conservative legislators in the state and is anti-tax. Mr. Connaughton was considered a centrist and was endorsed by many local leaders and lawmakers.

Republicans also picked Delegate Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia Beach as their nominee for attorney general. He captured 68.1 percent of the vote over opponent Steve Baril, a Richmond lawyer. Mr. McDonnell, the chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, will face Democratic attorney general nominee Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County in November.

Democrats nominated former U.S. Rep. Leslie L. Byrne of Fairfax for lieutenant governor. Mrs. Byrne, who was a one-term congresswoman and a state senator in the 1990s, was considered the most liberal of the four Democratic candidates.

Mrs. Byrne received 33.8 percent of the vote, beating Delegates J. Chapman Petersen of Fairfax City and Viola O. Baskerville of Richmond and Sen. Phillip P. Puckett of Tazewell County.

Mr. Petersen and Mrs. Baskerville decided not to seek another term in the House in order to run in the primary. Mr. Puckett, who is not up for re-election until 2007, will finish his term.

Mr. Kaine and Mr. Deeds ran unopposed for their nominations.

Democrats on Saturday will hold a Unity Rally in Williamsburg for their statewide ticket. The Republican statewide candidates will tour Virginia this week.

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

With the exception of Mr. Reese, all the Republican incumbents won the party’s nominations for their House seats.

In Northern Virginia, Delegates Joe T. May of Loudoun County and Harry J. Parrish of Manassas defeated their anti-tax challengers.

Elsewhere, Delegates Edward T. Scott of Culpeper, Robert D. Orrock Sr. of Caroline County and L. Preston Bryant Jr. of Lynchburg also won the party’s nomination for their House seats.

Voters in the 45th District, which is strongly Democratic, nominated David Englin to replace retiring Delegate Marian Van Landingham.

Mr. Englin, a retired Air Force officer, beat out five others seeking the nomination, including former Delegate Richard Hobson. With all 25 precincts reporting, Mr. Englin captured 30.4 percent of the vote and is considered all but a lock to win the House seat in the liberal district.

In Fairfax City, Republican voters nominated former Fairfax City Mayor John Mason for Mr. Petersen’s seat. Democratic voters chose Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District member David Bulova. Mr. Mason and Mr. Bulova will face off in November.

Republican voters in Fairfax County chose Michael J. Golden as their nominee for the seat left vacant by retiring Delegate James H. Dillard II, a Republican. He will face Democratic nominee David Marsden in November.

In Vienna, Republicans chose James E. Hyland to challenge freshman Delegate Stephen C. Shannon, a Democrat.

Yesterday was only the third time in the state’s history that both parties have held primary elections on the same day.

Voters in Virginia do not register by party, and lawmakers have long blamed what are known as “crossover” voters for influencing nomination results.

Many Democrats were encouraging others to vote in the Republican primary yesterday in an effort to help elect GOPcandidates they consider more vulnerable in November.

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