Candidates in final swing
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 10/30/2015, 9:41 p.m. | Updated on 10/30/2015, 9:41 p.m.
Now it’s time for the voters to speak.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day.
That’s when ordinary people will use the power of their ballot to choose representatives to the 40-member state Senate and 100-member House of Delegates. They also will fill offices in some localities, including Henrico and Chesterfield counties.
The General Assembly choices could impact legislative decision making on such issues as the expansion of Medicaid for uninsured adults, protection of privacy, the environment and the expansion of probation and parole for nonviolent offenders.
In the Richmond area, the contest that has attracted the most attention is in the 10th Senate District, which includes parts of the city of Richmond and Chesterfield and Powhatan counties.
The contest features candidates seeking to replace retiring Republican Sen. John C. Watkins.
The winner could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the 40-seat state Senate, where Republicans now hold a narrow majority of 21 votes over 19 Democrats.
The major party candidates are Democrat Dan Gecker, who is hoping to flip the seat to his party, and Republican Glen Sturtevant, who hopes to keep the seat in the red column. Both have local government experience. Mr. Gecker, a developer, is a member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, while Mr. Sturtevant, an attorney, serves on the Richmond School Board.
The two other candidates, both considered long shots, are independent Marlene Durfee, a former Chesterfield County supervisor, and Libertarian Party candidate Carl Loser, a newcomer.
For Richmond voters, races in other General Assembly districts that include parts of the city are less contentious.
For example, incumbent Sen. Rosalyn R. Dance is essentially unopposed in her bid for her first full four-year term representing the 16th District, which stretches from Richmond’s East End to the Petersburg area. Her opponent, independent Joe Morrissey, has withdrawn, though his name will be on the ballot.
That’s also the case for new Democratic Delegate Lamont Bagby, who is seeking his first full two-year term representing the 74th House District, which includes part of North Side. His independent opponent, David Lambert, officially has withdrawn, though his name also will be on the ballot.
Meanwhile, five-term Delegate Jennifer L. McClellan is opposed in the 71st House District that includes parts of North Side. However, she barely has campaigned against her largely unknown opponent, independent Stephen J. Imholt, and is expected to win handily.
Also, four-term Republican Delegate Manoli Loupassi is facing two opponents in the 68th District, which includes western and southern parts of Richmond. But he also has high expectations of defeating his long shot challengers, Democrat Bill Grogan and independent Michael R. Dickinson.
Other members of the Richmond delegation are unopposed, including Democratic Sen. A. Donald McEachin, 9th District, and Democratic Delegates Betsy B. Carr, 69th House District, and Delores L. McQuinn, 70th House District.
There are more heated races in neighboring communities.
In the 62nd House District, which swings from Henrico to Chesterfield via Hopewell and Prince George County, Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman is seeking to upset 20-year veteran Republican Delegate Riley Ingram.