Elections Board chair says state law was followed in certifying House candidates

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 7/15/2021, 6 p.m.
The chairman of the Virginia Board of Elections defended the June 30 board action to allow some late-filing Republican nomi- ...
Mr. Brink

The chairman of the Virginia Board of Elections defended the June 30 board action to allow some late-filing Republican nominees for House of Delegate seats to make the Nov. 2 ballot.

Chairman Robert H. Brink also rejected any claim that racial preference was involved in the decision-making.

In response to a Free Press article published in the July 8-10 edition, Mr. Brink stated the board followed state law regarding the House candidates and also hewed to its policy of blocking candidates who failed to meet the filing deadline for required documents from the ballot.

Mr. Brink said that by a 2-1 vote, the board authorized three Republican candidates for the House to make the ballot, even though party officials in each of their respective districts had missed the deadline to certify them as party nominees.

A provision of state law requires the board to certify nominees if party officials fail to do so, Mr. Brink said.

Those affected were incumbent GOP Delegate Dave LaRock of Loudoun County, 33rd House District, and two Republicans who are challenging Democratic incumbents, Gina Ciarcia of Prince William County, who is running against Delegate Candi King of Dumfries in the 2nd House District, and Matthew Lang of Fairfax County, who is seeking to unseat Delegate Kenneth R. “Ken” Plum in the 36th House District.

Richmond City Councilman Michael J. Jones, who blasted the board’s decision as discriminatory in the Free Press article, now agrees that the board’s action followed state law and was unbiased.

Dr. Jones had been knocked off the ballot for the June 8 Democratic primary when he failed to submit his candidate paperwork in time. He was one of three Black candidates who failed to make the primary ballot because of late filings.

At the June 30 meeting, the board upheld that policy in refus- ing to approve filing extensions for two people seeking to run as independents for House seats and three candidates seeking local offices.

Mr. Brink said the Free Press report that the policy had been reversed was “completely inaccurate.” Councilman Jones agreed that Mr. Brink was correct.

“As it has done in the past,” Mr. Brink concluded, “the board will endeavor to apply the provisions of the Code of Virginia in a consistent and reasoned manner.”