No party foes for incumbents

Published 9:36 am Friday, June 17, 2011

FRANKLIN—Voter-registrar offices across the region saw little activity Wednesday as the filing deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates in this year’s county and legislative races came and went.

Candidates who plan to run as independents have until Aug. 23 to qualify to run in November’s general election.

Democratic and Republican officials in Southampton County said neither party will have a primary election. Republicans have opted instead for a convention-like mass meeting on July 7 to confirm their nominees, according to Chairman Kenny Truitt.

Truitt said all three Republican incumbents on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors will seek re-election without primary opposition. They are Anita Felts in the Jerusalem District, Walter Young in the Franklin District and Walt Brown in the Newsoms District.

A primary will not be necessary on the Democratic side either as the four Democratic incumbents are unopposed within the party. The incumbents are Ronald West in the Berlin/Ivor District, Carl Faison in the Boykins District, Moses Wyche in the Capron District and Dallas Jones in Drewryville District.

Southampton County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Railey said a convention would be held only if there was more than one Democrat in a single race.

“I don’t see that happening,” Railey said.

Barry Porter has filed to run as an independent for the Franklin District seat on the Board of Supervisors. He will face Young in the general election on Nov. 8.

Dr. Alan Edwards has also filed as an independent to run for the Jerusalem District seat held by Felts.

Jack Stutts, a Democratic candidate for Southampton County sheriff, will face independents David Holland and Brian Marvel.

In other Southampton races, Democrat Eric Cooke has filed to run for re-election as commonwealth’s attorney; Democrat David Britt has filed to run for re-election as treasurer; and Democrat Amy Carr will seek re-election as commissioner of the revenue.

Matt Abell, assistant manager of the election services division of the state Board of Elections, said parties have until 5 p.m. today to certify candidates for state offices, including General Assembly seats.

He said there is an assumption that Democrat Louise Lucas of Portsmouth will file for re-election in Senate District 18, but the board had received no certification as of Thursday. He said the GOP didn’t specify a method of nomination yet for that seat.

If parties don’t hold a primary, they have from July 1 to Aug. 23 to nominate a candidate via a convention.

“Parties are not obligated to nominate anyone,” Abell said.

Abell said Republican Harry Blevins has been designated as the only member of his party to qualify for Senate District 14.

Incumbent state Sen. Fred Quayle, R-Suffolk, whose district recently was merged with Blevins’, opted to retire from the Senate rather than run against Blevins.

In House District 64, incumbent Bill Barlow of Smithfield has been certified as the only Democratic Party candidate. Republican Rick Morris has announced his intention to run. The GOP nomination will be officially made at a convention at 10 a.m. July 23 at Windsor High School. Candidates for the nomination must make their intentions known in a written statement with 64th District GOP Chairman Lori Carlson of Surry by 5 p.m. June 22.

Abell said the Board of Elections was awaiting information on House District 75, in which Democrat Roslyn Tyler of Jarratt is the incumbent. Railey said Tyler will face Republican Al Peschke of Wakefield in the general election.

Isle of Wight County has had few candidates qualify to date because candidates for local office traditionally run as independents, said Isle of Wight County Voter General Registrar Lisa Betterton.

Betterton said three independent candidates for Isle of Wight County sheriff have filed the necessary paperwork to qualify for the general election. They are incumbent Charlie Phelps, Jim Crotts and Mark Marshall.

To qualify in Isle of Wight County, candidates must turn in a signed petition with 125 signatures from voters within their district, as well as some other paperwork.

“There are people who have picked up packets, but no one has officially filed,” Betterton said of offices other than sheriff.

With Board of Supervisors seats, School Board seats and constitutional offices all on the ballot, Betterton suspects many candidates are waiting for approval of the county’s new district lines before completing the paperwork.

“I feel there are some holding back until we hear from the Department of Justice,” Betterton said.

Localities must redraw their election boundaries every decade to reflect new Census numbers. In Virginia, those boundaries have to be approved by the federal government as racially fair.

All supervisor seats except the Hardy District are up for election in November. The Hardy District is also the only seat not up for grabs on the school board.