Brewer, Colaw to face off for 64th

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the printed edition’s version.

This is the year of the Suffolk women for the 64th District in the General Assembly as Emily M. Brewer won the Republican candidacy and Rebecca Colaw got the Democratic ticket on Tuesday night.

The unofficial results posted on the state electoral board’s website,, showed that from the 51 precincts, Brewer received 4,417 votes or 60.94 percent. Colaw from Suffolk got 1,936 votes or 39.47 percent.

Rex W. Alphin, who also ran on the Republican side, received 2,831 votes or 39.06 percent.

Also for the Democrats were Jerry A. Cantrell with 1,437 votes or 28.55 percent; and John J. Wandling with 1,660 votes or 32.98 percent.

Brewer, a Nansemond River High School alumna and small business owner, was elated on Wednesday but knew there was a lot of work ahead of her.

“I knew I had put in the hard work. I had knocked on a lot of doors. I called a lot of voters, and I made connections with a lot of people, so I was optimistic,” said Brewer.

Asked what she’s going to focus on in the general election, she said tax reform, adoption and foster care reform.

“I’m proud to be the nominee. I’m so thankful to the voters that put their trust in me,” Brewer said. “Should I be lucky enough, I’m going to be elated and excited to represent them in the 64th.”

In spite of never having run for office before, Colaw also felt confident about her chances on Tuesday.

“We worked really hard,” she said referring to the two other members of her campaign team and herself. “We knocked on over a thousand doors and targeted about 8,000 people. I figured I needed at least 2,000 votes.”

Colaw has been taking a few days off this week to recharge before resuming work for the general election.

“I think it’ll be tough campaign,” she said looking ahead. “Emily’s just as tenacious as me.”


“Such is life and such is politics. We worked hard at it. We accept the people’s decision,” said Alphin philosophically. “I’d like to thank everybody that worked for me on my campaign. Everyone was terrific, but it didn’t turn out the way we hoped.”

Jerry Cantrell of Whaleyville sounded tired the day after the primary because he was, in his words, exhausted. Exhausted by the late night and also by the overall campaign.

“I put a lot of time and effort to do good. It [the district] is so spread out,” he said. “It’s tough to get support of local political parties.”

As for what’s next, Cantrell said he was uncertain.

“I don’t know whether I’ll be putting my wife and me through this again. It’s hard,” he added. “I’m not ruling out running again — maybe for state senator. I’ll have to pray about it.”

Wandling posted his statement on Facebook:

“Well, the Democrats in District 64 have spoken and I am not their candidate. I will continue to support and pursue a progressive agenda, particularly to resist the nonsense going on in D.C. I want to thank all the people who supported me, particularly my “kitchen” cabinet. We have fought hard and grown close since beginning this adventure in January, and we will forever be friends.

To those of you who contributed financially to my campaign, I promise you that we did all we could to win, and we came pretty close. To the many people who have invited me into their lives to share their ideas and concerns, I thank you for sharpening my thoughts on many things, and for listening to my ideas. I have faith that things generally work out for the better, so long as we keep working at it. So stay involved, stay active, and hold your representatives to account.”

TRACY AGNEW of The Suffolk News-Herald contributed to this story.