#PWCBattleground: Updates in HD-2, HD-13, HD-50, and Supervisor Races
It’s been an eventful past few weeks for candidate announcements in Prince William County, culminating with Monday night’s PWC GOP Committee meeting. There’s still a month until the March 22nd deadline to file for local races, and March 28th for any legislative districts determined by a primary (nominations for state legislative districts are dictated by their own committees), so when the contests are set, I’ll provide a full accounting of the candidates in each race. In the meantime, here are the most recent updates.
Heather Mitchell, a veteran county staffer and wife of a deployed service member, is running for this seat, currently held by freshman Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy. While Mitchell lives in Stafford, she works in Prince William, and drives the length of her district everyday.
While this is a 62 percent Northam district, the recent history of this district suggests it could be competitive: Mark Dudenhefer won the district in both 2011 and 2015, losing in 2013 and declining to run again in 2017. If turnout reflects the off-off nature of the cycle, as it did in 2015 and 2011, this race belongs on the map.
David Shephard announced his candidacy for this seat on a competing blog, and in front of the GOP Committee in January. However, on Monday Shephard bowed out of the race. That leaves Kelly McGinn, a local conservative activist, as the only announced challenger to freshman Del. Danica Roem.
While one of the more red-leaning districts in Prince William (Gillespie won it outright in 2014), Roem has high name ID, especially compared to other vulnerable freshmen Democrats in Prince William, and a national donor base.
Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy, already announced, has his official kick-off on March 23rd at 7:00 at the Tucked Away Brewing Company in Manassas. However, who his opponent will be remains unclear, as fellow Councilman Mark Wolfe has entered the Democratic primary. Wolfe is a former Republican who has some baggage in his past, but his baggage pales in comparison to that off the incumbent, freshman socialist Lee Carter.
So far, Carter seems intent on waging his re-election campaign on Twitter, but the primary is sure to be fierce. Regardless of who wins, Lovejoy will face a damaged opponent going into what’s sure to be one of the top races in the commonwealth in November.
Chairman of the Board of Supervisors
Marty Nohe was the first to announce his candidacy, even before Corey Stewart dropped out. Stewart’s retirement seems to have sucked some of the oxygen out of Democrats, who no doubt were hoping to nationalize the local elections to boost turnout. Instead, the only Democrat in the race so far is Ann Wheeler, a wealthy potential self-funder from Haymarket who was last seen losing a Supervisor race by 13 points.
The lack of excitement for the race without Corey Stewart on the ballot, and the slow start to Wheeler’s campaign, has given rise to the rumor that Woodbridge Supervisor, Frank Principi, might enter the race to set up a Supervisor vs Supervisor battle for the Chairman’s race. Principi may also be feeling the heat from a primary challenger he’s garnered from Andrea Franklin, who has alleged that the current Board of Supervisors is “out of touch.”
Longtime Supervisor and Prince William icon John Jenkins passed away earlier this month, resulting in a special election to fill his seat on the board on April 9th. Democrats nominated Victor S. Angry for the seat, while Republicans nominated Devinder Singh. Singh is a Sikh immigrant from India, who has lived in Dale City for 20 years and is a local small business owner.
In January, the committee heard from Doug Taggart, a retired Coast Guard officer. Monday night, the committee heard from another candidate for the nomination, Davon Gray, for the seat of retiring Republican Maureen Caddigan. The nomination will be decided by a firehouse primary in early May (see below for more details).
School Board Chairman
Alyson Satterwhite officially announced her expected run for School Board Chairman, after losing in a special election that coincided with the high-turnout 2018 midterm elections. Her announcement video can be found here.
Mike May had already publicly announced his run, but he showed up in full force at the Committee meeting Monday night, vowing to finish what he started four years ago when he narrowly lost to a 48-year incumbent. Now that the seat is open, May is well-poised to win it. There are rumors of other Republicans interested in the seat, but they would seem to have an uphill battle against May for the nomination.
Prince William County Firehouse Primary
At the February 4th meeting, the Committee approved a firehouse primary for Supervisor, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Sheriff as the method of nomination. Contested nominations for state legislative seats, if any, will be determined by that District’s committee. School Board is a non-partisan race, but endorsements will be approved at a GOP Committee meeting.
The firehouse primary will be held on May 4th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are technically two calls, as the C.A. and Sheriff races include Manassas and Manassas Park, while the Supervisor offices do not. However, the two calls overlap on day, time, and locations:
Balloting Stations by Locality. In jurisdictions with more than one balloting station, voters are permitted to vote only at the balloting station assigned to the Magisterial District in which they are registered. The Joint Committee is authorized to change locations as may be required by availability:
1. CITY OF MANASSAS registered voters in all precincts vote at Grace E. Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas VA 20110.
2. MANASSAS PARK registered voters in all precincts vote at Grace E. Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas VA 20110
3. PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
(a) Woodbridge Middle School, 2201 York Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191 registered voters in Woodbridge Magisterial District.
(b) James J. McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex Court, Prince William, VA 22192 registered voters in Occoquan Magisterial Districts.
(c) Bristow Run Elementary, 8990 Worthington Drive, Bristow, VA 20136 registered voters in Brentsville Magisterial District.
(d) Bull Run Middle School, 6308 Catharpin Road, Gainesville, VA 20155 registered voters in Gainesville Magisterial District.
(e) Louise Benton Middle School, 7411 Hoadly Road, Manassas, VA 20112, registered voters in Coles Magisterial District.
(f) Montclair Elementary School, 4920 Tallowwood Drive, Dumfries, VA 22025, registered voters in Potomac District.
(g) Beville Middle School, 4901 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22193 registered voters in Neabsco Magisterial District.
All registered voters are eligible to vote, but they must sign a letter of intent to support the Republican candidate in November before casting their ballot.
A firehouse primary is a middle-ground between those who favor a traditional primary election, and those who prefer a party-run (and party-paid-for) process. One advantage it has this year is settling the nominations for these offices in early May, giving the Republican ticket a six-week headstart on the general election while Democrats wait for the June 11 primary.
More on #PWCBattleground:
This article is part of the ongoing series #PWCBattleground, featuring updates and analysis for the 2019 races in Prince William County.