By this time next week, the election will be over, votes will have been cast and winners determined. Political ads will no longer dominate the airwaves nor campaign signs the roadways. Another election come and gone. Even the candidates look forward to that peaceful time after the election.
But Tuesday, voters throughout the county and state will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general while Orange County voters will elect a member of the house of delegates to represent the 30th District and those in Districts 1 and 4 will choose a supervisor and school board member. Gordonsville voters will also choose a town council member.
A lot has been said in the past few months about governor candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, but as voters grow more frustrated with the major party candidates Libertarian Robert Sarvis’ campaign as a third-party alternative seems to be gaining some momentum.
McAuliffe is a businessman and entrepreneur residing in Fairfax County. He has a bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University of America and a juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center and has five children with his wife, Dorothy. He served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005 and co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Cuccinelli, who lives in Nokesville, is also a businessman. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, a juris doctor degree from George Mason University School of Law and a masters degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University. He has seven children with his wife Teiro and represented the 37th District in the Virginia Senate from 2002 to 2010 and is currently the Attorney General of Virginia.
Sarvis is lawyer, software developer and businessman who resides in Annadale. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University, a master of advanced studies degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, a juris doctor degree from New York University and a masters degree in economics from George Mason University. He has two children with his wife, Astrid.
In the Lieutenant Governor race, Democrat Ralph Northam will face off against Republican E.W. Jackson.
Northam, a physician who resides in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Military Institute and earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He served in the U.S. Army as a physician from 1984 to 1992. He has two children with his wife, Pam, and currently represents the 6th District in the Senate of Virginia.
Jackson, a Christian minister and lawyer, resides in Chesapeake. He served in the U.S. Marines from 1969 to 1972 and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and studied theology at Harvard Divinity School. He is the founder and current president of Staying True to America’s National Destiny (STAND), a conservative non-profit organization dedicated to preserving life, traditional family and Judeo-Christian history and values. He has three children with his wife, Theodora.
Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain will face off to be the state’s next attorney general.
Herring, a lawyer who resides in Loudoun County, has a bachelor’s of foreign affairs and economics and a masters of foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a juris doctor degree from University of Richmond. He has served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, as the Lovettsville town attorney and currently represents the 33rd District in the Virginia Senate. He has two children with his wife, Laura.
Obenshain, a lawyer, resides in Harrisonburg. He has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a juris doctor degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He currently represents the 26th District in the Virginia Senate. He has two children with his wife, Suzanne.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
In the 30th District House of Delegates race, newcomer and Democrat Traci Dippert hopes to unseat incumbent delegate Republican Ed Scott out of his seat.
Dippert, a teacher, earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from the State University of New York at Potsdam and a masters degree in general education from Elmira College. She is chairman of the Culpeper County Democratic Committee and currently teaches music in Rappahannock County Public Schools. She resides in Culpeper with her husband, Kevin.
Scott, a small business owner, earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Virginia Tech. He is currently in his fifth term as 30th District Delegate and operates EcoSeptix Alliance, a small business focused on the operation and maintenance of septic systems. He has a wife and daughter and resides in Rochelle.
Locally, voters in Districts 1 and 4 will choose a supervisor and a school board member.
In District 1, incumbent Shannon Abbs attempts to defend her seat against challenger Diane Strong in the board of supervisors race.
Abbs, a counselor with the Virginia Department of Corrections, has an associates degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social sciences. She resides in Somerset with her husband James and son, Jacob, and is seeking a second term on the board.
Meanwhile, Strong, currently employed with a science, environmental and technology firm, is a former small business owner. She has a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Mary Baldwin College and has served as both a firefighter and EMT. She resides in Barboursville with her husband, Jimmy, and has two daughters.
D1 School Board
In addition to the supervisor’s race in District 1, incumbent school board member Lou Thompson is seeking reelection unopposed. Thompson, the former president and chief executive officer of the National Investor Relations Institute and deputy white house press secretary, is currently an adviser to the SEC and the NYSE. He is a graduate of Iowa State University and a Vietnam War veteran. He has seven children including a daughter at Orange County High School.
In District 4, Jonathan Chasen and Jim Crozier are seeking election to the board of supervisors. Originally, Matthew Sutton was also seeking election, but has since withdrawn from the race. His name will still appear on Tuesday’s ballot due to timing deadlines.
Chasen, a financial advisor and planner, has a degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and serves on the Orange County Education Foundation, was a past president of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and is vice chairman of the Orange County Board of Zoning Appeals. He resides in Rhoadesville with his wife, Chrissy, and their two children.
Crozier, a small business owner, is a retired career firefighter. He’s involved in the Orange County Chamber of Commerce Lead Share group and is on the chamber’s executive board, the Orange County Economic Development Authority and the Orange County Public Schools Business Advisory Council. He lives in Mine Run with his wife, Barbara, and mother-in-law. He and his wife have three children.
D4 SCHOOL BOARD
Meanwhile, school board candidate Bette Winter is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by Jerry Bledsoe, redistricted out of District 4. Winter, a stay-at-home mom and avid parent volunteer, has an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology from Erie Community College. She has served on the Orange County Public Schools Wellness Committee, is a co-organizer and creator of Orange Explosion to benefit the building of new track facilities at Orange County High School, is a master gardener and is also one of two Locust Grove Elementary School representatives on the Orange County Public Schools Parent Advisory Council. She lives in Wilderness Shores with her husband, John, and three children.
In addition to both the state and county elections, Gordonsville residents will also choose a member for the town council. James “Jim” Bradley and Christopher Colby are seeking to fill an unexpired term left vacant by the death of former town council member Brenda Watkins. After Watkins passed away suddenly in December, the town accepted applications to fill the vacant seat and in January appointed Colby. Once elected, the chosen candidate will serve out the remainder of Watkins’ term, through December 2014.
Bradley, who moved to Gordonsville in 1961, attended Danville Community College for Electronics and the Delaware Valley College for Business Administration. Now retired, he has served on the Gordonsville Planning Commission for 23 years and hopes to help Gordonsville advance with the times while also maintaining the friendly, close-knit town atmosphere.
Colby, an attorney and Navy reservist, moved to Gordonsville in 2011. He has a bachelor of arts from University of Miami, a law degree from University of Virginia and a masters degree from Naval War College. He is active with the church vestry and serves as the vice chair of the Orange County Parks and Recreation Foundation. He and his wife, Maggie, have two young sons. He hopes to protect the town’s future by ensuring long-term water supply viability, creating jobs, increasing tourism and attracting strong families by revitalizing Verling Park and Dix Memorial Pool.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 and remain open until 7 p.m. All county residents vote for the statewide offices, while only District 1 and District 4 will choose from their slate of candidates. County voters must bring a Virginia voter registration card or valid Virginia driver’s license, military ID, any government-issued ID, employer issued photo ID card, concealed handgun permit, valid student ID issued by an institution of higher education, bill or statement with name and address or social security card to the polls Tuesday. Absentee ballots must be received at the registrar’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday. In-person absentee voting will take place Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the 2012 election, visit the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov. For voter information and confirmation, contact the Orange County Registrar at 672-5262.