Next Tuesday will be an important one for Orange County voters. By the end of the day, they’ll know not only everyone running for a dozen county positions, but also those who will be on the ballot to represent Orange County in the Virginia General Assembly. 

June 11 is the filing deadline for local candidates and a primary election day.

Local voters will head to the polls Tuesday to select between two Republican or two Democratic candidates for the 17th District State Senate seat.

Incumbent Bryce Reeves (a two-term Republican first elected in 2011) faces a challenge from within his own party from Rich Breeden. Both men are from Spotsylvania.

Breeden is an Air Force veteran who is now vice president of a government contracting company. On his campaign website, Breeden describes himself as a “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-business conservative.”

Reeves, an insurance agent who served in the U.S. Army, narrowly defeated longtime Democratic Sen. Edd Houck in 2011, but won reelection in 2015 with 63 percent of the vote. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination in 2017.

The winner of that primary will face one of two Democrats seeking the 17th District seat.

Amy Laufer, a former school teacher and Peace Corps volunteer from Albemarle, will face Culpeper artificial intelligence researcher Ben Hixon in the Democratic primary.

Laufer served seven years on the Charlottesville City School Board and is the founder of Virginia’s List, an organization supporting women running for state office. On her campaign website she lists high-quality education, accessible healthcare and the environment among her political priorities.

Hixon describes himself as a progressive libertarian and says healthcare, education and military protection are fundamental freedoms.

He unsuccessfully challenged Nick Freitas for the 30th District seat in the House of Delegates two years ago.

The 17th District includes Fredericksburg, Orange County and parts of Spotsylvania, Culpeper, and Albemarle counties.

According to the latest campaign finance figures reported on the Virginia Public Access Project website, Reeves has raised $885,177 for his campaign, while Breeden has raised $54,194. Laufer has raised $101,405, with Hixon collecting $9,212.

In the other chamber of the general assembly, Two-term incumbent Nick Freitas of Culpeper faces first-time candidate Ann Ridgeway of Locust Dale.

A U.S. Army veteran, Freitas, a Republican, favors limited government, economic liberty, fiscal responsibility and the Second Amendment, among other priorities listed on his campaign website.

Ridgeway, a Democrat, was instrumental in establishing the Orange County Youth Commission and Orange County Youth Council. She cites education, healthcare, rural high-speed broadband and the environment among key campaign issues.

The 30th District includes Orange and Madison County and the western and southern part of Culpeper County.

Through the most recent reporting period, Freitas has raised $22,811 to $5,350 for Ridgeway.

Local offices on the ballot include District 2, 3 and 5 seats on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Orange County School Board.

According to Orange County Registrar Donna Harpold, as of Tuesday morning, Jim White (District 2), Teel Goodwin (District 3) and Lee Frame (District 5) had successfully qualified to run for their current seats on the board of supervisors. White is seeking his second term, while Goodwin and Frame are running for their fourth. Mike Jones (District 3) and Jim Hopkins (District 5) had qualified to defend their seats on the school board. Jones will stand for election for the first time, after being appointed last fall following the death of Judy Carter. Hopkins is seeking his fourth term.

Sheriff Mark Amos is seeking his fourth term and, thus far, is the only candidate on the ballot. Commonwealth’s attorney Diana O’Connell is running for a fifth term. Renee Pope is running for her second complete term as commissioner of revenue and Dawn Watson is running for a second term as treasurer. Bob Brame is running for a second term on the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District Board.

Orange County voters can vote in either the Republican or Democratic state senate primary Tuesday. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Voters must present an approved ID to polling officials. For a list of polling places and a voting district map, visit www.orangecountyva.gov/index.aspx?NID=359. For further information about the primary or filing deadline, call Harpold at 672-5262.

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