Williams, Taylor, Luria advance to fall elections; Stewart will take on Kaine

, , and Contact Reporterjlarouejr@vagazette.com

Voters in the Historic Triangle and across the state had their say in three key primary elections on Tuesday.

Democratic voters selected Vangie Williams as the 1st Congressional District’s nominee to run against incumbent Republican Rob Wittman in the fall.

In the 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Republican Scott Taylor easily beat back a challenge from former James City County supervisor Mary Jones and Democrat Elaine Luria bested Karen Powers Mallard.

In the statewide race to choose a Republican candidate to run against incumbent Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine, Corey Stewart edged out Nick Freitas.

Registered voters in Greater Williamsburg voted with the winners in some races.

Voters in Williamsburg, York and James City counties also chose Luria and Taylor in the 2nd District, but James City’s 1st District voters broke with the wave and supported John Suddarth by a slim margin of 64 votes over Williams.

Lines were short across the area.

In Williamsburg, 1,529 voters had cast ballots as of noon. The city has 9,376 active voters on the rolls, Williamsburg Voter Registrar Win Sowder said.

“It’s probably a little low,” Sowder said of voter turnout. “However, the students aren’t here,” she added, referring to William and Mary students who have mostly left the area for the summer. No issues have been reported at city precincts.

7,958 voters out of James City’s 56,959 voters had cast ballots, James City Registrar Dianna Moorman said.

The only problem at James City precincts came with parking, with many voters having trouble finding spots in the parking lots at county schools that double as precincts.

“Parking is at a premium,” Moorman said.

1st Congressional District

In the 1st Congressional District’s Democratic primary, voters chose Vangie Williams to challenge Republican incumbent Rob Wittman in November’s general election.

According to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections, Williams tallied 41 percent (5,302 votes) across the First District, which includes parts of James City County. Despite her victory, local voters sided with John Suddarth by a slim margin, beating out Williams by 64 votes.

An unofficial total of 3,229 votes were cast in James City County in the Democratic primary, which election officials agree is a lower turnout than expected.

James City County resident Tom Nuckols cast his vote at the James City County Recreation Center early Tuesday morning. He says Edwin Santana’s connection with a younger demographic makes him the best candidate to compete against Wittman in the Fall election.

“I voted for Edwin Santana because he’s an excellent speaker, he’s younger and has a good background and I feel like if he’s put in office, he’ll stay a while,” said Nuckols. “We’ve got three very good candidates, but of the three, I felt like Santana was the best.”

2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Scott Taylor was comfortably ahead of challenger Mary Jones in the race to run as the Republican for his seat in the House of Representatives in November when he claimed victory at around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.

With about 89 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor leads Jones 26,018 votes to 8,301 votes, according to unofficial election results from the Virginia Department of Elections.

Williamsburg voters cast 379 votes for Taylor, while James City and York delivered him 765 and 3,071, respectively, in the Republican primary.

“I want to thank the voters of the 2nd District for their support. I will continue to represent them with integrity and honor,” Taylor said.

Jones is a former James City Board of Supervisors member. Williamsburg voters cast 169 votes for her. James City voters cast 381 and York voters 1,174 for the Republican challenger, according to the unofficial count.

Elaine Luria beat teacher Karen Mallard for the nod to be the Democratic candidate to face Taylor in the race for the 2nd Congressional District in November, with 89 percent of precincts reporting at around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Luria wasn’t immediately available for comment. Luria earned 15,840 votes while Mallard earned 9,681, according to unofficial results.

Luria, a Navy veteran, had earned 680 votes from Williamsburg, 905 from James City and 1,726 from York. Mallard had taken 308 votes from Williamsburg, 301 from James City and 919 from York.

U.S. Senate

In the Republican primary to choose a challenger to incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine, outspoken Donald Trump supporter Stewart narrowly edged Freitas, with Chesapeake pastor E.W. Jackson running a distant third, according to the Associated Press. Results were unofficial. was too close to call at deadline.

James City County and York County voters were clear about their choice in the race; they chose Nick J. Freitas. Williamsburg’s vote nearly mirrored the statewide percentages favoring Stewart.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at jlarouejr@vagazette.com or on Twitter @jlaroue.

Copyright © 2018, The Virginia Gazette
75°