Tuesday is election day and seats ranging from president to school board are in contention. Here are the locally contested races.
1st District Senate
Education, transportation, and weaning Virginia's economy off of its dependence on the federal government and all key issues in the race for the 1st Senate District in Virginia.
Republican candidate Thomas Holston thinks the state needs more vocational schools, since many children don't have an interest in college. Monty Mason, a Democrat, says preparing kids for jobs in cybersecurity and other types of technology-oriented jobs is to key keeping Virginia economically viable in the future. Virginia's economy has been stabilized by defense spending in the past, but he thinks it's time to diversify.
All three candidates support widening Interstate 64 in certain spots. Constitution Party candidate John Bloom feels people should pay to use more of the bridges by imposing tolls in the area to accrue money for transportation projects around the Peninsula.
Mason is adamant about avoiding a business tax cut if the state does not have a plan to make up the revenue gap. Holston sees an opportunity to entice business into the area. Once they come, they'll pay their taxes and the state benefits either way, he said. Bloom wants to leave decisions like those up to cities and localities, instead of making them at the state level.
93rd House of Delegates
The 93rd House of Delegates District seat pits a prosecutor and former vice chairwoman of the Williamsburg-James City School Board against each other.
Mike Mullin, a Democrat, is a criminal prosecutor in Suffolk. Equal pay for work and childhood education are two issues Mullin wants to address.
Mullin's Republican opponent Heather Cordasco, said jobs, quality education and public transportation have been the backbone of her campaign.
Cordasco and Mullin both agree in the need to address Virginia's infrastructure issues; they agreed that prioritizing the expansion of I-64 is important.
W-JCC School Board, Powhatan District
Those living in the Powhatan District of James City County will have two additional down-ticket names to choose from Nov. 8. Lisa Ownby and Dot Matthews are running for the open seat on the Williamsburg-James City County School Board.
Whoever wins will be involved with redistricting the school division beginning this upcoming spring to accommodate the fourth middle school set to open in 2018.
Ownby has said she wants to take the opportunity to look at the options for creating a feeder school system and is against hiring an outside firm to do the work. Matthews said she would do what the board voted to do, but wasn't keen on redistricting more than necessary.
On increasing socio-economic diversity in the schools through redistricting, Ownby said her priority would be to keep neighborhoods together rather than bus students across the county. Matthews said she would favor diversity over location.
To close the achievement gap the district has between different populations of students, Ownby favors revisiting an alternative education program. Matthews said she did not have specific solutions, but would consult experts after being elected.
Both are in favor of increasing technical and career opportunities for students.
1st Congressional District
Incumbent Republican Rob Wittman is facing a democratic and Independent challenger on Tuesday.
The 1st Congressional District seat has been Wittman's since 2007, although Democrat Matt Rowe and Independent Gail Parker both would like to take that position from him.
Rowe has campaigned on ending partisan gridlock, improving veterans services and improving incentives for families. Parker has centered her campaign on transportation and traffic.
While money isn't everything in politics, it certainly helps. Wittman has raised $989,002 toward his re-election campaign, while Rowe has gathered $41,859. Parker has reportedly received no funds, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
2nd Congressional District
There's no lacking a solid education between Democrat Shaun Brown and Republican Scott Taylor.
Brown is a successful businesswoman from Newport News with degrees from Brown University, the London School of Economics, and St. Hilda's College at Oxford. Taylor studied international relations at Harvard and served eight years as a Navy SEAL, with tours in the Middle East and elsewhere.
They stand at different stations when it comes to policies.
Brown is pushing for a $15 minimum wage, stricter regulations on Wall Street and various other economic-based reforms.
Taylor's campaign has focused more on lowering taxes, increasing the U.S.'s role in stabilizing the Middle East and reforming Obamacare.
Those who are not able to get to the polls on Tuesday have until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 to cast their absentee ballot in person. You may cast that ballot at the Voter Registrar's Office in the James City County Government Complex at 101 Mounts Bay Road, Building E, or if you're a city of Williamsburg resident at 401 Lafayette St. or in York County at 224 Ballard St., Yorktown.
All voters need a valid photo ID to vote.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. If you're in line to vote at 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
If you're voting Tuesday but not sure where to go to cast your ballot, visit vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PollingPlaceLookup and type in your address. The site will show you your designated polling place.
You can also call the Virginia Dept. of Elections at 804-864-8901 or your county office of elections at the following numbers:
James City County: (757) 253 6868
Williamsburg: (757) 220 6157
York County: (757) 890 3440
Still have questions?
W&M VOTEline, staffed by members of the Election Law Society will answer questions from 8 a.m- 7 p.m. Tuesday. Call (757) 221 2890.