RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginia voters voiced their opinions Tuesday in a handful of Congressional primaries.
State House Del. Monty Mason won the Democratic primary for the state Senate 1st District seat left vacant by the unexpected death of Sen. John Miller earlier this year.
Mason defeated Newport News School Board Member Shelly Simonds 57 percent to 43 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
Mason is an executive at Visa and served as chairman of the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority.
Miller died in April of an apparent heart attack. The 68-year-old Democrat was a former journalist. Miller also worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible and at Christopher Newport University.
In the 4th Congressional District, which runs from Richmond to Chesapeake, State Sen. A. Donald McEachin won the Democratic primary against Chesapeake City Council member Ella Ward.
McEachin defeated Ward by 77 percent to 23 percent.
Meanwhile, Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade won the Republican primary in the 4th District.
Wade defeated Chesterfield County resident Jackee Gonzalez on Tuesday 65 percent to 35 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
The victories paves the way for McEachin and Wade to compete for the newly redrawn district that many view as a golden opportunity for a Democratic pick up. The incumbent, Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, opted to run in the neighboring 2nd Congressional District this year.
Tuesday was the first election in Virginia since a panel of federal judges ordered the state to impose a new redistricting plan crafted by a court-appointed expert. The biggest change to the new maps was to make the 4th District much friendlier to Democrats by significantly increasing the number of African-American voters.
Forbes was the first casualty of the newly redrawn Virginia congressional map. He lost a sharp-elbowed primary against Scott Taylor, a state House delegate and former Navy SEAL, in Virginia’s defense-heavy Hampton Roads area.
In the 6th District Republican primary, longtime incumbent Rep. Bob Goodlatte won. The 6th District stretches from the northern Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke.
Goodlatte defeated tea party favorite Harry Griego Tuesday by 80 percent to 20 percent, with 11 percent of the precincts reporting.
Goodlatte is the head of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, and enjoyed a large lead in campaign money over his opponent. The 12-time incumbent focused his campaign on his work on Congress, particularly his support for a balanced federal budget and the 2nd amendment.
Griego, an Air Force veteran, tried to paint Goodlatte as part of the Washington establishment who was out of touch with the district.