Republican voters in the 33rd Senatorial District decided to nominate Supervisor D. M. "Mick" Staton Jr. (R-Sugarland Run) as the party’s candidate in the upcoming special election. The election will decide who will replace William Mims, who left the post to become Deputy Attorney General.
“It was a great day and night for the Republican Party,” said Staton. He said the voter turnout was “awesome.”
“We had four wonderful candidates and the party can be proud of all four of them,” said Suzanne Volpe, the Republican’s 33rd State Senate District Committee chairman.
Staton won 1,539 votes on Monday, Jan. 16. That is almost twice as many votes as his closest opponent, the Loudoun County Republican Committee chairman, Randall Minchew, who earned 837 votes. The two candidates announced their intentions for the Republican nomination more than three weeks ago, when Mims first announced his resignation.
However, Staton and Minchew were not the only candidates in the Republican primary. Two late-comers announced their intentions and became official candidates the last days before the primary.
ONE OF THE two men was Scott Smith, an entrepreneur from South Riding. Smith is a self-proclaimed "New Republican." He said he embraces the traditional core values of the Republican Party, but said a new approach was needed for the main issues. His approach is LOVE — Limited taxation, Organized roads, Values on family and Education and energy. He said transportation was really about giving people an opportunity to spend time with the people they love and asked why some schools in the district are not as good as Little River Elementary School where his children go to school.
The other late candidate only had a day to campaign. Lynn Chapman, a nine-year Ashburn resident, officially entered the race Friday, Jan. 13. He said the 33rd District has seen dramatic growth over the last couple of years, which requires representatives in the General Assembly to better coordinate state policies with local policies. He said he previously did not have the tools to become such a representative, but after spending the last four years in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University he acquired those tools. He said the experience allowed him to really get to know the issues affecting the area. He also said there was a lot of infighting in the Republican Party over growth issues and that the candidates were not really addressing the real issues in their campaigns.
“AS CHAIRMAN [of the LCRC] I will do everything I can to endorse and support Mick Staton,” said Minchew. He said the primary was positive and uplifting, despite his loss, because it proved to be a strong Republican showing with a large voter turnout. Minchew did, however, say the location of the primary was difficult and the turnout of voters from Fairfax County was not great. There had been concern when the process for the primary was decided that the location would disenfranchise voters from the Fairfax County, which is part of the district. The newly built Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building is on Education Court, a street that does not exist on many maps. A Mapquest search for the location does not provide directions to 21000 Education Court.
Staton said he saw and spoke to some Fairfax voters and he is looking forward to representing them as their state senator. Staton’s victory sets up a battle between himself and the Democratic candidate, Mark Herring. The special election is set to take place Jan. 31.