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And then there were 3 . . .

The field vying for the 1st Congressional US House District got a little smaller yesterday.   On the Republican side incumbent Congressman Rob Wittman appears to be on the road to avoiding any primary challenges this year and securing his position on the November ballot under the Republican column.  Things are a little less clear on the Democrat side.

Smelling blood in the water from recent Democrat success in elections across the country and the low popularity polls for President Donald Trump, Democrats are hoping to find success even in deep red districts like the 1st District in Virginia (America’s 1st District).   There were as many as 5 candidates once seeking the Democrat nomination to take on Wittman, however that number has now dropped to just three.  The latest candidate to pull his hat out of the ring is controversial Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers.

Sawyers appeared to the Democrats best chance of making any sort of dent in the 1st Congressional District.  He was elected in 2015 county-wide in trending-blue Prince William County.  He was leading the field of Democrat candidates in fundraising, having out raised his nearest competitor by more than a 2-1 margin.   His fundraising reached over $111,000 as of the last reporting cycle, which closed December 31, 2017.   Other candidates have raised between $9,000 and $25,000 which is far behind incumbent Wittman’s $626,274 in fundraising.


Edwin Santana $23,282
John Suddarth $26,855
Vangie Williams $9,629
Ryan Sawyers* $111,063
Tom Hicks* $45,165
  • Withdrew from the primary

The Democrats will face off in a Primary election on June 12.  All registered voters are eligible to vote in the election, however there will also be a Republican primary on the same day for U.S. Senate and in the George Washington Supervisor District there will likely be a Republican primary in that race on the same day.   Voters can only request the ballot of one of the two parties in primary and may only vote for candidates on that ballot.


The Stafford County Democratic Committee recently held a candidate forum.  You can watch it here to learn more about the candidates seeking the Democrat nomination.

Special Election for George Washington District Supervisor

With the resignation by Bob Thomas from the Board of Supervisors a vacancy was created. The vacancy in the George Washington district has since been filled by the appointment of Tom Coen to fill the seat until the Special Election now scheduled for November 6, 2018. By state code the Board of Supervisors had 45 days to fill the vacancy by appointment, and schedule a Special Election. The Supervisors opted to hold the Special Election concurrent with the 2018 General Election.

So the question becomes who will be seeking to serve the people of the George Washington District come November? Of course it becomes even trickier because the person who wins the election in November will serve the remainder of Bob Thomas term which expires in 2019, meaning there will be another election for the George Washington Supervisor district in November of 2019. In short, over the course of about 24 months the people of the George Washington District could have four different people representing them on the Board of Supervisors.

The Stafford County Republican Committee held a meeting in February in which Tom Coen announced his plan to seek to be elected to the seat he has been appointed to. At least two other candidates expressed their interest in running in the election and the Chairman of the GOP indicated she had heard from six people who are interested in running. The nomination process for the Republicans will be completed by primary and will be concurrent with primary election for US Senate and Congress on June 12th.

In addition to Coen, Gordon Silver and Tony DeTora also expressed their intent to seek the Republican nomination. On the Democrat side no one has yet emerged as a candidate, however the party has until June to nominate their candidate and any independent candidates have until June 12th to go through the filing process and declare their candidacy for the November election.