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The Race for George Washington

The Board of Supervisors filled the George Washington District seat with the appointment of Tom Coen.  However, the appointment is temporary until a Special Election is held to complete the current term.   The Special Election has been scheduled to coincide with the November 2018 General Election.

Candidates seeking the nomination of either of the parties had until today to file for the June 12 Primary.   For the Republicans only one candidate has filed.  Long time White Oak resident Gordon Silver has filed to run as a Republican in the heavily Republican favored district.  With no other candidates filing before today’s deadline Silver has secured his position on the ballot for the November election in the Republican column.

The appointed Supervisor Tom Coen was expected to file to run as a Republican as well, but he has announced he has filed to run fro the seat as an Independent.   There is no word on any other candidates having filed as either a Democrat or other Independents.   The race is shaping up to be Silver vs. Coen.

On the November ballot voters will also be electing the representative for the 1st Congressional District and US Senator.   Incumbent Congressman Rob Wittman is seeking re-election as is Democrat Senator Tim Kaine.   Both will face challenges from their opposition party.   The George Washington district is a Republican stalwart district.  In 2016 the district went almost 60% for President Trump and in 2012 George Allen received 52% of the vote over Tim Kaine.  Rob Wittman has always enjoyed a large victory in the precincts that make up the George Washington District.  This bodes well for Republicans lower on the ticket to capture the strong Republican voter turnout in the district.

However, the district has elected Democrat Supervisors before.  In 2007 the voters elected Harry Crisp to represent them on the Board of Supervisors and in 2003 they elected Pete Fields.   The Republican candidate in both of those elections was Tom Coen, who is now the appointed member of the Board and seeking to run as an Independent this year.  The voters having rejected Coen twice as a Republican candidate, will now see him on the ballot as an Independent.   The district demographics and boundaries have changed slightly over the last 10 years, but will it be enough for voters to reconsider Coen’s candidacy?

It will be an interesting race to watch, especially if only Silver and Coen remain as the candidates on the ballot.

Milde Announces Primary Challenge in 28th District

Former Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde sent an email today announcing his intention to enter the primary for the Republican nomination for the 28th House of Delegates District.

Read the full email here.

Bob Thomas who defeated Milde and former Falmouth Supervisor Susan Stimpson in the Republican primary in 2017 went on to win the General Election in November of last year.   He recently completed his first session in the House of Delegates and the election for the seat will be in November of 2019.   Announcing more than a year and half before the General Election and over a year from the primary that will be held in June of 2019 is striking.  Given his primary reason for entering the race is Thomas’ vote in favor of the state budget that was introduced in the House of Delegates that included expansion of Medicaid, this could be more of a ploy to pressure Thomas into voting in favor of a budget that does not include Medicaid expansion when the General Assembly reconvenes in a Special Session to complete the work on the budget.

It was widely expected Milde would be seeking the George Washington District seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in the Special Election to be held in November of this year.   Millde recently purchased a home on Lakeshore Drive in the Argyle Heights neighborhood in the George Washington District.   Abandoning the opportunity to return to the Board of Supervisors, albeit in different district than the one he represented for 12 years, Milde will now face-off with Thomas again in a primary.

Bob Thomas was supported by former Speaker of the House of Delegates and 28th District Delegate Bill Howell in the 2017 election.  It would be expected Howell will again use his significant influence and ability to raise money to help Thomas in 2019.

The filing deadline for the George Washington District Supervisor seat is today at 5 PM.  More news to come on how that race is shaping soon.

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.