Although the special election in the 5th Senate district will be held next week, jockeying has been going on for the subsequent race in the 89th House district. Next Tuesday’s election is a formality – Kenny Alexander faces no challenger and will be elected to replace Sen. Yvonne Miller, who died July 3.
Former Norfolk council member Daun Hester has been planning to run for the house seat that will be vacated by Alexander. Hester was first elected to council in 1996, representing Superward 7 and became the city’s first female vice mayor in 2002. She left council in 2010, after losing a contest for mayor, which required she resign her seat.
Also in the race is Lionell Spruill, Jr., son of the delegate of the same name who represents the 77th House district in Chesapeake. In 2009, the younger Spruill ran against Algie Howell for the Democratic nomination in the 90th House district.
Two candidates, it seems, wasn’t enough. Some folks were satisfied with neither and have been searching for someone else to run.
No word on any Republican candidates for the district yet, but I hear there will be a candidate. This is, however, a solid Democratic district, where Gov. Bob McDonnell earned less than 28% of the vote. The district lies wholly within the city of Norfolk, and 59% of its population is black.
The timing of the special election will not be announced until after next Tuesday’s election. Some say it will be November 6, the same date as the presidential election. Others say it will be in January, which would give the Republicans a shot.