The Democratic candidate for House of Delegates district 77 will be chosen in a firehouse primary this Tuesday, August 16. The district is primarily located in Chesapeake (78% of the voters) but also includes Suffolk. The firehouse features one candidate from each city:
- Former Chesapeake City Council member Cliff Hayes, who has the endorsement of current 77th delegate Lionell Spruill, Sr.
- Suffolk businessman LeOtis Williams
The firehouse is from 3pm to 7pm and will be held at these locations:
- St. Joseph AME Zion Church, 1540 Atlantic Ave, Chesapeake
- East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. 36th St., Suffolk
You can read a little more about the two candidates here. One thing I’d like to point out: the article refers to Hayes as a “former Republican,” which is true. But before he was a Republican, he was a Democrat, so he basically came home when he switched back in 2007. Changing parties for local offices around here happens all the time – just look at the elected Dems in Norfolk who were previously Republicans. In Chesapeake, getting elected often meant being a Republican. (I use the past tense intentionally: the Forbes machine pretty much controlled Chesapeake, but with him losing his seat, it may not going forward.) The opposite has been true in Norfolk: Republicans have a hard time getting elected in this mostly Democratic city. (Not because of a Democratic machine, though.)
If you live in the 77th (check your registration here), do go out and vote Tuesday. Turnout will be pretty light, so every vote counts. The winner may or may not face a challenger in November, so this may very well be the only opportunity you have (at least until November 2017) to weigh in on your representative.
There will not be a Democratic nominating contest in the 93rd. Mike Mullin won when his opponent, Dr. Greg Biernacki, was disqualified for voting in the Republican presidential primary earlier this year. A Republican challenger is sure to emerge for this November special election: a candidate will be chosen at a mass meeting on 8/18.