Previous coverage below:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach residents living in House District 85 cast votes on Tuesday to choose their next delegate.
Greenhalgh held the lead for most of Tuesday night. However, around 11 p.m., with 20 out of 21 precincts reporting, Askew took the lead by 94 votes. One more precinct remained to be counted at that time, but on Wednesday morning Va. elections data showed Askew still had a 94-vote lead with 100% precinct reporting.
Askew declared victory on Tuesday, even though that one precinct remained, sharing this statement:
It’s now official. Thanks to your support, we’re going back to Richmond!
Two years ago, Virginia Beach residents woke up to the power of what’s possible. And during my first term, we delivered on the promise of effecting real, substantive change for our city — my hometown. Tonight, you again placed trust in me to continue the work of fighting for a better, more inclusive Commonwealth for all. Thank you.
Every single day on the campaign trail I was energized by the people I met, whose passion for creating a safer, cleaner, more affordable, and more equitable Virginia Beach gave me the momentum to run this race. To the hundreds of inspiring, kind, driven volunteers who fueled our campaign for the past ten months: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you’ve done and will continue to do to help us move our vision for a better Commonwealth forward.
It’s been the honor of my lifetime to serve Virginia’s 85th District, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here — together.
Askew was a newcomer when he was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in November 2017, ousting the district’s former Republican representative Rocky Holcomb. During his first term as a delegate, his office had 14 bills signed into law, including expanding worker’s compensation coverage for firefighters and implementing lead-water testing in public schools and daycares across Virginia, according to his candidate profile.
Askew believes the most pressing issue in House District 85 is the structural education gap that has become wider during the coronavirus pandemic. He believes that Virginians must invest in school-based health and mental health services, the free lunch program, and truancy prevention. If elected, he plans to focus on public health and economic issues that have cropped up as a result of COVID-19, including bills to address broadband expansion and flood insurance.
Greenhalgh has spent her career as an entrepreneur and community volunteer. She founded Heritage Woodworks Inc., which led to several growing Virginia Beach businesses. She’s since sold that company and founded Cyber Tygr to address patient privacy and cybersecurity risks in healthcare. She also works as a manager at local crisis pregnancy centers and volunteers at those centers as a counselor.
Greenhalgh listed her top issues as protecting education and businesses, funding and support for law enforcement, and advocacy for human trafficking survivors. She also believes Virginia’s healthcare and higher education systems should be reformed to be more accessible to the public, according to her official campaign website.
10 On Your Side spoke with both candidates at the polls on Election Day about why voters should choose them.
“This is a very important election,” said Askew. “I think voting rights are on the line, I think increasing pay, increasing minimum wage is on the line, everyday kitchen table issues are on the line and Democrats and myself will continue to fight for them in Richmond.”
“I’m a mother, a grandmother, a small business owner, I did homeschool, public school, private school with my kids,” said Greenhalgh. “I understand what they need for education. I know how to start and grow a small business. I’ve been an employer and an employee. And I know what families need and I want our families and communities to be safe.”
Askew said he ran to help his community and wants to continue doing that if reelected.
“We have increased teacher pay, but continuing to do that,” said Askew. “Continuing to fully fund our education system. I think we talk a lot about it. I had a bill last year that put a cap on the cost of asthma inhalers. We’re going to continue to look at and focus on the cost of prescription drugs.”
Greenhalgh said she was born and raised in Virginia and wants to help her community.
“No matter what we’re talking about, we don’t have to agree, but if people just talk calmly, we can talk about anything and I think that’s what’s going to make a difference in Richmond,” said Greenhalgh. “We need people who can stay calm, talk about issues.”