RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginians are picking Republican and Democratic nominees for various congressional races Tuesday via low-key primary elections.
Republicans will pick among three political newcomers to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in the general election this fall. Although Warner nearly lost six years ago, no big name Republican chose to challenge him this time.
With its fast growing suburbs, Virginia is becoming reliably Democratic during the Trump era and no statewide Republican has won an election in more than a decade.
Republicans in Hampton Roads will decide whether Scott Taylor will get a rematch with U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria. She defeated Taylor in one of most hotly contested congressional races in the country two years ago. Benito Loyola and Jarome Bell are running against Taylor.
Voting officials in the resort city reported problems with the city’s electronic voting machines early Tuesday morning and were working to resolve the issue. Paper provisional ballots were being used in the meantime.
Republican primaries are also being held in Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott’s District 3, with J.H. Madison Downs, John Collick Jr. and George Yacus on the ballot. Scott has held his House seat since 1993.
On the Democratic side, Cazel Levine is primarying incumbent Rep. Donald McEachin in District 4 and two candidates, Qasim Rashid and Vangie Williams are vying for the chance to unseat Rep. Rob Wittman in District 1.
Democrats in the western part of the state will also pick from among four candidates to challenge Republican Bob Good. He knocked off incumbent Rep. Denver Riggleman earlier this month at a convention. Riggleman angered social conservatives by officiating a gay marriage. Democrats are hoping his defeat makes the district, which Trump won handily in 2016, more competitive.
Virginia does not register voters by party affiliation, so all voters are eligible to vote in primaries.
Turnout is expected to be light. Tuesday’s primaries were delayed two weeks by Gov. Ralph Northam because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Virginia Department of Elections said voting precincts will have increased cleaning and physical markers to ensure social distancing. There has been a surge in voting by mail.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. in Virginia.