Voters in eastern Prince William County and parts of Stafford County will pick a new state delegate today.
Democratic candidate Candi King, a program assistant with the Washington office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Republican candidate Heather Mitchell, a former aide to Prince William County Board chair Corey Stewart, are vying for the 2nd House of Delegates seat.
The seat was vacated in December by Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Democrat, who said she will instead focus on her 2021 gubernatorial run.
The district is rated “lean Democratic” by the Virginia Public Access Project. Foy won the precinct in 2017 and 2019 with more than 60% of the vote. Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton won the district with 55% of the vote in 2016.
Mitchell has emphasized the need to provide more resources to police and first responders, cutting taxes and finding solutions to the transportation issues faced by 2nd district residents, many of whom live along the Interstate 95 corridor.
Mitchell has also said she would prioritize the safe re-opening of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
King has said she will focus on expanding access to affordable access to healthcare to Virginians, passing legislation to require paid sick leave for workers and safely re-opening schools during the pandemic.
Turnout in the special election is expected to be far lower than a typical election. Early voting in the district, which concluded on Saturday, Jan. 2, accounted for only 841 votes. The district is home to an estimated 52,000 eligible voters in both Prince William and Stafford counties.
About 59% of the voters live in Prince William County, while about 41% live in Stafford. Prince William has seven precincts in the district, while Stafford has four.
The winner of the race will be able to participate in the upcoming General Assembly session that begins Jan. 13.
Polls in the 2nd district are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voting is taking place at all 11 regular polling places. Just like in November, voters are asked to bring their face masks and their ID cards to the polls with them to vote today.
Drive-thru voting will be offered at all seven Prince William County polling places, but voters may also go inside to cast their ballots if they want to, according to Keith Scarborough, secretary of the Prince William County Electoral Board.
In Prince William, regular polling places in the 2nd District include: Belmont, Porter Traditional, Potomac View, River Oaks and Leesylvania elementary schools as well as Potomac and Rippon middle schools and Freedom High School. Voters must cast their ballots at their regularly assigned polling places.
The 2nd District race is one of two special elections taking place in Virginia today to fill vacant seats in the Virginia House of Delegates. In the Norfolk-area 90th District, voters are choosing a candidate to replace Democrat Joe Lindsey, who resigned in November to accept an appointment as a general district court judge. Lindsey was uncontested in the 2019 election.
In that race, Democrat Angelia Williams Graves faces Republican Sylvia Bryant.
Reach Daniel Berti at firstname.lastname@example.org