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Nominating Contests Take Shape in Virginia


Every year is an election year in Virginia, but next year’s presidential election is going to be one for the record books.

Almost all of the Democrats running for president will be on the ballot in Virginia next year, as voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday to select their presidential preference. John Delaney won't be on the ballot, and the State Board of Elections has yet to make a determination about Julian Castro.

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says a good number of the candidates that do make the ballot will have already dropped out by the time Virginia voters head to the polls.  “We’ll see after the unrepresentative states of Iowa and New Hampshire have their say because normally Virginia’s ballot is a lot longer than the number of candidates competing when Virginia’s primary day rolls around.”

On the Republican side, President Trump has some competition, people like Bill Weld and Joe Walsh. But Republican chairman Jack Wilson says the party will be having a convention rather than a primary, and party leaders see it as a way to help the president.  “Having already announced that Virginia is going to be one of the targeted states for Trump campaign in 2020, we wanted to create a venue where we could showcase the Trump presidency and the Trump campaign.”

Although Republicans will be holding a convention to determine their presidential candidate in Virginia, they’ll be using a primary to determine their candidate for the U.S. Senate to run against Mark Warner.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.