Ciampaglio bid means one GOP primary in PW
© Culpeper TimesIt appears there will be a publicly-run Republican primary in Prince William County after all this June, although it's in a different race than the ones that caused so much controversy over the last month.
On Monday afternoon, election officials from Prince William and Stafford confirmed that Stafford resident Timothy Ciampaglio (R) is set to challenge former state Del. Mark Dudenhefer (R) for the Republican nomination in the House of Delegates 2nd District.
That area includes precincts in southeastern Prince William County and northern Stafford County.
It is currently held by first-term state Del. Michael Futrell (D-2nd), who defeated Dudenhefer in 2013 but is now running for the open 29th district in the state Senate.
Ciampaglio, whose campaign website was still under construction as of Monday, did not immediately return a voice message seeking comment.
He launched a Facebook campaign page March 20 and updated it twice during the morning of March 30, stating that he formally planned to kick off his campaign April 16.
However, he also declared in one status update, "We have formally announced [my] candidacy and I'm on the ballot."
Meanwhile, Stafford County Republican Committee chairman Steve Albertson wrote in a text message to the "Times" that, although he had not certified Ciampaglio's candidacy as of Monday afternoon, "both candidates will be certified for the June primary ballot."
Albertson is also the chairman of the House of Delegates 2nd District Republican Committee.
This is significant for Prince William voters because the 2nd House District will be the only public primary among Republican candidates in the county this year.
Incumbent candidates facing challengers in three other races requested public primaries too but when Prince William County Republican Committee chairman Bill Card filed their primary request form in late February, he turned it in more than a day too late.
That set off a series of problems for Sheriff Glen Hill, Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (R) and Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe (R), all of whom requested to run in a public primary against their intra-party challengers.
Hill faces former candidate Mike Messier (R), while first-time candidates Chris Crawford (R) and Paul O'Meara (R) are challenging Stewart and Nohe respectively.
The Prince William Electoral Board voted 2-1 against allowing public Republican primaries for those offices, deferring to the Prince William County Republican Committee to nominate its candidates by a method of its choosing.
A retired federal judge, who was asked to hear the case, later ruled that he couldn't compel the Electoral Board to act differently.
Any last-minute chance for a change died during a March 27 meeting of the Electoral Board, despite Republican member Tony Guiffré's support, given that he did not have the backing of either Democrat on the board.
However, during the same meeting, Guiffré and Keith Scarborough traded titles, with Guiffré now serving as chairman and Scarborough serving as secretary.
Jane Reynolds, the other Democratic representative on the board, remained as vice-chair.
Diana Dutton, who is the Prince William Office of Elections administrative manager of elections, explained on Monday that having a Republican primary in the 2nd House District is a good thing for election officials.
More public primaries in June allow election officials to further test the new optical scan machines the county will be using this year.
A special election for Dumfries Town Council on April 14 will serve as the inaugural guinea pig for the optical scanners.
However, appointed council member Bill Murphy is running unopposed in the Dumfries election, so the voter turnout will likely be low.
That means election officials will have to wait until the June Democratic primaries to thoroughly test drive the machines in two races.
Those races include Potomac supervisor and the 36th State Senate District.
"The better testing we can give, the better off we are to be practicing with this new equipment before November," said Dutton, who noted there are 92 precincts in Prince William County, including the central absentee balloting office.
All of those precincts will need optical scanners during the Nov. 3 general election.
According to Stafford County general registrar Greg Riddlemoser, the political party chairs were due to turn in their primary forms for the General Assembly seats by 5 p.m. on March 31.
The same goes for local offices in Stafford but Prince William voters have a more at stake in the General Assembly seats since there are three districts that overlap.
One is the 2nd House of Delegates District, where Republicans declared back in February that there would be a public primary.
The other two are the 28th and 36th State Senate Districts.
In the latter two races, state Sen. Richard Stuart (R-28th) is running unopposed while there is a contested Democratic primary in the seat to replace retiring state Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36th): state Del. Scott Surovell (D-44th) and former Mount Vernon Democratic Committee chairman Mark Cannaday (D)
Cannady and Surovell were both delegates representing Virginia at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
The winner of that Democratic contest is due to face Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman (R) in the general election.
Foreman did not face any opposition for the Republican nomination and notably even received the endorsement of his old feuding partner, Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan (R), according to an email sent by his campaign on March 26.
That Thursday email, which labeled Surovell "an ideological extremist," announced Foreman secured the GOP nomination and included several endorsements of the second-term mayor from current and former office holders and candidates.
Foreman once said of Caddigan, "It appears that the only time you come to Dumfries is when there is a public event and there are cameras and press available."
Caddigan wrote in a letter to Foreman, "In short, I am sorry to say, I don't trust you."
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