05 January 2017
The special election set for Jan. 10 could determine the balance of power in the Virginia Senate.
Competing for the 22nd District seat are Democrat Ryant Washington, Independent Joe Hines and Republican Mark Peake.
If Washington wins, the Senate will be evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans. The tiebreaking vote falls to the lieutenant governor, an office currently held by Democrat Ralph Northam.
A vacancy in the state Senate was created when former Senator Tom Garrett (R-Buckingham) won the race for the 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 8.
Garrett was elected to the seat in 2012, continuing a long list of Republicans who have held the seat since 1992. The last Democrat to hold the seat was Dudley J. “Buzz” Emick from 1976 to 1992.
The district covers a wide swath of Central Virginia, including Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland and Prince Edward Counties, parts of Louisa County, and the City of Lynchburg.
The Fluvanna Review sent questions to all three candidates. Their responses have been lightly edited for spelling and newspaper style, such as capitalization, but otherwise left alone.