By Bre Payton | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
PURCELLVILLE, Va. — Republicans named their candidate in the special election for the Lt. Gov.-elect, Ralph Northam‘s soon-to-be-vacant state Senate District 6 seat, but the unresolved attorney general race leaves the Senate majority in limbo.
Wayne Coleman, a first-time candidate and businessman, beat out two lawyers, John Coggeshall and Richard Ottinger, in the firehouse primary Thursday night, to grab the party’s nomination.
Coleman is chief executive officer Norfolk-based commercial shipping and freight company CV International Inc., and is emphasizing fiscal responsibility in his Senate bid against long-time Democrat state Delegate Lynwood Lewis.
If Lewis wins, the Virginia Senate will remain evenly tied. If Coleman pulls off a victory in the historically Democrat-leaning district, then the republicans will gain a majority in the senate and limit the Lt. Governor’s role as the tie-breaker.
Voters in the primary used paper ballots to cast their votes.
“The voting machines are locked up because of the pending (attorney general) recount,” said GOP spokesman Garren Shipley.
Also locked up is the possibility that the state Senate will remain tied in the coming session.
The groundwork for a special election in Herring’s 33rd Senate District is under way. District Democrats will hold a primary Saturday in anticipation that Herring will win.
The Republican Party of Virginia says they don’t have anything planned in Herring’s district beyond the attorney general recount.
“We’re not looking past the recount at this point. Mark Obenshain will be the next attorney general,” Shipley said. “The most likely scenario is that there will be a special election in the 25th District when Obenshain replaces Herring as the attorney general-elect.”
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